Imposition of exemplary cost: Message has to go loud and clear, says SC refusing to show indulgence

06:15 PM Jan 31, 2022 | PTI |

The Supreme Court Monday refused to show any indulgence on an application filed by a man, on whom it had imposed an exemplary cost of Rs 25 lakh for making unfounded allegations against the Uttarakhand High Court, saying this has to stop and the message has to go “loud and clear”.


“We are not inclined. We are very clear about that. This has to stop. We want to send a very strong message,” a bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and C T Ravikumar told the counsel appearing for the applicant.

The counsel urged the top court to show “magnanimity” saying the applicant has realised his mistake and he would be extremely careful in future.

“I (applicant) am a retired pensioner. I will deposit my one month’s pension in this court,” the lawyer said, adding, “Kindly be magnanimous… I have realised my mistake. Rs 25 lakh cost is disproportionate and harsh”.

The bench said it is not inclined to show any indulgence in this application.


“This has to stop and the message has to go loud and clear,” the apex court said, adding, “We should have initiated contempt action against him. We had not done that.” During the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the intention of the court was to set an example that such behaviour or conduct will not be tolerated.

The bench said the order passed by it on January 4 shall be given effect to by all concerned. It granted one week to the applicant to do the needful.

On January 4, the apex court had imposed the exemplary cost on the applicant, saying the averments made in his application are ”unacceptable” and he had made “unfounded allegations” against the Uttarakhand High Court and some former officials of the state government.

“In our opinion, an applicant who wants to get himself impleaded in the proceedings pending before this court, which involve complex issues, must show some restrain and must eschew from making unfounded allegations as made in this application,” the bench had said.

It had rejected the application filed by the applicant seeking impleadment in a matter pertaining to the Khasgi (Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Charities) Trust, Indore.

The bench had said the cost should be recovered by the collector of Haridwar from the applicant if the same was not deposited in the apex court registry within four weeks.

It had said the main matter arising out the October 2020 judgement of the Madhya Pradesh High Court would be heard in the third week of February.

The top court had said it was not inclined to entertain the prayer for vacating the interim relief, particularly regarding stay on the initiation of criminal process as directed by the high court, as the order was passed after hearing all the parties. The apex court had in October 2020 said that until further orders, the directions issued by the high court regarding initiation of criminal process will remain stayed.

In its verdict, the high court had said that the state government is the titleholder of 246 charitable properties of Holkars, the erstwhile rulers of Indore.

It had directed the state to take all possible steps to preserve the cultural heritage, including ghats, temples and dharamshalas, which find place in the Trust property, being the titleholder of the property in question.


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