The Supreme Court has ordered three companies, including a German firm, to shell out Rs 25 lakh each for wasting “precious judicial time” by filing frivolous petitions before it.
The three companies - Messer Griesham GmbH, Goyal Gases Ltd. And RUIAS(companies)- have been fighting civil litigation with each other for 18 years before Delhi and Bombay high courts. Every interim order passed by the two high courts was challenged before the top court.
A bench of justices J Chelameswar and AM Sapre described the case as a “classic example of the abuse of judicial process by unscrupulous litigants with money power.” The money will be deposited with the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) to fund poor litigants, the court said.
The bench passed the order after the parties insisted that the top court should adjudicate the dispute and give finality to the litigation that was at initial stages of trial before the two high courts.
The advocates argued the matter for 18 days in the SC as if it was the subordinate court.
“The instant appeals arise out of various interlocutory proceedings. Arguments were advanced on either side for a period of about 18 working days as if this court were a court of original jurisdiction trying the various above-mentioned suits,” the bench noted.