MP okays draconian law on vexatious litigation

It is ostensibly designed to prevent people from initiating unnecessary litigation

GN Bureau | July 23, 2015


#Madhya Pradesh   #litigation   #PIL   #legislation  

The supreme court in 2011 had suggested hiking the penalty by 3,000% to curb frivolous petitions and that solution has seen reduction in cases in the nature of PILs (public interest litigation). But the law passed by the Madhya Pradesh assembly looks to be too draconian.

The state assembly passed the Madhya Pradesh Tang Karnewali Mukadmebaji (Nivaran) Vidheyak, 2015 — Madhya Pradesh Vexatious Litigation (Prevention) Bill, 2015 — by a voice vote on Wednesday. The main purpose of the Bill is to prevent people from initiating litigation “without reasonable ground”.

The legislation allows the high court to declare a person “a vexatious litigant” on an application filed by the advocate general.

The bill required extensive debate as judicial remedy is a fundamental right. However, the house okayed it without any debate.

The genesis of legislation stems from the report prepared by the Law Commission in a 2005. It had proposed penalty to curb vexatious litigation.

Under the MP legislation, the advocate general can file an application in the high court to declare a person “a vexatious litigant”, arguing that he has initiated civil or criminal proceedings “without reasonable ground”. The high court will first hear the litigant, before passing an order to prevent him from filing civil or criminal proceedings in the high court or subordinate courts. The order will also apply to cases already filed in courts.

One reason for such law was to use available resources judiciously as frivolous cases take away the time of judges and the real justice gets delayed. However, if the MP law comes into effect, a person has to prove that the petition is worth being heard. Once a litigant is declared vexatious, he would have to start with a pre-trial hearing (which is normally not practiced in India), where he has to convince the court that his matter merits the court’s attention and time. This will surely delay other cases.

There is also danger of getting the stuck with the stigma as once one is declared a vexatious litigant, he or she will get relief only from the supreme court.

The state cabinet had approved the bill in March this year but had not gone ahead with it due to public pressure. Now, what prompted the government take up the bill remains a mystery.

Comments

 

Other News

Budget creates the ground – now it’s time for these steps

On February 1, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the Union Budget. As Dr. Rajiv Kumar, the Pahle India Foundation chairman and former NITI Aayog vice chairman, succinctly summed up, “Budget 2023 is a consolidation of the gains over the years, and a positive step towards sustained economic

Should India look for another capital?

The Indian Metropolis: Deconstructing India’s Urban Spaces By Feroze Varun Gandhi Rupa, 840 pages, Rs 1,500 Feroze Varun Gandhi, a Member of Parliament from the BJP, has been a published poet. He is also a policy expert – he had published &

Railways’ freight earnings up by 16%

On mission mode, Indian Railways` Freight loading for first ten months of this financial year 2022-23 has crossed last year’s loading and earnings for the same month. On cumulative basis from April 2022 to January 2023, freight loading of 1243.46 MT was achieved against last year&rsquo

BMC announces Rs 52,619.07 crore budget

Mumbai’s municipal commissioner and administrator Iqbal Singh Chahal on Saturday announced a Budget of Rs 52,619.07 crore for 2023-2024, an increase of 20.67% over a revised budget estimate of Rs 43607.10 crore for 2022-23. The overall budget size has doubled in five years. In 2017-18

Making sense of the ‘crisis of political representation’

Imprints of the Populist Time By Ranabir Samaddar Orient BlackSwan, 352 pages, Rs. 1105 The crisis of liberal democracy in the neoliberal world—marked by massive l

Budget: Highlights

Union minister of finance and corporate affairs Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2023-24 in Parliament on Wednesday. The highlights of the Budget are as follows: PART A     Per capita income has more than doubled to Rs 1.97 lakh in around

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter