Himachal HC imposes Rs1 lakh cost for misuse of process of law

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Shimla, May 31 (IANS) Pulling up a petitioner for attempting to misuse the process of law, the Himachal Pradesh High Court on Tuesday dismissed his plea for directions to the state to extend his contract as District Child Protection Officer and imposed Rs1 lakh as cost.

The case is a glaring example of misuse of the process of law, a division bench of Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan observed.

In a 31-page judgement, the court said the case demonstrated to what extent a disgruntled litigant could succeed in abusing the process of court and misusing the majesty of law to the total disadvantage and detriment to his opponent and the judicial system.

Petitioner Pratap Singh Verma was appointed as District Child Protection Officer in Shimla on contract for one year on February 17, 2014. His tenure was extended for six months from May 19, 2015.

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He made representation for further extension of the contract but it was turned down by the state government.

He initially moved the Himachal Pradesh State Administrative Tribunal, but later sought relief from the high court too.

“Without taking the original application to its logical end (in the tribunal), the petitioner invoked the jurisdiction of this court for the same reliefs, which is not legally permissible,” the high court said.

“The petitioner is enjoying the interim directions granted by this court on February 17, 2016, which he obtained by misleading the court, concealing the material facts which needs to be dealt with sternly,” it added.

Vacating the interim directions issued by the high court, the bench directed the petitioner to deposit the cost with the Himachal Pradesh High Court Bar Association Welfare fund.

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