Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Full Judgment Click Here

Tags : - Section 6/41 Specific Relief Act; suit for injunction; duty of the judges; purpose of the system of justice; Section 30 CPC; Truth and Justice; Role of Judges and lawyers in the administration of justice; pleadings; Civil Procedure Rules of UK; denials in the plaint; possession; licensee; title suit for possession; framing of issues; duties of court while framing issues; pleadings---------necessary ingredients; suit for mandatory injunction; due process of law; false claims and false defences; grant of refusal of an injunction; duties of judges while granting or refusing injunction; ex-parte ad interim injunction; injunction; mesne profits; "possession"---------meaning; 

Maria Margadia Sequeria ... vs Erasmo Jack De Sequeria (D)

 18. According to the appellant, the impugned judgment of the High Court is contrary to the ratio of the judgment of this Court in Rame Gowda (dead) by LRs. v. M. Varadappa Naidu (dead) by LRs. and Another (2004) 1 SCC 769 wherein a three-Judge Bench of this Court has observed that possession is no good against the rightful owner and that the assumption that he is in peaceful possession will not work and cannot operate against the true lawful owner.
19. Reliance has also been placed by the appellant on Southern Roadways Ltd., Madurai v. S.M. Krishnan (1989) 4 SCC 603 wherein this Court has held that it is the settled law that agent has no possession of his own and caretaker's possession is the possession of the principal. This Court has taken the view that possession of the agent is the possession of the principal and in view of the fiduciary relationship, the agent cannot be permitted to claim his own possession. Thus, according to the appellant, the respondent had no right, title and/or interest in the suit property and was not in lawful possession. Therefore, the suit for injunction under Section 6 of the Specific Relief Act is totally misconceived. The appellant contended that the High Court in the impugned judgment has gravely erred in affirming the judgment of the Trial Court.

 25. According to law laid down by this Court in Rame Gowda (dead) by LRs. (supra), it is the settled legal position that a possessory suit is good against the whole world except the rightful owner. It is not maintainable against the true owner.
26. This Court in Anima Mallick v. Ajoy Kumar Roy and Another (2000) 4 SCC 119 held that where the sister gave possession as gratuitous to the brother, this Court restored possession to the sister as it was purely gratuitous basis and the sister could have reclaimed possession even without knowledge of the brother.
27. According to the appellant, this Court in Sopan Sukhdeo Sable and Others v. Assistant Charity Commissioner and Others (2004) 3 SCC 137 has observed that no injunction can be granted against the true owner and Section 6 of the Specific Relief Act cannot be invoked to protect the wrongdoer who suppressed the material facts from the Courts.
28. The appellant submitted that Section 41 of the Specific Relief Act debars any relief to be given to such an erring person as the respondent who is guilty of suppression of material facts.
29. The appellant relied on Automobile Products India Limited v. Das John Peter and Others (2010) 12 SCC 593 and Ramrameshwari Devi and Others v. Nirmala Devi and Others (2011) 8 SCC 249 where the Court has laid down that dilatory tactics, misconceived injunction suits create only incentives for wrongdoers.
30. The appellant submitted that for more than two decades the appellant is without the possession of her own house despite the fact that she has valid title to the suit property.

