Gauhati HC fines lawyers for representing non-existing petitioner
The Gauhati High Court has imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 each on two lawyers for dragging a case for more than six years on behalf of a non-existing client in a 'frivolous litigation', a court official said.
Guwahati, March 28 (IANS) The Gauhati High Court has imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 each on two lawyers for dragging a case for more than six years on behalf of a non-existing client in a 'frivolous litigation', a court official said.
A single-judge bench of Justice Sanjay Kumar Medhi imposing the fine and observed: "What is astonishing is that the judicial process has been successfully taken for a ride for the last more than six years by instituting and continuing a case by a non-existing person.
"The role of the counsel who appeared for the non-existing petitioner is absolutely important as the counsel had accepted the case of the petitioner by signing the Vakalatnama and taking all steps from time to time on behalf of the non-existing petitioner," the judge said after dismissing the case filed in 2016.
The two lawyers - H.S. Kalsi and R.S. Sadiyal - were found to have signed the 'vakalatnama', a document authorising advocates to fight a case on behalf of a client, to represent the petitioner named 'Beolin Kharbhih'.
The petitioner claimed to be a distant relative of Sankar Prasad Nath, a former Deputy Superintendent of Police in Assam (CID).
According to the 'petitioner', Nath was killed in a hit-and-run case while dealing with a few sensitive cases involving some politically influential people.
The slain police officer's wife also died under mysterious circumstances, but no action was taken despite FIRs and several representations to the authorities concerned, the 'petitioner' claimed.
During the course of litigation, the status report filed by the government advocate stated that the CID could not find any clue to establish the existence of the petitioner.
"Investigation revealed that no person by the name of Beolin Kharbhih (a woman petitioner) exists," the high court court's order stated.
The court eventually directed the petitioner's counsel to secure her personal appearance.
After taking time on several occasions, the advocate claiming to represent the petitioner submitted before the court on March 9 that the notice issued to the woman by registered post was returned with an endorsement mentioning that "no such person exists".
Noting that the petition was filed in a "well-planned manner" to indicate a "conspiracy", the court asked the Bar Council of Assam to take appropriate steps against the advocates involved.