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Supreme Court slaps Rs.10 lakh fine on frivolous litigant


New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday slapped an exemplary cost of Rs.10 lakh on an appellant for filing a frivolous litigation aimed at frustrating attempts to acquire his land for the Bangalore-Mysore road project.

The litigant was penalised for embarking upon a second round of litigation on an issue identical to the earlier phase of court hearing.

The apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice A.K. Ganguly said the cost of Rs.10 lakh will be paid by appellant M. Nagabhushan to the Karnataka High Court Legal Services Society within a period of six weeks.

In case of default in payment, the apex court said the amount will be recovered from the appellant as arrears of land revenue.

Nagabhushan resorted to the second round of litigation after he failed in the apex court in his first appeal challenging the acquisition of his land for the 111-km four-lane Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project (BMICP).

The “second round of litigation is misconceived inasmuch as the acquisition proceedings were upheld right up to this (apex court) court,” the court said, holding that it was an “attempt to litigate again”.

Speaking for the bench, Justice Ganguly described the second round of litigation as “an instance of abuse of the process of court”.

“It is obvious that such a litigative adventure by the present appellant is clearly against the principles of Res Judicata as well as the principles of Constructive Res Judicata and principles analogous thereto,” the judgment read.

The doctrine of Res Judicata implies that after an issue is raised before a competent court and a judgment is delivered, the verdict should be considered as final.

While dismissing the appeal with exemplary costs, the court directed the Karnataka government to complete the project as early as possible.