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Person Invoking Article 226 Jurisdiction Must Come With Clean Hands, Must Disclose Complete & Correct Facts: Delhi High Court

Nupur Thapliyal
25 May 2022 4:21 AM GMT
Person Invoking Article 226 Jurisdiction Must Come With Clean Hands, Must Disclose Complete & Correct Facts: Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court has observed that a person approaching the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution must come with a pair of clean hands, adding that there must be disclosure of full, complete and correct facts.

A division bench comprising of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla also observed that a petitioner should not suppress any material facts and also not take repeated or parallel recourse to legal proceedings.

The Court made the observations while dealing with an appeal challenging the judgment of a Single Judge dismissing the petition filed by Association of MD Physicians with cost of Rs.25,000.

The appeal was confining the challenge only to the finding of the Single Judge that the appellant had "indulged in forum shopping" as well as the imposition of cost of Rs.25,000.

The plea had sought the postponement of the Foreign Medical Graduate Exam, 2021, (FMGE) on an application moved by the Association of MD Physicians. It sought setting aside the time schedule for conduct of the June 2021 FMGE examination and also directions to conduct the examination at a time conducive for such examination, but no earlier than six weeks from the date when the examination was originally scheduled.

The appellant, had also filed a writ petition before the Supreme Court, praying for grant of exemption from qualifying the FMGE as a one-time measure.

In appeal, the High Court noted that this was certainly a "material fact" which ought to have been disclosed in the writ petition filed by the appellant before the High Court praying for the postponement of the FMGE.

"The first prayer in the writ petition before the Supreme Court was for such exemption. The two petitions preferred by the writ petitioner-one before the Supreme Court, and the other preferred before this High Court related to the same subject-matter viz. the FMGE. In the former, exemption from taking the said exam was sought, whereas in the second, postponement thereof was sought," the Court noted.

Therefore, it observed that the appellant could not have maintained two different petitions in respect of the same examination and, that too, one before the Supreme Court, and the other before the High Court.

"Even the time of filing of the present writ petition before this Court is crucial, and demonstrates the calculative and scheming manner in which the appellant acted," it added.

Noting that the appellant was already before the Supreme Court in relation to the prayer for exemption from appearance in the said examination, the Court was of the view that the appellant not having secured the exemption, did not approach the Supreme Court for postponement of the very same exam, but preferred the present writ petition.

"This is nothing short of "forum shopping", as the appellant or, atleast, its counsel was aware that the Supreme Court had not granted the said relief in W.P. (C) 591 of 2021 on 11.06.2021," the Court said.

Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed with a further cost of Rs. 25,000 to be deposited with the Delhi State Legal Services Authority.


Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 487

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