The Supreme Court has slapped Rs one lakh cost on the Rajasthan government for filing “frivolous and unjustified petitions” in an arbitration case, saying such tendencies need to be stopped.
The apex court also granted liberty to the state government to recover the cost from those officers who had authorised for filing of appeal against the High Court order. A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul said the challenge raised by the state government in its appeal was “wholly frivolous” and the reasons given for condonation of delay in filing the appeal against High Court order was “most casual”.
“In order to stop such tendency at the hands of the state government, and to stop the state government from filing frivolous and unjustified petitions, we consider it just and appropriate to dismiss the instant petition with costs. “The instant petition is accordingly dismissed on the ground of delay, as also on merits, with costs, which are quantified as Rs 1,00,000,” the bench said.
While dismissing the appeal of the state government, the court asked it to deposit the cost with the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee within four weeks.
The apex court also refused to consider the reasons given to condone the delay of 503 days in filing the appeal. The court’s direction came on the state government’s plea challenging the order of Rajasthan High Court passed on July 10, 2015 appointing an arbitrator under the provisions of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act in a tender matter.
The plea was filed by the state after a delay of 503 days and the reason cited for condonation of delay was that it was caused by the time taken in seeking legal opinion and requisite clearances from competent authority.