When We Said, ‘Costs Made Easy’, It Meant, ‘No Costs Need Be Imposed’, SC Bench Tells ‘Misguided’ Arbitrator [Read Order]

When We Said, ‘Costs Made Easy’, It Meant, ‘No Costs Need Be Imposed’, SC Bench Tells ‘Misguided’ Arbitrator [Read Order]

What does the phrase ‘costs made easy’ imply?

In an order disposing of a Special Leave Petition against a Delhi High Court order, the Supreme Court bench had observed: “We think it appropriate to direct that the costs imposed by the High Court and costs imposed by the learned Arbitrator be made easy and it is ordered accordingly.”

It turns out that the arbitrator understood the phrase ‘costs made easy’ to mean that he was directed to reduce the costs. The party again approached the apex court seeking a clarification.

The CJI-headed bench then remarked in the order: “When we said, ‘costs made easy’, it meant, ‘no costs need be imposed’ and we think the order should be understood that way. Accordingly, the order of the learned Arbitrator reducing the costs is set aside.”

The bench further advised the counsel and said: “Having said so, we may also add, learned counsel for the parties appearing before the Arbitrator shall explain the proper nature of the order and need not take the path of unnecessary litigation which is avoidable.”

Costs made easy

It is not the first time this phrase has been used by courts. For example, click here to see a 2003 Supreme Court judgment which ends with the phrase ‘Costs made easy’. And one can find hundreds of judgments using this phrase.

But it seems that such a phrase is not seen used in common parlance. In a grammar discussion forum, a member describes the phrase "Make easy" as an expression used to mean, "To get along with again," or, "to resolve."

Though in legal thesaurus the meaning seems to be obvious, what is the real meaning of the phrase is left for grammar experts to comment upon.

Read the Order Here