Truth as guiding star in judicial process
31. In this unfortunate litigation, the Court's serious endeavour has to be to find out where in fact the truth lies.
The truth should be the guiding star in the entire judicial process.
32. Truth alone has to be the foundation of justice. The entire judicial system has been created only to discern and find out the real truth. Judges at all levels have to seriously engage themselves in the journey of discovering the truth.
That is their mandate, obligation and bounden duty.
33. Justice system will acquire credibility only when people will be convinced that justice is based on the foundation of the truth.
34. In Mohanlal Shamji Soni v. Union of India 1991 Supp (1) SCC 271, this Court observed that in such a situation a question that arises for consideration is whether the presiding officer of a Court should simply sit as a mere umpire at a contest between two parties and declare at the end of the combat who has won and who has lost or is there not any legal duty of his own, independent of the parties, to take an active role in the proceedings in finding the truth and administering justice? It is a well accepted and settled principle that a Court must discharge its statutory functions-whether discretionary or obligatory-according to law in dispensing justice because it is the duty of a Court not only to do justice but also to ensure that justice is being done.
35. What people expect is that the Court should discharge its obligation to find out where in fact the truth lies. Right from inception of the judicial system it has been accepted that discovery, vindication and establishment of truth are the main purposes underlying the existence of the courts of justice.
36. In Ritesh Tewari and Another v. State of U.P. and Others (2010) 10 SCC 677 this Court reproduced often quoted quotation which reads as under:
"Every trial is voyage of discovery in which truth is the quest"
37. This Court observed that the power is to be exercised with an object to subserve the cause of justice and public interest and for getting the evidence in aid of a just decision and to uphold the truth.
38. Lord Denning, in the case of Jones v. National Coal Board [1957] 2 QB 55 has observed that:
"In the system of trial that we evolved in this country, the Judge sits to hear and determine the issues raised by the parties, not to conduct an investigation or examination on behalf of the society at large, as happens, we believe, in some foreign countries."
39. Certainly, the above, is not true of the Indian Judicial system. A judge in the Indian System has to be regarded as failing to exercise its jurisdiction and thereby discharging its judicial duty, if in the guise of remaining neutral, he opts to remain passive to the proceedings before him. He has to always keep in mind that "every trial is a voyage of discovery in which truth is the quest". In order to bring on record the relevant fact, he has to play an active role; no doubt within the bounds of the statutorily defined procedural law.
40. Lord Denning further observed in the said case of Jones (supra) that "`It's all very well to paint justice blind, but she does better without a bandage round her eyes. She should be blind indeed to favour or prejudice, but clear to see which way lies the truth..."
41. World over, modern procedural Codes are increasingly relying on full disclosure by the parties. Managerial powers of the Judge are being deployed to ensure that the scope of the factual controversy is minimized.
42. In civil cases, adherence to Section 30 CPC would also help in ascertaining the truth. It seems that this provision which ought to be frequently used is rarely pressed in service by our judicial officers and judges. Section 30 CPC reads as under:-
30. Power to order discovery and the like. - Subject to such conditions and limitations as may be prescribed, the Court may, at any time either of its own motion or on the application of any party, -
(a) make such orders as may be necessary or reasonable in all matters relating to the delivery and answering of interrogatories, the admission of documents and facts, and the discovery, inspection, production, impounding and return of documents or other material objects producible as evidence;
(b) issue summons to persons whose attendance is required either to give evidence or to produce documents or such other objects as aforesaid;
(c) order any fact to be proved by affidavit
43. "Satyameva Jayate" (Literally: "Truth Stands Invincible") is a mantra from the ancient scripture Mundaka Upanishad.
Upon independence of India, it was adopted as the national motto of India. It is inscribed in Devanagari script at the base of the national emblem. The meaning of full mantra is as follows:
"Truth alone triumphs; not falsehood. Through truth the divine path is spread out by which the sages whose desires have been completely fulfilled, reach where that supreme treasure of Truth resides."
44. Malimath Committee on Judicial Reforms heavily relied on the fact that in discovering truth, the judges of all Courts need to play an active role. The Committee observed thus:
2.2.......... In the adversarial system truth is supposed to emerge from the respective versions of the facts presented by the prosecution and the defence before a neutral judge. The judge acts like an umpire to see whether the prosecution has been able to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt. The State discharges the obligation to protect life, liberty and property of the citizens by taking suitable preventive and punitive measures which also serve the object of preventing private retribution so essential for maintenance of peace and law and order in the society doubt and gives the benefit of doubt to the accused. It is the parties that determine the scope of dispute and decide largely, autonomously and in a selective manner on the evidence that they decide to present to the court. The trial is oral, continuous and confrontational. The parties use cross-examination of witnesses to undermine the opposing case and to discover information the other side has not brought out. The judge in his anxiety to maintain his position of neutrality never takes any initiative to discover truth. He does not correct the aberrations in the investigation or in the matter of production of evidence before court........"
2.15 "The Adversarial System lacks dynamism because it has no lofty ideal to inspire. It has not been entrusted with a positive duty to discover truth as in the Inquisitorial System. When the investigation is perfunctory or ineffective, Judges seldom take any initiative to remedy the situation. During the trial, the Judges do not bother if relevant evidence is not produced and plays a passive role as he has no duty to search for truth....."
2.16.9. Truth being the cherished ideal and ethos of India, pursuit of truth should be the guiding star of the Criminal Justice System. For justice to be done truth must prevail. It is truth that must protect the innocent and it is truth that must be the basis to punish the guilty. Truth is the very soul of justice. Therefore truth should become the ideal to inspire the courts to pursue. This can be achieved by statutorily mandating the courts to become active seekers of truth. It is of seminal importance to inject vitality into our system if we have to regain the lost confidence of the people. Concern for and duty to seek truth should not become the limited concern of the courts. It should become the paramount duty of everyone to assist the court in its quest for truth.
45. In Chandra Shashi v. Anil Kumar Verma (1995) 1 SCC 421 to enable the Courts to ward off unjustified interference in their working, those who indulge in immoral acts like perjury, pre-variation and motivated falsehoods have to be appropriately dealt with, without which it would not be possible for any Court to administer justice in the true sense and to the satisfaction of those who approach it in the hope that truth would ultimately prevail. People would have faith in Courts when they would find that truth alone triumphs in Courts.
46. Truth has been foundation of other judicial systems, such as, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and other countries.
47. In James v. Giles et al. v. State of Maryland 386 U.S.
66, 87, S.Ct. 793), the US Supreme Court, in ruling on the conduct of prosecution in suppressing evidence favourable to the defendants and use of perjured testimony held that such rules existed for a purpose as a necessary component of the search for truth and justice that judges, like prosecutors must undertake. It further held that the State's obligation under the Due Process Clause "is not to convict, but to see that so far as possible, truth emerges."
48. The obligation to pursue truth has been carried to extremes. Thus, in United States v. J.Lee Havens 446 U.S.
620, 100 St.Ct.1912, it was held that the government may use illegally obtained evidence to impeach a defendant's fraudulent statements during cross-examination for the purpose of seeking justice, for the purpose of "arriving at the truth, which is a fundamental goal of our legal system".
49. Justice Cardozo in his widely read and appreciated book "The Nature of the Judicial Process" discusses the role of the judges. The relevant part is reproduced as under:-
"There has been a certain lack of candour," "in much of the discussion of the theme [of judges' humanity], or rather perhaps in the refusal to discuss it, as if judges must lose respect and confidence by the reminder that they are subject to human limitations." I do not doubt the grandeur of conception which lifts them into the realm of pure reason, above and beyond the sweep of perturbing and deflecting forces. None the less, if there is anything of reality in my analysis of the judicial process, they do not stand aloof on these chill and distant heights; and we shall not help the cause of truth by acting and speaking as if they do."
50. Aharon Barak, President of Israeli Supreme Court from 1995 to 2006 takes the position that:
"For issues in which stability is actually more important than the substance of the solution - and there are many such case - I will join the majority, without restating my dissent each time. Only when my dissenting opinion reflects an issue that is central for me - that goes to the core of my role as a judge - will I not capitulate, and will I continue to restate my dissenting opinion: "Truth or stability - truth is preferable".
"On the contrary, public confidence means ruling according to the law and according to the judge's conscience, whatever the attitude of the public may be. Public confidence means giving expression to history, not to hysteria. Public confidence is ensured by the recognition that the judge is doing justice within the framework of the law and its provisions. Judges must act - inside and outside the court - in a manner that preserves public confidence in them. They must understand that judging is not merely a job but a way of life. It is a way of life that does not include the pursuit of material wealth or publicity; it is a way of life based on spiritual wealth; it is a way of life that includes an objective and impartial search for truth."
51. In the administration of justice, judges and lawyers play equal roles. Like judges, lawyers also must ensure that truth triumphs in the administration of justice.
  1. Truth is the foundation of justice. It must be the endeavour of all the judicial officers and judges to ascertain truth in every matter and no stone should be left unturned in achieving this object. Courts must give greater emphasis on the veracity of pleadings and documents in order to ascertain the truth.

