SC Stays Uttarakhand HC Judgment Imposing 2 lakh As Costs On Advocate For Filing False Affidavit [Read Order]

SC Stays Uttarakhand HC Judgment Imposing 2 lakh As Costs On Advocate For Filing False Affidavit [Read Order]

The Supreme Court has stayed the judgment passed by the Uttarakhand High Court last month, wherein the latter had imposed Rs. 2 lakhs as costs on a litigant who had made false averments in an affidavit filed by him.

The stay was granted by a bench comprising Justice AK Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan, which also issued notice on the Appeal filed by Advocate Chandra Shekhar Kargeti, who had been imposed with the costs by the High Court. The matter will now be taken up after six weeks.

The proceedings before the High Court had been initiated by Kargeti, demanding quashing of the charges filed against him under Sections 3(1)(p) and 3(1)(q) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Kargeti had been accused of conniving with a few others and making false allegations against the complainant, Geeta Ram Nautiyal, Secretary of the Uttarakhand Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Commission. It was alleged that to this end, Kargeti was posting false Facebook comments about Nautiyal being a corrupt officer.

On the basis of the charge-sheet, the Special Judge (SC/ST Act), Dehradun had taken cognizance of the offences, and had issued summons against Kargeti.

These proceedings had been challenged before the High Court, contending that Nautiyal is a Brahmin and hence, does not belong to the Scheduled Tribe community. In his defence, Nautiyal had submitted a caste certificate issued by the Tehsildar, Chakrata, District Dehradun in 1998, recognizing him as a member of the Jaunsari Scheduled Tribe community.

Examining the documents submitted before it, the Court had however opined that Kargeti had, in fact, made false averments in order to obtain a favourable order from the Court, noting that he had not filed any evidence to support his assertions.

With this conclusion, the Court had ruled that he was not entitled to any relief. Besides, the fact that he was a practising advocate added to the gravity of the incident, with the Court observing, “… this Court is of the opinion that a heavy cost should be imposed upon the applicant. The applicant is not a layman, rather he is an Advocate, he should be more vigilant and cautious while making a statement on oath in the form of affidavit before the Court, but he made a bald and false statement on oath before this Court.”

Scorning at the practice, the Court had added, “Now-a-days many a litigants are not afraid in making false statements on oath to mislead the Court and even to commit perjury with the Court. If such acts of litigants committing fraud upon the Court and making false statements on oath to mislead the Court just to obtain a favourable order is permitted to continue unabated it will certainly ruin the sanctity of the courts. Thus, such a litigant should be tackled with strong hands.”

It had therefore imposed costs of Rs. 2,00,000 on him, asserting that the “sanctity of affidavits” needs to be preservedHe was directed to deposit the amount with the Registry within one month.

Read the Order Here