No relief for those with "unclean hands": SC

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - 00:08

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has held that
persons who come to the court with "unclean hands" and act in
an irresponsible manner cannot expect justice and their
applications ought to be dismissed.

"The applicants were totally callous about pursuing
their appeal. They have acted irresponsibly and even with
negligence. Besides this, they have not approached the court
with clean hands.

"The applicant, who seeks aid of the court for exercising
its discretionary power for condoning the delay, is expected
to state correct facts and not state lies before the court.
Approaching the court with unclean hands itself is a ground
for rejection of such application," a Bench of Justices B S
Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar said in a judgement.

The apex court made the remarks while dismissing the
application moved by the legal heirs of Balwant Singh, 778
days after he died. The legal heirs, including his son
Harinder Singh, had moved the application to step into Balwant Singh`s shoes in a property dispute with Jagdish Singh in Haryana`s Ambala district.

The application pleaded that they be allowed to contest
the suit and sought seeking condonation of delay of 778 days
as against the 90 days provided under law. They claimed
they were not aware of the pendency of the suit and approached the apex court the moment they came to know about it from their counsel.

However, the apex court, after perusal of the records,
noted that the claim was totally false as Harinder Singh, the
deceased`s son, was in fact examined by the trial court during
the eviction proceedings.

"It is difficult for the court to believe that the
person, who has been examined as a witness, did not even take steps to find out the proceedings pending before the highest court of the land.

"The cumulative effect of the above conduct of the legal
representatives of the sole deceased, appellant clearly shows
that they have acted with callousness, irresponsibly and have
not even stated true facts in the application for condonation
of delay, "the apex court said. "Moreover, it will be difficult for the court to exercise its discretionary power in favour of the applicants. There is not even a whisper in the entire application as to why, right from the death of the deceased in November, 2007, the appellant did not take any step whatsoever till 15th April, 2010, to inform their counsel about the death of the deceased and to bring the legal representatives on record," the apex court said.

According to the apex court, if it was a bona fide
application, it would normally tilt the judicial discretion of
condoning the delay in favour of such an applicant.

"It is the abnormal conduct on the part of the
applicants, particularly Harinder Singh, who had appeared in
the trial and was fully aware of the proceedings but still did
not inform the counsel of the death of his father.

"The cumulative effect of all these circumstances is that
the applicants have miserably failed in showing any
"sufficient cause" for condonation of delay of 778 days in
filing the application in question," the apex court said
dismissing the application.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 - 00:08

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