53. Pleadings are the foundation of litigation. In pleadings, only the necessary and relevant material must be included and unnecessary and irrelevant material must be excluded.
Pleadings are given utmost importance in similar systems of adjudication, such as, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
54. In the United Kingdom, after the Woolf Report, Civil Procedure Rules, 1998 were enacted. Rule 3.4(2) has some relevance and the same is reproduced as under:
(2) The Court may strike out a statement of case if it appears to the Court -
(a) that the statement of case discloses no reasonable grounds for bringing or defending the claim;
(b) that the statement of case is an abuse of the Court's process or is otherwise likely to obstruct the just disposal of the proceedings; or

(c) that there has been a failure to comply with a rule, practice direction or Court order.

61. In civil cases, pleadings are extremely important for ascertaining the title and possession of the property in question.
62. Possession is an incidence of ownership and can be transferred by the owner of an immovable property to another such as in a mortgage or lease. A licensee holds possession on behalf of the owner.
63. Possession is important when there are no title documents and other relevant records before the Court, but, once the documents and records of title come before the Court, it is the title which has to be looked at first and due weightage be given to it. Possession cannot be considered in vacuum.
64. There is a presumption that possession of a person, other than the owner, if at all it is to be called possession, is permissive on behalf of the title-holder. Further, possession of the past is one thing, and the right to remain or continue in future is another thing. It is the latter which is usually more in controversy than the former, and it is the latter which has seen much abuse and misuse before the Courts.
65. A suit can be filed by the title holder for recovery of possession or it can be one for ejectment of an ex-lessee or for mandatory injunction requiring a person to remove himself or it can be a suit under Section 6 of the Specific Relief Act to recover possession.
66. A title suit for possession has two parts - first, adjudication of title, and second, adjudication of possession.
If the title dispute is removed and the title is established in one or the other, then, in effect, it becomes a suit for ejectment where the defendant must plead and prove why he must not be ejected.
67. In an action for recovery of possession of immovable property, or for protecting possession thereof, upon the legal title to the property being established, the possession or occupation of the property by a person other than the holder of the legal title will be presumed to have been under and in subordination to the legal title, and it will be for the person resisting a claim for recovery of possession or claiming a right to continue in possession, to establish that he has such a right. To put it differently, wherever pleadings and documents establish title to a particular property and possession is in question, it will be for the person in possession to give sufficiently detailed pleadings, particulars and documents to support his claim in order to continue in possession.
68. In order to do justice, it is necessary to direct the parties to give all details of pleadings with particulars. Once the title is prima facie established, it is for the person who is resisting the title holder's claim to possession to plead with sufficient particularity on the basis of his claim to remain in possession and place before the Court all such documents as in the ordinary course of human affairs are expected to be there.
Only if the pleadings are sufficient, would an issue be struck and the matter sent to trial, where the onus will be on him to prove the averred facts and documents.
69. The person averring a right to continue in possession shall, as far as possible, give a detailed particularized specific pleading along with documents to support his claim and details of subsequent conduct which establish his possession.
70. It would be imperative that one who claims possession must give all such details as enumerated hereunder. They are only illustrative and not exhaustive.
(a) who is or are the owner or owners of the property;

(b) title of the property;

(c) who is in possession of the title documents

    1. identity of the claimant or claimants to possession;
(e) the date of entry into possession;

(f) how he came into possession - whether he purchased the property or inherited or got the same in gift or by any other method;
(g) in case he purchased the property, what is the consideration; if he has taken it on rent, how much is the rent, license fee or lease amount;
(h) If taken on rent, license fee or lease - then insist on rent deed, license deed or lease deed;
(i) who are the persons in possession/occupation or otherwise living with him, in what capacity; as family members, friends or servants etc.;
(j) subsequent conduct, i.e., any event which might have extinguished his entitlement to possession or caused shift therein; and
(k) basis of his claim that not to deliver possession but continue in possession.
71. Apart from these pleadings, the Court must insist on documentary proof in support of the pleadings. All those documents would be relevant which come into existence after the transfer of title or possession or the encumbrance as is claimed. While dealing with the civil suits, at the threshold, the Court must carefully and critically examine pleadings and documents.
72. The Court will examine the pleadings for specificity as also the supporting material for sufficiency and then pass appropriate orders.
73. Discovery and production of documents and answers to interrogatories, together with an approach of considering what in ordinary course of human affairs is more likely to have been the probability, will prevent many a false claims or defences from sailing beyond the stage for issues.
74. If the pleadings do not give sufficient details, they will not raise an issue, and the Court can reject the claim or pass a decree on admission.
75. On vague pleadings, no issue arises. Only when he so establishes, does the question of framing an issue arise.
Framing of issues is an extremely important stage in a civil trial. Judges are expected to carefully examine the pleadings and documents before framing of issues in a given case.
76. In pleadings, whenever a person claims right to continue in possession of another property, it becomes necessary for him to plead with specificity about who was the owner, on what date did he enter into possession, in what capacity and in what manner did he conduct his relationship with the owner over the years till the date of suit. He must also give details on what basis he is claiming a right to continue in possession. Until the pleadings raise a sufficient case, they will not constitute sufficient claim of defence.
77. Dr. Arun Mohan in his classic treatise on "Justice, Courts and Delays" has dealt with these fundamental principles of law exhaustively.
78. The Court must ensure that pleadings of a case must contain sufficient particulars. Insistence on details reduces the ability to put forward a non-existent or false claim or defence.
  1. In dealing with a civil case, pleadings, title documents and relevant records play a vital role and that would ordinarily decide the fate of the case.

Suit for Mandatory Injunction
  1. It is a settled principle of law that no one can take law in his own hands. Even a trespasser in settled possession cannot be dispossessed without recourse of law. It must be the endeavour of the Court that if a suit for mandatory injunction is filed, then it is its bounden duty and obligation to critically examine the pleadings and documents and pass an order of injunction while taking pragmatic realities including prevalent market rent of similar premises in similar localities in consideration. The Court's primary concern has to be to do substantial justice. Even if the Court in an extraordinary case decides to grant ex-parte ad interim injunction in favour of the plaintiff who does not have a clear title, then at least the plaintiff be directed to give an undertaking that in case the suit is ultimately dismissed, then he would be required to pay market rent of the property from the date when an ad interim injunction was obtained by him. It is the duty and the obligation of the Court to at least dispose off application of grant of injunction as expeditiously as possible. It is the demand of equity and justice.

