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Petitioner Appears To Be Suffering From 'Litigation Dependence Syndrome': Delhi High Court States Re-Litigation Amounts To Abuse Of Court Process

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
5 Jan 2021 8:45 AM GMT
Petitioner Appears To Be Suffering From Litigation Dependence Syndrome: Delhi High Court States Re-Litigation Amounts To Abuse Of Court Process
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The Delhi High Court recently pulled up a Petitioner for raising the same set of facts and contentions before the Court again and again, by filing different petitions. The Petitioner appears to be suffering from Litigation Dependence Syndrome, it remarked. A Division Bench of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Justice Asha Menon was hearing an appeal filed by one HC Ram Naresh, against...

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The Delhi High Court recently pulled up a Petitioner for raising the same set of facts and contentions before the Court again and again, by filing different petitions. The Petitioner appears to be suffering from Litigation Dependence Syndrome, it remarked.

A Division Bench of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Justice Asha Menon was hearing an appeal filed by one HC Ram Naresh, against an order passed by the same bench.

It noted that the Petitioner's contentions had already been considered and settled in a previous order dated 8th December, 2020. According to the Court, the current appeal filed before them amounted to re-litigation "which has been held to be an abuse of the process of the Court."

Background

The petitioner was in service at the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP). He was found to be suffering from Alcohol Dependence Syndrome by the Medical Board and the Appeal Medical Board of ITBP and fearing dismissal, he had filed a writ petition before the court which sought a direction to ITBP to consider a third medical report, to be prepared by AIIMS or any other hospital.

The Delhi High Court had disposed of that petition by a judgement dated 8th December, 2020, reasoning that the petitioner had been referred for third opinion and thus the relief claimed in the petition stood satisfied.

Findings

Nonetheless, the petitioner filed the present appeal wording the relief differently, but otherwise finding faults with the order dated December 8, the Bench discerned. It propounded that filing of the new writ petition amounts to re-litigation and the same would be held as abuse of the process of the court.

"The petitioner, earlier found to be suffering from Alcohol Dependence Syndrome, now appears to be suffering from Litigation Dependence Syndrome," remarked the Court.

The court ruled that the new petition had been filed by the petitioner in an attempt to delay the proceedings against him by the respondents. "The petitioner earlier approached this court against the findings of the Medical Board, without waiting for the administrative decision, if any, of the respondents to board out the petitioner from service and against which decision, if any, the petitioner would have had departmental remedies. By filing that petition and during the pendency of which there was an interim stay, the petitioner deferred/delayed the decision making, if any, by the respondents qua boarding out of the petitioner, obviously to his own advantage. The petitioner, by filing this petition is again attempting to delay decision making by the respondents, thereby perpetuating his own continuance in service, even if of no utility to the respondents."

The court refused to impede the disciplinary proceedings of the medical board at an interim stage and refused to give any advantage to the petitioner before the departmental proceedings.

"Interfering at the interim stage with the disciplinary proceeding, has always been deprecated by the Supreme Court and this court in exercise of jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, in its discretion, ought not to vest the petitioner with any advantage."

Before disposing of the petition, the Bench added that if the disciplinary proceedings are prejudicial to the petitioner, he can utilise the departmental remedies. However, if he was still unsatisfied, the Court stated that he was welcome to invoke his right to approach the Court under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution.

Case Title: HC Ram Naresh v. Union of India & Ors.

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