The Delhi High Court has imposed a fine of Rs.75,000 on a group of petitioners for filing jointly a frivolous petition in a property dispute case filed 18 years ago, observing that the petitioners belong to a class of litigants whose only agenda is to create obstacles in the way of quick disposal of cases by bringing immaterial issues before courts.

The trial court had also dismissed the contention of the petitioners to treat the issue of fixing of court fee in the matter pending before it as a preliminary one before taking up the main issue. It had also imposed a cost of Rs.2,000 on them.

The petitioners had raised the court fee issue when both parties had concluded submission of evidence and the stage was set for final arguments.

The petitioner had come before the High Court against this order of the trial court.

Dismissing the petition, Justice V.B. Gupta said: ``Looking from any angle, no illegality or infirmity can be found in the impugned order. The only object of the petitioners is just to delay the trial, which is pending for the last more than 18 years. To a large extent petitioners have been successful in delaying the judicial proceedings by filing false, frivolous and bogus applications, one after the other.’’

`` A strong message is required to be sent to those litigants who are in the habit of challenging each and every order of the trial court even if the same is based on sound reasoning and also to those litigants who go on filing frivolous applications, one after the other. By filing this frivolous petition, petitioners have not only wasted the precious time of this court, but at regular intervals they have been wasting the time of the trial court also and creating obstruction at every stage,’’ Justice Gupta observed.

``No mercy should be shown to such type of litigants, who have no other work but just to waste the time of different courts and create obstruction in the smooth functioning of the judicial system. Keeping in view the conduct of the petitioners that they still do not want the suit instituted about 18 years ago, to reach its ultimate destination must be made to pay heavy costs for filing frivolous and bogus applications,” Justice Gupta further observed.

The Court directed the petitioners to deposit the fine with the Registrar General of the Court within four weeks.

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