Due process of Law
81. Due process of law means nobody ought to be condemned unheard. The due process of law means a person in settled possession will not be dispossessed except by due process of law. Due process means an opportunity for the defendant to file pleadings including written statement and documents before the Court of law. It does not mean the whole trial. Due process of law is satisfied the moment rights of the parties are adjudicated by a competent Court.
82. The High Court of Delhi in a case Thomas Cook (India) Limited v. Hotel Imperial 2006 (88) DRJ 545 held as under:
"28. The expressions `due process of law', `due course of law' and `recourse to law' have been interchangeably used in the decisions referred to above which say that the settled possession of even a person in unlawful possession cannot be disturbed `forcibly' by the true owner taking law in his own hands. All these expressions, however, mean the same thing -- ejectment from settled possession can only be had by recourse to a court of law. Clearly, `due process of law' or `due course of law', here, simply mean that a person in settled possession cannot be ejected without a court of law having adjudicated upon his rights qua the true owner.
Now, this `due process' or `due course' condition is satisfied the moment the rights of the parties are adjudicated upon by a court of competent jurisdiction. It does not matter who brought the action to court. It could be the owner in an action for enforcement of his right to eject the person in unlawful possession. It could be the person who is sought to be ejected, in an action preventing the owner from ejecting him. Whether the action is for enforcement of a right (recovery of possession) or protection of a right (injunction against dispossession), is not of much consequence. What is important is that in either event it is an action before the court and the court adjudicates upon it. If that is done then, the `bare minimum' requirement of `due process' or `due course' of law would stand satisfied as recourse to law would have been taken. In this context, when a party approaches a court seeking a protective remedy such as an injunction and it fails in setting up a good case, can it then say that the other party must now institute an action in a court of law for enforcing his rights i.e., for taking back something from the first party who holds it unlawfully, and, till such time, the court hearing the injunction action must grant an injunction anyway? I would think not. In any event, the `recourse to law' stipulation stands satisfied when a judicial determination is made with regard to the first party's protective action. Thus, in the present case, the plaintiff's failure to make out a case for an injunction does not mean that its consequent cessation of user of the said two rooms would have been brought about without recourse to law."
  1. We approve the findings of the High Court of Delhi on this issue in the aforesaid case.

False claims and false defences
84. False claims and defences are really serious problems with real estate litigation, predominantly because of ever escalating prices of the real estate. Litigation pertaining to valuable real estate properties is dragged on by unscrupulous litigants in the hope that the other party will tire out and ultimately would settle with them by paying a huge amount.
This happens because of the enormous delay in adjudication of cases in our Courts. If pragmatic approach is adopted, then this problem can be minimized to a large extent.
85. This Court in a recent judgment in Ramrameshwari Devi and Others (supra) aptly observed at page 266 that unless wrongdoers are denied profit from frivolous litigation, it would be difficult to prevent it. In order to curb uncalled for and frivolous litigation, the Courts have to ensure that there is no incentive or motive for uncalled for litigation. It is a matter of common experience that Court's otherwise scarce time is consumed or more appropriately, wasted in a large number of uncalled for cases. In this very judgment, the Court provided that this problem can be solved or at least be minimized if exemplary cost is imposed for instituting frivolous litigation.
The Court observed at pages 267-268 that imposition of actual, realistic or proper costs and/or ordering prosecution in appropriate cases would go a long way in controlling the tendency of introducing false pleadings and forged and fabricated documents by the litigants. Imposition of heavy costs would also control unnecessary adjournments by the parties. In appropriate cases, the Courts may consider ordering prosecution otherwise it may not be possible to maintain purity and sanctity of judicial proceedings.

Grant or refusal of an injunction
86. Grant or refusal of an injunction in a civil suit is the most important stage in the civil trial. Due care, caution, diligence and attention must be bestowed by the judicial officers and judges while granting or refusing injunction. In most cases, the fate of the case is decided by grant or refusal of an injunction. Experience has shown that once an injunction is granted, getting it vacated would become a nightmare for the defendant. In order to grant or refuse injunction, the judicial officer or the judge must carefully examine the entire pleadings and documents with utmost care and seriousness.
87. The safe and better course is to give short notice on injunction application and pass an appropriate order after hearing both the sides. In case of grave urgency, if it becomes imperative to grant an ex-parte ad interim injunction, it should be granted for a specified period, such as, for two weeks. In those cases, the plaintiff will have no inherent interest in delaying disposal of injunction application after obtaining an ex-parte ad interim injunction. The Court, in order to avoid abuse of the process of law may also record in the injunction order that if the suit is eventually dismissed, the plaintiff undertakes to pay restitution, actual or realistic costs. While passing the order, the Court must take into consideration the pragmatic realities and pass proper order for mesne profits. The Court must make serious endeavour to ensure that even-handed justice is given to both the parties.
88. Ordinarily, three main principles govern the grant or refusal of injunction.
a) prima facie case;

b) balance of convenience; and

c) irreparable injury, which guide the Court in this regard.

  1. In the broad category of prima facie case, it is imperative for the Court to carefully analyse the pleadings and the documents on record and only on that basis the Court must be governed by the prima facie case. In grant and refusal of injunction, pleadings and documents play vital role.

