Suppression of material facts is not an advocacy. It is a jugglery, manipulation, maneuvering or misrepresentation, the Allahabad High Court observed while dismissing a contempt application last week.
Pradeep Kumar Srivastava, a journalist and others had filed a contempt application alleging that the Varanasi Development Authority violated order passed by the Division Bench of the High Court which had directed it to ensure that no further constructions within 200 meters from the highest flood level at banks of river Ganga at Varanasi is made.
While considering the application, Justice Surya Prakash Kesarwani noted that the work in question is being carried under the Sri Kashi Vishwanath Special Area Development Board Act, 2018 after due permissions/ NOCs and consent of the expert committee. It observed that the facts in this regard have been conveniently suppressed by the applicants which itself is contemptuous in nature. Taking serious note of this suppression of fact, the judge observed:
A person who approaches the court must come with clean hands and put forward all the material facts otherwise he shall be guilty of misleading the court and his application or petition may be dismissed at the threshold. If an applicant makes false statement and suppresses material facts or attempts to mislead the court, the court may dismiss action on that ground alone. The applicant cannot be allowed to play 'hide and seek' or to 'pick and choose' the facts he likes to disclose. Suppression of material facts is not an advocacy. It is a jugglery, manipulation, maneuvering or misrepresentation. This rule has been evolved in the larger public interest to deter unscrupulous litigant from abusing the process of court by deceiving it
Frivolous and groundless filings constitute a serious menace to the administration of justice
The Court then dismissed contempt application with costs observing that it is based on gross suppression and concealment of material facts and misleading averments, which itself are contemptuous in nature. It observed that frivolous and groundless filings constitute a serious menace to the administration of justice. The Court added:
Courts across the legal system are choked with litigation. More than nine lakh fifty thousand cases are pending in our High Court. In such situation, frivolous and groundless filings constitute a serious menace to the administration of justice. They consume time and clog the infrastructure. Thus, resources which should be deployed in handling of genuine cases are dissipated in attending frivolous and groundless cases like the present one, which has been filed to obstruct public interest.
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