New Delhi :The Supreme Court has imposed an exemplary cost of Rs 25,000 on advocate Rashid Khan Pathan for repeatedly filing applications that are not maintainable, terming the exercise an abuse of the process of law.
A bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Aniruddha Bose said: "We are constrained to dismiss the appeal with exemplary costs of Rs 25,000. If the appellant continues to file such repetitive applications in this litigation which are not maintainable, he will be visited with deterrent actions referred above such as initiation of criminal contempt proceedings or a direction to the Registry that no further applications in this litigation will be received."
Earlier this year, Pathan, along with two others, was held guilty of contempt of court. He had filed an application seeking recall of the order of the registry through which his earlier application seeking recall of the court's contempt order was sought.
But the bench held: "The only remedy open to the appellant was to have filed a review petition as suggested by this court in the order of May. We are of the considered view that the application for recall of the order dated May 4 is an abuse of process of the court."
The bench emphasised that repeated filing of applications which are not maintainable amounts to abuse of process of law. "In a country governed by the rule of law, finality of the judgment is absolutely imperative and great sanctity is attached to the finality of the judgment. Permitting the parties to reopen the concluded judgments of this Court by filing repeated interlocutory applications is clearly an abuse of the process of law and would have far-reaching adverse impact on the administration of justice," said the top court.
The bench while dismissing Pathan's plea for recall, also imposed exemplary costs of Rs 25,000 on him.
In March last year, advocate Mathews J. Nedumpara was sentenced to three months in jail by a bench headed by Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, but later the jail term was done away with. But the bench initiated a fresh suo motu contempt case against Vijay Kurle, Rashid Khan Pathan and Nilesh Ojha for making "scandalous and scurrilous" allegations against judges of the apex court. The contempt was initiated for filing frivolous complaints against Justices Nariman and Vineet Saran.