Mesne Profits
90. Experience has shown that all kinds of pleadings are introduced and even false and fabricated documents are filed in civil cases because there is an inherent profit in continuation of possession. In a large number of cases, honest litigants suffer and dishonest litigants get undue benefit by grant or refusal of an injunction because the Courts do not critically examine pleadings and documents on record.
In case while granting or refusing injunction, the Court properly considers pleadings and documents and takes the pragmatic view and grants appropriate mesne profit, then the inherent interest to continue frivolous litigation by unscrupulous litigants would be reduced to a large extent.
91. The Court while granting injunction should broadly take into consideration the prevailing market rentals in the locality for similar premises. Based on that, the Court should fix adhoc amount which the person continuing in possession must pay and on such payment, the plaintiff may withdraw after furnishing an undertaking and also making it clear that should the Court pass any order for reimbursement, it will be a charge upon the property.
92. The Court can also direct payment of a particular amount and for a differential, direct furnishing of a security by the person who wishes to continue in possession. If such amount, as may be fixed by the Court, is not paid as security, the Court may remove the person and appoint a receiver of the property or strike out the claim or defence. This is a very important exercise for balancing equities. Courts must carry out this exercise with extreme care and caution while keeping pragmatic realities in mind and make a proper order of granting mesne profit. This is the requirement of equity and justice.
93. In the instant case, if the Courts below would have carefully looked into the pleadings, documents and had applied principle of the grant of mesne profit, then injustice and illegality would not have perpetuated for more than two decades.
94. We have heard the learned counsel for the parties at length and perused the relevant judgments cited at the Bar. In the instant case, admittedly, the respondent did not claim any title to the suit property. Undoubtedly, the appellant has a valid title to the property which is clearly proved from the pleadings and documents on record.
95. The respondent has not been able to establish the family arrangement by which this house was given to the respondent for his residence. The Courts below have failed to appreciate that the premises in question was given by the appellant to her brother respondent herein as a caretaker.
The appellant was married to a Naval Officer who was transferred from time to time outside Goa. Therefore, on the request of her brother she gave possession of the premises to him as a caretaker. The caretaker holds the property of the principal only on behalf of the principal.
96. The respondent's suit for injunction against the true owner - the appellant was not maintainable, particularly when it was established beyond doubt that the respondent was only a caretaker and he ought to have given possession of the premises to the true owner of the suit property on demand. Admittedly, the respondent does not claim any title over the suit property and he had not filed any proceedings disputing the title of the appellant.
97. This Court in Puran Singh v. The State of Punjab (1975) 4 SCC 518 held that an occupation of the property by a person as an agent or a servant at the instance of the owner will not amount to actual physical possession.
98. This Court in Mahabir Prasad Jain (supra) has held that the possession of a servant or agent is that of his master or principal as the case may be for all purposes and the former cannot maintain a suit against the latter on the basis of such possession.
99. In Sham Lal v. Rajinder Kumar & Others 1994 (30) DRJ 596, the High Court of Delhi held thus:
"On the basis of the material available on record, it will be a misnomer to say that the plaintiff has been in 'possession' of the suit property. The plaintiff is neither a tenant, nor a licensee, nor a person even in unlawful possession of the suit property. Possession of servant is possession of the real owner. A servant cannot be said to be having any interest in the suit property. It cannot be said that a servant or a chowkidar can exercise such a possession or right to possession over the property as to exclude the master and the real owner of the property from his possession or exercising right to possession over the property.
Possession is flexible term and is not necessarily restricted to mere actual possession of the property. The legal conception of possession may be in various forms. The two elements of possession are the corpus and the animus. A person though in physical possession may not be in possession in the eye of law, if the animus be lacking. On the contrary, to be in possession, it is not necessary that one must be in actual physical contact.
To gain the complete idea of possession, one must consider
  1. the person possessing, (ii) the things possessed and, (iii) the persons excluded from possession.
    A man may hold an object without claiming any interest therein for himself. A servant though holding an object, holds it for his master. He has, therefore, merely custody of the thing and not the possession which would always be with the master though the master may not be in actual contact of the thing. It is in this light in which the concept of possession has to be understood in the context of a servant and & master."
100. The ratio of this judgment in Sham Lal (supra) is that merely because the plaintiff was employed as a servant or chowkidar to look after the property, it cannot be said that he had entered into such possession of the property as would entitle him to exclude even the master from enjoying or claiming possession of the property or as would entitle him to compel the master from staying away from his own property.

101. Principles of law which emerge in this case are crystallized as under:-
1. No one acquires title to the property if he or she was allowed to stay in the premises gratuitously. Even by long possession of years or decades such person would not acquire any right or interest in the said property.
2. Caretaker, watchman or servant can never acquire interest in the property irrespective of his long possession. The caretaker or servant has to give possession forthwith on demand.
3. The Courts are not justified in protecting the possession of a caretaker, servant or any person who was allowed to live in the premises for some time either as a friend, relative, caretaker or as a servant.
4. The protection of the Court can only be granted or extended to the person who has valid, subsisting rent agreement, lease agreement or license agreement in his favour.

5. The caretaker or agent holds property of the principal only on behalf of the principal. He acquires no right or interest whatsoever for himself in such property irrespective of his long stay or possession.

102. In this view of the matter, the impugned judgment of the High Court as also of the Trial Court deserve to be set aside and we accordingly do so. Consequently, this Court directs that the possession of the suit premises be handed over to the appellant, who is admittedly the owner of the suit property.
103. In the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case, the legal representatives of the respondent are granted three months time to vacate the suit premises. They are further directed that after the expiry of the three months period, the vacant and peaceful possession of the suit property be handed over to the appellant. The usual undertaking to this effect be filed by the legal representatives of the respondent in this Court within two weeks.
104. The legal representatives of the respondent are also directed to pay Rs.1,00,000/- (Rupees one Lakh) per month towards the use and occupation of the premises for a period of three months. The said amount for use and occupation be given to the appellant on or before the 10th of every month. In case the legal representatives of the respondent are not willing to pay the amount for use and occupation as directed by this Court, they must hand over the possession of the premises within two weeks from the date of this judgment. Thereafter, if the legal representatives of the respondent do not hand over peaceful possession of the suit property, in that event, the appellant would be at liberty to get the possession of the premises by taking police help.
105. As a result, the appeal of the appellant is allowed. In the facts and circumstances of the case, the respondents are directed to pay a cost of Rs.50,000/- to the appellant within four weeks. (We have imposed the moderate cost in view of the fact that the original respondent has expired). Ordered accordingly.
(Dalveer Bhandari) .................................J.
(H.L. Dattu) .................................J.
(Deepak Verma) New Delhi;
March 21, 2012

Monday, August 1, 2016

Humanity v. State of Bengal

25. It has been repeatedly held by this court that in the matter of granting largesse, Government has to act fairly and without even any semblance of discrimination. Law on this subject has been very clearly laid down by this court in the case of Ramana Dayaram Shetty v. International Airport Authority of India and Others reported in 1979 (3) SCC 489. A three-Judge Bench in the said decision has recognized that the Government, in a welfare State, is in a position of distributing largesse in a large measure and in doing so the Government cannot act at its pleasure. This court perusing the new jurisprudential theory of Professor Reich in his article on the "The New Property" (73 Yale Law Journal 733) accepted the following dictum contained therein: "The government action be based on standards that are not arbitrary and unauthorized."
This court explained the purport of the aforesaid formulation by holding: "The government cannot be permitted to say that it will give jobs or enter into contracts or issue quotas or licenses only in favour of those having grey hair or belonging to a particular political party or professing a particular religious faith. The government is still the government when it acts in the matter of granting largesse and it cannot act arbitrarily. It does not stand in the same position as a private individual." (Para 11, page 505 of the report)

In M/s Kasturi Lal Lakshmi Reddy v. State of Jammu and Kashmir & Another reported in 1980 (4) SCC 1, another three-Judge Bench relied on the dictum in Ramana (supra) and held whenever any governmental action fails to satisfy the test of reasonableness and public interest, it is liable to be struck down as invalid. This court held that a necessary corollary of this proposition is that the Government cannot act in a manner which would benefit a private party. Such an action will be contrary to public interest.

