Lawyer fined Rs.250,000 for dragging a case for 20 years

February 23rd, 2009 - 9:34 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) The Delhi High Court fined a lawyer a sum of Rs.250,000 and initiated contempt proceedings against him for dragging a property case for 20 years.
A division bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and S.N. Mishra upheld a 2008 order of the single bench of the high court to impose a penalty of Rs.150,000 on S.S. Banda and also added Rs.100,000 to the fine amount.

Banda, who is also the appellant, had made false statements in the court and dragged litigation for 20 years.

The case pertained to a property in Defence Colony. The original owner of the house Major Balwant Singh, Banda’s father, died in 1979 and in his will divided the property among his three sons and wife.

The dispute started when Suraj Singh Chatwal, one of the sons, died and his wife Maninder Kaur Chatwal demanded the partition of the house and approached court for relief against Banda.

But Banda, being an advocate, adopted various delaying tactics for 20 long years. During this period Maninder Kaur also died leaving the property to her son Mandeep Singh. But Singh had to live in a gurudwara because of the ongoing litigation with his uncle.

“One cannot be unmindful of the fact that the dispute pertains to a family, where parties often arrive at understandings, both oral and documentary, for the sake of family peace and harmony,” the court ruled while allowing the partition.

The court also expressed displeasure over the attitude of the advocate and said: “If the honesty was displayed by the lawyer at an earlier stage, a child would not have to live in gurudwara.”

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