Expressing concern over the “sad state of affairs” with government agencies filing cases against each other, the Delhi High Court on Thursday imposed litigation costs of Rs 20,000 on the Cement Corporation of India (CCI).
The CCI had been embroiled in a property dispute with Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) since 2003 over the possession of an office space at Darya Ganj in Delhi.
CCI had been directed to vacate the property, owned by the LIC, in 2003. The PSU, however, chose to approach the Delhi High Court against the orders of the additional district judge as well as LIC’s Estate Officer. The High Court single bench in 2007 upheld the decisions, after which the CCI again filed an appeal before the division bench.
The court of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice RS Endlaw in its judgment issued on Thursday pulled up both the government bodies for failing to resolve the issue.
“The appellant (CCI) and respondent (LIC) both of which are PSUs have been litigating before this court and continue to litigate even after the Prime Minister of the nation recently issued a statement against continuance of such litigations,” said the court.
“Not only so, the continuance of this appeal for a period of nearly seven years, with neither of the two parties having been able to reap benefits from the use of the property, is most unfortunate. Resultantly, while dismissing the appeal we impose cost of Rs 20,000 on the appellant, payable to the respondent,” the bench said. The court observed that according to the facts of the case, CCI’s possession of the subject property was unauthorised. The court also pulled up the LIC for failing to take possession of the property.