CUSTOM SEARCH

CLEAN HANDS OF LITIGANT

Whenever a person approaches a Court of Equity, in the exercise of its extraordinary jurisdiction, it is expected that he will approach the said court not only with clean hands but also with a clean mind, a clean heart and clean objectives. Thus, he who seeks equity must do equity. The legal maxim “Jure Naturae Aequum Est Neminem cum Alterius Detrimento Et Injuria Fieri Locupletiorem”, means that it is a law of nature that one should not be enriched by causing loss or injury to another. (Vide: The Ramjas Foundation & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors., AIR 1993 SC 852; Nooruddin v. (Dr.) K.L. Anand, (1995) 1 SCC 242; and Ramniklal N. Bhutta & Anr. v. State of Maharashtra & Ors., AIR 1997 SC 1236).


In Dalip Singh v. State of U.P. & Ors., (2010) 2 SCC 114, this Court noticed an altogether new creed of litigants, that is, dishonest litigants and went on to strongly deprecate their conduct by observing that, the truth constitutes an integral part of the justice delivery system. The quest for personal gain has become so intense that those involved in litigation do not hesitate to seek shelter of falsehood, misrepresentation and suppression of facts in the course of court proceedings. A litigant who attempts to pollute the stream of justice, or who touches the pure fountain of justice with tainted hands, is not entitled to any relief, interim or final.

The truth should be the guiding star in the entire judicial process. “Every trial is a voyage of discovery in which truth is the quest”. An action at law is not a game of chess, therefore, a litigant cannot prevaricate and take inconsistent positions. It is one of those fundamental principles of jurisprudence that litigants must observe total clarity and candour in their pleadings. (Vide: Ritesh Tewari & Anr. v. State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors., (2010) 10 SCC 677; and Amar Singh v. Union of India, (2011) 7 SCC 69).

In Maria Margarida Sequeria Fernandes & Ors. v. Erasmo Jack de Sequeria (dead), (2012) 5 SCC 370), this Court taking note of its earlier judgment in Ramrameshwari Devi v. Nirmala Devi, (2011) 8 SCC 249 held: “False claims and defences are really serious problems with real estate litigation, predominantly because of ever- escalating prices of the real estate. Litigation pertaining to valuable real estate properties is dragged on by unscrupulous litigants in the hope that the other party will tire out and ultimately would settle with them by paying a huge amount. This happens because of the enormous delay in adjudication of cases in our courts. If pragmatic approach is adopted, then this problem can be minimised to a large extent.”


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