MUMBAI: To ensure that those approaching courts in commercial disputes “understand that courts are not playgrounds, and litigation is not a pastime,” the Bombay HC recently directed a private company to pay Rs 25 lakh to a party against whom it was seeking orders.
“This is clearly a vexatious and mischievous proceeding that has unnecessarily wasted the court’s time,” said Justice Gautam Patel on September 21, directing La Fin Financial Services Pvt Ltd to pay the amount within two weeks to Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (MCX). Failure to pay will carry a 9% interest on the amount, he directed.
The financial services company has filed a special leave petition against the HC order before the SC. The SC is scheduled to hear it on Friday.
The HC was hearing an interim application by La Fin which sought orders against MCX on the ground that the Exchange exceeded a 120-day deadline for filing its written statement in response to a ‘commercial suit’ it had instituted under the ‘Commercial Courts Act’. It noted that the suit against MCX was initially filed as a ‘regular suit’, which has no deadline.
The submissions by the company are “flawed” and “manifestly unjust,” said the high court, adding, “There was here an initial fault on the part of the plaintiff itself in wrongly instituting the suit as a regular suit.”