28. The setting up of a private school may have some elements of public interest in it but Constitution Bench of this court has held in T.M.A. Pai Foundation & Ors. v. State of Karnataka & Others reported in 2002 (8) SCC 481, that the right of a citizen, which is not claiming minority rights to set up a private educational institution is part of its fundamental right to carry on an occupation
under Article 19(1)(g). Such enterprise may not be a totally business enterprise but profit motive cannot be ruled out. 

31. Admittedly, no advertisement was issued and no offer was sought to be obtained from the members of the public in respect of the new allotment of a much bigger plot. In view of the principles laid down by this court, the impugned allotment is clearly in breach of the principles of Article 14 explained by this court in Ramana (supra), Kasturi Lal (supra) and other subsequent cases. 

This point was also urged before the High Court but unfortunately the High Court brushed aside this objection, if we may say so with respect, by a very strange logic by observing: "We are not required to consider this aspect of the matter because it will be for the governing body of the ICSE to examine the application which may be made for recognition/affiliation of the school which is yet to be established and construction yet to be made. As and when any application will be made for such recognition/affiliation, the concerned
authority/body will consider the application and it is not for this court to speculate at this stage as to what would be the composition of the organization/body/ society which will apply to Council for ICSE for recognition/affiliation of the integrated school."

42. This Court is of the view that a challenge to the legality of an order of allotment of land by the Government must be decided by the Court on the basis of material available when the High Court is examining the challenge. The High Court cannot refuse to examine the challenge on the basis of what may happen in future. By doing so, High Court refused to exercise a jurisdiction which is vested in it.

46. It is axiomatic that in order to achieve a bona fide end, the means must also justify the end. This court is of the opinion that bona fide ends cannot be achieved by questionable means, specially when the State is involved. This court has not been able to get any answer from the State why on a request by the allottee to the Hon'ble Minister for Urban Development, the Government granted the allotment with remarkable speed and without considering all aspects of the matter. This court does not find any legitimacy in the action of the Government, which has to act within the discipline of the constitutional law, explained by this Court in a catena of cases. We are sorry to hold that in making the impugned allotment in favour of the allottee, in the facts and circumstances of the case, the State has failed to discharge its
constitutional role. Recently this Court
relying on Ramana (supra), Kasturi Lal (supra) and various other judgments summed up the legal position in Akhil Bharatiya Upbhokta Congress v. State of Madhya Pradesh and others reported in JT 2011 (4) SC 311. The relevant extracts
from paragraph 31 (page 336 of the report) are
excerpted below:-
"...Every action/decision of the State and/or its agencies/instrumentalities to give largesse or confer benefit must be founded on a sound, transparent, discernible and well defined policy, which shall be made known to the public by publication in the Official Gazette and other recognized modes of publicity and such policy must be implemented/executed by adopting a non-discriminatory or non-arbitrary method irrespective of the class or category of
persons proposed to be benefited by the policy. The distribution of largesse like allotment of land, grant of quota, permit licence etc. by the State and its agencies/instrumentalities should always be done in a fair and equitable manner and the element of favouritism or
nepotism shall not influence the exercise of discretion, if any,conferred upon the particular functionary or officer of the State."

This court fails to understand the basis on which the Division Bench came to such a conclusion. The letter of the allottee dated 19.1.2009 does not even whisper that he was informed of any objection by ICSE. The letter proceeds on a totally different basis. The letter states that after going through the norms of ICSE, it was the allottee's own understanding that a plot of more than 60 kathas is necessary to take the school project forward. Therefore, the High Court's recording of fact, that the allottee was `informed' by
the ICSE of any objection, is not substantiated by any material on record. This is a grave error on the part of the High Court.

  1. Apart from that, once the Government has initiated the process of advertisement, it cannot jettison the same and allot a new plot to the allottee without any advertisement. This action of the Government is certainly arbitrary and violates the principles of Article 14.

54. Before I conclude, I make it clear that I am aware that the allottee is a cricketer of great repute and has led this country to victory in many tournaments, both in India and abroad. I have watched him on the television on many occasions and was delighted to see his glorious cover drives and effortlessly lofted shots over the fence. But as a Judge, I have different duties to discharge. Here I must be objective and eschew my likes and dislikes and render justice to a cause which has come before the Court.

Ramrameshwari Devi & ors v. Nirmala Devi & ors

Full Judgment Click Here

Tags : - Section 10 CPC; framing of issues; O.7, R.11-B/ O.20, R.5/ O.14, R.2; Transfer application; delay vis-a-vis justice delivery system; ad-interim exparte injunction; purpose of filing of brief synopsis; abuse of judicial system; duty of courts when judicial system is abused; duty of courts while framing issues; duty of court while granting interim injunction or stay order; Section 340 (3)(b) Cr.PC; Chapter XXVI Cr.PC; perjury; principle of restitution; SC guidelines to minimize delays in disposal of civil litigation; SC direction on disposal of cases in civil matter; uncalled for litigation; imposition of realistic costs; awarding realistic and actual mesne profits-- imposing costs or ordering prosecution; perjury; Chapter XXVI of the Code of Criminal Procedure; duties of the Judges dealing with Civil cases; forged and fabricated documents; maintaining purity and sanctity of judicial proceedings; granting mesne profits; guidelines of SC for speedy disposal of Civil cases; 

3. The apparent discernible question which requires adjudication in this case seems to be a trivial, insignificant and small one regarding imposition of costs, but in fact, these appeals have raised several important questions of law of great importance which we propose to deal in this judgment.

4. This is a classic example which abundantly depicts the picture of how the civil litigation moves in our courts and how unscrupulous litigants (appellants in this case) can till eternity harass the respondents and their children by abusing the judicial system.

