Delhi High Court Orders Applicant to Pay One-Lakh for Filing a Frivolous Appeal

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The appellant has filed this application under Section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The appellant seeks to recall the order dated 20.04.2020. In this order, the appeal filed to the judgment passed by the trial Court was disposed of by a consent order.

Facts of the Case

The applicant entered into a tenancy agreement with the respondent for a monthly rent of Rs. 3 Lakhs. As per the terms of the agreement, the applicant has to pay the rent in advance for every quarter. However, the appellant failed to pay the rent from March 2019 onwards. Further, the respondent served him with a legal notice terminating his tenancy.

Before the passage of termination of tenancy, he issued three cheques on different occasions. All the cheques stood dishonoured on account of insufficient funds.

The appellant stated that he suffered huge monetary losses due to which he failed to pay the rent. He had a business in gold and diamond jewellery. He also had to pay heavy expenses while contesting the Lok Sabha elections from U.P., which he lost.

Due to the failure to pay the rent, the Respondent instituted a suit for possession, rent arrears and mesne profits.

Recall of the Consent Order

The Court recalled the consent order. This was due to the fact that it was incorrectly recorded as owing to a network connectivity issue. He stated that when this part of the order was being dictated, the appellant and counsel were not able to hear it.

Further, he urged in the application that despite his undertaking to pay Rs.10 lacs on or before 04.05.2020, he cannot do the same. He will be able to make part payment only after 30.06.2020.

Preliminary Observations by the Court 

The Court found it appropriate to recall the order due to the connectivity issues. During the video conference, he was unable to hear the complete order.

The appellant did not appear before the Court but later through his counsel agreed to pay the respondent. He stated that he will pay the Rs.30 lakh in three monthly instalments of Rs.10 lakh each. The appellant handed the respondent a cheque in Court for the first instalment of Rs.10 lakhs. The Respondent informed that the cheque was dishonoured. The Court criticised this behaviour of the appellant.

After considering the opportunities given to the appellant, the Court proceeded to decree the respondent’s suit for possession and arrears of rent under Order VIII Rule 10 CPC.

When the appellant still didn’t vacate the premises, the respondent instituted execution proceedings. The appellant once again prayed for time to clear the rent. He handed over a cheque of Rs.10,00,000/-. The Court rejected his prayer in view of his past conduct. The Respondent pointed out that even this cheque had been dishonoured.

The Court heard the appeal on 30.04.2020. After the matter was argued at great length, he prayed for time to vacate the premises. The appellant gave the undertaking to clear the rent by 15 June 2020. Hence, the respondent agreed for grant of time to the appellant vacate the premises by 31.10.2020.

The appellant in the appeal had taken a plea that he had paid Rs.30 lakh to the respondent in cash. This was wholly denied by the respondent.

Court’s Observations on the Merits of this Case

The Court said that it has no doubt that the appeal under consideration is meritless both in law and facts. The appellant has no plausible or legal defence opposing the respondent’s claim.

The Court pointed out that the appellant’s counsel didn’t join the proceedings, passovers and telephonic messages from the court master. In the interest of justice, they adjourned the matter.

The Court also noted that as the judgment was being dictated in both counsel’s presence by video conference, appellant’s counsel was missing. They deferred the judgment for some time, to wait for the learned counsel to reconnect with the same.

The Court found the application wholly misconceived and frivolous. They passed the order rejecting the application after hearing the parties in detail. The application deserves to be rejected with exemplary costs.

Court’s Decision

The bench comprising of Justice Rekha Palli decided the matter. The Court allowed the appellant’s application for recall of the order. However, it dismissed the appeal with costs of Rs. 1 Lakh due to be meritless. It passed the order to discourage unscrupulous litigants from evading judicial orders by abusing the law.


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