Apex Law Journal
Apex Law Journal
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Neha Goel, Advocate

Advisory Board

S.C. Khunger, Advocate

Rohit Bansal, Advocate

Varinder Singh Kanwar, Advocate

Hittan Nehra, Advocate

Judgments on Costs

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Costs — The appellants in the instant case have harassed the respondents to the hilt for four decades in a totally frivolous and dishonest litigation in various courts — The appellants have also wasted judicial time of the various courts for the last 40 years — Appeal dismissed with costs, which we quantify as Rs.2,00,000/- (Rupees Two Lakhs only) — Costs is imposed not out of anguish but by following the fundamental principle that wrongdoers should not get benefit out of frivolous litigation.


Costs — While imposing costs the court has to take into consideration pragmatic realities and be realistic what the defendants or the respondents had to actually incur in contesting the litigation before different courts — The Court has to also broadly take into consideration the prevalent fee structure of the lawyers and other miscellaneous expenses which have to be incurred towards drafting and filing of the counter affidavit, miscellaneous charges towards typing, photocopying, court fee etc. — The other factor which should not be forgotten while imposing costs is for how long the defendants or respondents were compelled to contest and defend the litigation in various courts.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Costs — The provision for costs is intended to achieve the following goals :

 (a) It should act as a deterrent to vexatious, frivolous and speculative litigations or defences. The spectre of being made liable to pay actual costs should be such, as to make every litigant think twice before putting forth a vexatious, frivolous or speculative claim or defence.

 (b) Costs should ensure that the provisions of the Code, Evidence Act and other laws governing procedure are scrupulously and strictly complied with and that parties do not adopt delaying tactics or mislead the court.

 (c) Costs should provide adequate indemnity to the successful litigant for the expenditure incurred by him for the litigation. This necessitates the award of actual costs of litigation as contrasted from nominal or fixed or unrealistic costs.

(d) The provision for costs should be an incentive for each litigant to adopt alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes and arrive at a settlement before the trial commences in most of the cases. In many other jurisdictions, in view of the existence of appropriate and adequate provisions for costs, the litigants are persuaded to settle nearly 90% of the civil suits before they come up to trial.

(e) The provisions relating to costs should not however obstruct access to courts and justice. Under no circumstances the costs should be a deterrent, to a citizen with a genuine or bonafide claim, or to any person belonging to the weaker sections whose rights have been affected, from approaching the courts.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Costs — Even if any costs are to be levied on a petitioner, for any default or delaying tactics, where the respondents have entered appearance, costs should be ordered to be paid to the respondents, who were the affected parties on account of the litigation — There is no justification for levying costs of Rs.50,000/- on the petitioner payable to the High Court Legal Service Committee — There is also no justification for directing the state government to act as the collecting agent for the costs payable to the Legal Services Committee — Directing a government servant, an ordinary employee, to pay Rs. 50,000/- as costs within one month and further directing the use of coercive process for recovery of costs as arrears of land revenue was unwarranted — The levy of such exemplary costs in favour of the High Court Legal Services Committee, is not a healthy practice.


Costs — The costs may be justifiably made payable to the High Court Legal Services Committee or other Legal Services Authorities, where before the other side is served or represented, the court wants to penalise a petitioner for lapses/omissions/delays, as for example, where the petitioner fails to pay the process fee for service of respondents, or fails to cure defects or comply with office objections, or where there is delay in refiling of petitions — Once the other side is represented, the costs levied by reason of any attempt by a party to delay the proceedings, should normally be for the benefit of the other party who has suffered due to such conduct — Only where both the parties are at fault, costs may be ordered to be paid to Legal Services Authority — At all events, the power to levy exemplary costs, it is needless to say, should be used sparingly to advance justice — It should not be threatening and oppressive.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Costs — Once the Court, in the present case, held that costs had to be paid to the State, it should have directed payment of the costs to the State and not the High Court Legal Services Committee. 


Costs — No litigant should be made to feel that heavy costs are being levied in some cases by Judges to create a corpus or expense fund for the High Court Legal Services Committee or the State Legal Services Authority — While levy of an uniform token sum, as costs payable to the Legal Service Authority/Committee by way of a deterrent fine, in regard to non-compliance with procedural requirements, delays in re-presentation of papers etc. may not be objectionable, levy of huge amounts as costs in selected cases, made payable to the Legal Service Authorities, may invite adverse comments and evoke hostility to legal services in general — In some cases costs had been levied and made payable to some non-party charitable organizations — Levy of such costs should be avoided. 

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