14. According to the learned Amicus Curiae, the practice of mechanically framing the issues needs to be discouraged.
Framing of issues is an important exercise. Utmost care and attention is required to be bestowed by the judicial officers/judges at the time of framing of issues. According to Dr. Arun Mohan, twenty minutes spent at that time would have saved several years in court proceedings.

21. The learned Single Judge observed that the present appellants belong to that category of litigants whose only motive is to create obstacles during the course of trial and not to let the trial conclude. Applications after applications are being filed by the appellants at every stage, even though orders of the trial court are based on sound reasoning.
Moreover, the appellants have tried to mislead the court also by filing wrong synopsis and incorrect dates of events.
22. The High Court further observed that the purpose of filing of brief synopsis with list of dates and events is to give brief and correct summary of the case and not to mislead the court. Those litigants or their advocates who mislead the courts by filing wrong and incorrect particulars (the list of dates and events) must be dealt with heavy hands.

26. It may be pertinent to mention that the appellants also moved transfer application apprehending adverse order from the trial judge, which was also dismissed by the learned District Judge. This conduct of the appellants demonstrates that they are determined not to allow the trial court to proceed with the suit. They are creating all kinds of hurdles and obstacles at every stage of the proceedings.

It is well settled that frivolous litigation clogs the wheels of justice making it difficult for courts to provide easy and speedy justice to the genuine litigations.

30. It is abundantly clear from the facts and circumstances of this case that the appellants have seriously created obstacles at every stage during the course of trial and virtually prevented the court from proceeding with the suit. This is a typical example of how an ordinary suit moves in our courts.
Some cantankerous and unscrupulous litigants on one ground or the other do not permit the courts to proceed further in the matter.
31. The learned Amicus Curiae has taken great pains in giving details of how the case has proceeded in the trial court by reproducing the entire court orders of 1992 suit. In order to properly comprehend the functioning of the trial courts, while dealing with civil cases, we deem it appropriate to reproduce the order sheets of 1992 suit. This is a typical example of how a usual civil trial proceeds in our courts. The credibility of entire judiciary is at stake unless effective remedial steps are taken without further loss of time. Though original litigation and the appeal which commenced from 1977 but in order to avoid expanding the scope of these appeals, we are dealing only with the second litigation which commenced in 1992. The order sheets of the suit of 1992 are reproduced as under :-
Proceedings of Suit - 1992 17.01.1992 Summons to Defendants on plaintiff and RC 28.02.1992 Fresh summons to Defendants 1 &
2. Defendant No. 3 refused service. Proceeded ex-parte 30.03.1992 Time sought to file Written Statement for all the Defendants. Allowed.

33. According to the learned author, 90% of our court time and resources are consumed in attending to uncalled for litigation, which is created only because our current procedures and practices hold out an incentive for the wrong-doer. Those involved receive less than full justice and there are many more in the country, in fact, a greater number than those involved who suffer injustice because they have little access to justice, in fact, lack of awareness and confidence in the justice system.

34. According to Dr. Mohan, in our legal system, uncalled for litigation gets encouragement because our courts do not impose realistic costs. The parties raise unwarranted claims and defences and also adopt obstructionist and delaying tactics because the courts do not impose actual or realistic costs. Ordinarily, the successful party usually remains uncompensated in our courts and that operates as the main motivating factor for unscrupulous litigants. Unless the courts, by appropriate orders or directions remove the cause for motivation or the incentives, uncalled for litigation will continue to accrue, and there will be expansion and obstruction of the litigation. Court time and resources will be consumed and justice will be both delayed and denied.

Procrastinating litigation is common place because, in practice, the courts are reluctant to order restitution and actual cost incurred by the other side.

