Mumbai News

With hours curbed due to Covid-19, Bombay HC imposes Rs 15k cost on litigant for failing to show ‘urgency – Times of India

MUMBAI: Bombay high court on Monday imposed a cost of Rs 15000 on a petitioner, payable to St Jude India ChildCare Centres, Cotton Green, for an “irresponsible” plea of “urgency’ when there was none.
The HC last week and again on Monday in a preventive move to curb the covid-19 spread drastically restricted its hours, to just two, from Tuesday, and since Monday is hearing only extremely urgent matters.
On Monday, a hearing was sought in a matter filed in 2018 against a developer, before Justice Gautam Patel. The Judge noted that he had already issued a notice that for the convenience of the Bar (advocates) and to save time; parties are allowed to seek hearing for “truly urgent” matters that require orders for relief. The notice clearly said that if no urgency is found costs may be imposed.
Justice Patel said, “The present listing is thoroughly irresponsible. It is a regular contempt motion. There can be no urgency in this.” The advocates could not possibly have adviced the parties that the matter was urgent, said the Judge.
The lawyer in this case said he had adviced his client not to insist. Yet he insisted. “That is no answer. It is not unreasonable to expect advocates to inform their clients of what is and is not possible or permissible, and not to act on their every wish,” said Justice Patel in his order and thus imposed cost on the litigant.
The court said “that the “cost alone is not enough” and posted the matter for hearing now in June with no leeway of seeking an early hearing till then.