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The Punjab and Haryana High Court imposes Rs. 1 Lakh costs for concealing filing of Civil Suit

Synopsis: The court stated that that the writ petition was not filed with clean hands and the court held that the present writ petition was liable to be dismissed on the ground that relevant facts were concealed.

The High Court of Punjab and Haryana has made it clear that failure to report before it that the subordinate courts have filed a civil suit on the same issue could lead to the imposition of exemplary costs.

Justice Anil Kshetarpal also levied costs of Rs. 1 lakh on the petitioner after stating that he had concealed the filing and subsequent withdrawal of the civil suit from the court before putting the same matter before the High Court.

Among other things, the petitioner sought instructions from the State of Punjab and other respondents to demolish illegal buildings on the Kundan Puri and Civil Lines parcels in Ludhiana. He alleged that the construction was erected without the land use change or the construction plan being approved in compliance with the provisions of the Punjab Municipal Building Bylaws, 2018.

On behalf of the respondents, Advocate Ashok Kumar Bazaz, Advocate Namit Kumar and Advocate Rahul Rampal appeared before the Bench. The Bench was told, among other things, that the petitioner and other plaintiffs in the civil suit had prayed to prohibit the respondents from completing the building.

Justice Kshetarpal stated that the writ petition was not filed with clean hands and the court held that the present writ petition was liable to be dismissed on the ground that relevant facts were concealed.

While filing the written petition, the petitioner was required to disclose that he had already filed a civil case in respect of the same property and had even prayed for an injunction, but that it had not been granted. The petitioner also concealed that, by moving an appeal before the court, he had withdrawn the suit initiated on his behalf. There was also no argument that the petitioner did not apply for permission to withdraw the complaint with the right to file a fresh case or a writ petition.

Taking into account the aforementioned facts, this Court declines to examine the merits of the case. According to the notice of motion that has been issued, the respondents have put in appearance, hence the submitted petition is rejected at a cost of Rs1 lakh. The costs levied are responsible for being deposited with the ‘Poor Patients Welfare Fund’ of the Post-graduate Institute of Medical by the petitioner.

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