Profit for the Wrongdoer
38. According to the learned Amicus Curiae, every lease on its expiry, or a license on its revocation cannot be converted itself into litigation. Unfortunately, our courts are flooded with these cases because there is an inherent profit for the wrong-doers in our system. It is a matter of common knowledge that domestic servants, gardeners, watchmen, caretakers or security men employed in a premises, whose status is that of a licensee indiscriminately file suits for injunction not to be dispossessed by making all kinds of averments and may be even filing a forged document, and then demands a chunk of money for withdrawing the suit. It is happening because it is the general impression that even if ultimately unauthorized person is thrown out of the premises the court would not ordinarily punish the unauthorized person by awarding realistic and actual mesne profits, imposing costs or ordering prosecution.
39. It is a matter of common knowledge that lakhs of flats and houses are kept locked for years, particularly in big cities and metropolitan cities, because owners are not certain that even after expiry of lease or licence period, the house, flat or the apartment would be vacated or not. It takes decades for final determination of the controversy and wrongdoers are never adequately punished. Pragmatic approach of the courts would partly solve the housing problem of this country.
40. The courts have to be extremely careful in granting ad-interim ex-parte injunction. If injunction has been granted on the basis of false pleadings or forged documents, then the concerned court must impose costs, grant realistic or actual mesne profits and/or order prosecution. This must be done to discourage the dishonest and unscrupulous litigants from abusing the judicial system. In substance, we have to remove the incentive or profit for the wrongdoer.
41. While granting ad interim ex-parte injunction or stay order the court must record undertaking from the plaintiff or the petitioner that he will have to pay mesne profits at the market rate and costs in the event of dismissal of interim application and the suit.
42. According to the learned Amicus Curiae the court should have first examined the pleadings and then not only granted leave to amend but directed amendment of the pleadings so that the parties were confined to those pleas which still survived the High Court's decision. Secondly, it should have directed discovery and production of documents and their admission/denial. Thirdly, if the civil judge on 6.10.2004, which was three and a half years after the dismissal of the Special Leave Petition on 16.3.2001, instead of framing the issues that he did, had, after recording the statements of the parties and partially hearing the matter should have passed the following order:
"In my prima facie view, your pleadings are not sufficient to raise an issue for adverse possession, secondly how can you contend adverse possession of three-fourth share? And thirdly, your pleadings and contentions before the High Court had the effect of completely negating any claim to adverse possession. ..."
43. Framing of issues is a very important stage in the civil litigation and it is the bounden duty of the court that due care, caution, diligence and attention must be bestowed by the learned Presiding Judge while framing of issues.
44. In the instant case when the entire question of title has been determined by the High Court and the Special Leave Petition against that judgment has been dismissed by this court, thereafter the trial court ought not to have framed such an issue on a point which has been finally determined upto this Court. In any case, the same was exclusively barred by the principles of res judicata. That clearly demonstrates total non-application of mind.
45. We have carefully examined the written submissions of the learned Amicus Curiae and learned counsel for the parties.
We are clearly of the view that unless we ensure that wrong-doers are denied profit or undue benefit from the frivolous litigation, it would be difficult to control frivolous and uncalled for litigations. In order to curb uncalled for and frivolous litigation, the courts have to ensure that there is no incentive or motive for uncalled for litigation. It is a matter of common experience that court's otherwise scarce and valuable time is consumed or more appropriately wasted in a large number of uncalled for cases.
46. Usually the court should be cautious and extremely careful while granting ex-parte ad interim injunctions. The better course for the court is to give a short notice and in some cases even dasti notice, hear both the parties and then pass suitable biparte orders. Experience reveals that ex-parte interim injunction orders in some cases can create havoc and getting them vacated or modified in our existing judicial system is a nightmare. Therefore, as a rule, the court should grant interim injunction or stay order only after hearing the defendants or the respondents and in case the court has to grant ex-parte injunction in exceptional cases then while granting injunction it must record in the order that if the suit is eventually dismissed, the plaintiff or the petitioner will have to pay full restitution, actual or realistic costs and mesne profits.
47. If an exparte injunction order is granted, then in that case an endeavour should be made to dispose of the application for injunction as expeditiously as may be possible, preferably as soon as the defendant appears in the court.
48. It is also a matter of common experience that once an ad interim injunction is granted, the plaintiff or the petitioner would make all efforts to ensure that injunction continues indefinitely. The other appropriate order can be to limit the life of the ex-parte injunction or stay order for a week or so because in such cases the usual tendency of unnecessarily prolonging the matters by the plaintiffs or the petitioners after obtaining ex-parte injunction orders or stay orders may not find encouragement. We have to dispel the common impression that a party by obtaining an injunction based on even false averments and forged documents will tire out the true owner and ultimately the true owner will have to give up to the wrongdoer his legitimate profit. It is also a matter of common experience that to achieve clandestine objects, false pleas are often taken and forged documents are filed indiscriminately in our courts because they have hardly any apprehension of being prosecuted for perjury by the courts or even pay heavy costs. In Swaran Singh v. State of Punjab (2000) 5 SCC 668 this court was constrained to observe that perjury has become a way of life in our courts.
49. It is a typical example how a litigation proceeds and continues and in the end there is a profit for the wrongdoer.
50. Learned amicus articulated common man's general impression about litigation in following words:
"Make any false averment, conceal any fact, raise any plea, produce any false document, deny any genuine document, it will successfully stall the litigation, and in any case, delay the matter endlessly. The other party will be coerced into a settlement which will be profitable for me and the probability of the court ordering prosecution for perjury is less than that of meeting with an accident while crossing the road."
This court in Swaran Singh (Supra) observed as under:
"... ... ...Perjury has also become a way of life in the law courts. A trial Judge knows that the witness is telling a lie and is going back on his previous statement, yet he does not wish to punish him or even file a complaint against him. He is required to sign the complaint himself which deters him from filing the complaint. Perhaps law needs amendment to clause (b) of Section 340 (3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure in this respect as the High Court can direct any officer to file a complaint. To get rid of the evil of perjury, the court should resort to the use of the provisions of law as contained in Chapter XXVI of the Code of Criminal Procedure."
51. In a recent judgment in the case of Mahila Vinod Kumari v. State of Madhya Pradesh (2008) 8 SCC 34 this court has shown great concern about alarming proportion of perjury cases in our country.
52. The main question which arises for our consideration is whether the prevailing delay in civil litigation can be curbed?
In our considered opinion the existing system can be drastically changed or improved if the following steps are taken by the trial courts while dealing with the civil trials.

A. Pleadings are foundation of the claims of parties. Civil litigation is largely based on documents. It is the bounden duty and obligation of the trial judge to carefully scrutinize, check and verify the pleadings and the documents filed by the parties. This must be done immediately after civil suits are filed.

B. The Court should resort to discovery and production of documents and interrogatories at the earliest according to the object of the Code. If this exercise is carefully carried out, it would focus the controversies involved in the case and help the court in arriving at truth of the matter and doing substantial justice.

  1. Imposition of actual, realistic or proper costs and or ordering prosecution would go a long way in controlling the tendency of introducing false pleadings and forged and fabricated documents by the litigants. Imposition of heavy costs would also control unnecessary adjournments by the parties. In appropriate cases the courts may consider ordering prosecution otherwise it may not be possible to maintain purity and sanctity of judicial proceedings.
  1. The Court must adopt realistic and pragmatic approach in granting mesne profits. The Court must carefully keep in view the ground realities while granting mesne profits.
E. The courts should be extremely careful and cautious in granting ex-parte ad interim injunctions or stay orders. Ordinarily short notice should be issued to the defendants or respondents and only after hearing concerned parties appropriate orders should be passed.

F. Litigants who obtained ex-parte ad interim injunction on the strength of false pleadings and forged documents should be adequately punished. No one should be allowed to abuse the process of the court.

G. The principle of restitution be fully applied in a pragmatic manner in order to do real and substantial justice.

H. Every case emanates from a human or a commercial problem and the Court must make serious endeavour to resolve the problem within the framework of law and in accordance with the well settled principles of law and justice.
I. If in a given case, ex parte injunction is granted, then the said application for grant of injunction should be disposed of on merits, after hearing both sides as expeditiously as may be possible on a priority basis and undue adjournments should be avoided.
J. At the time of filing of the plaint, the trial court should prepare complete schedule and fix dates for all the stages of the suit, right from filing of the written statement till pronouncement of judgment and the courts should strictly adhere to the said dates and the said time table as far as possible. If any interlocutory application is filed then the same be disposed of in between the said dates of hearings fixed in the said suit itself so that the date fixed for the main suit may not be disturbed.
53. According to us, these aforementioned steps may help the courts to drastically improve the existing system of administration of civil litigation in our Courts. No doubt, it would take some time for the courts, litigants and the advocates to follow the aforesaid steps, but once it is observed across the country, then prevailing system of adjudication of civil courts is bound to improve.

54. While imposing costs we have 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. We have 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.
55. 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. 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.