New Delhi: In a step that is expected to reduce frivolous litigation in commercial cases, the Supreme Court on Friday asked petitioners in a case to make a pre-deposit.
Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and justice U.U. Lalit asked Star India Pvt. Ltd, Akuate Internet Services Pvt. Ltd, Idea Cellular Ltd and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to deposit ₹ 50 lakh each.
The case relates to a dispute over licences obtained from BCCI for sending cricket scores through text messages for a fee.
The court’s order came after the government’s top law officer Mukul Rohatgi suggested a few measures to deal with pendency of cases on 28 April. One of the suggestions was to impose pre-deposits on corporate entities in commercial disputes in an attempt to dissuade frivolous cases.
Rohatgi’s suggestions came in response to a public interest litigation that sought the setting up of a National Court of Appeals to deal with pendency of cases. While opposing the idea of a new court, the attorney general said the court should instead embrace technology and strongly deter frivolous litigation by imposing costs.
“An advance payment of cost is a way of ensuring a party does not disappear after losing a case. There is nothing wrong with the court doing so," said Alok Prasanna Kumar, senior resident fellow at the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.
Kumar also suggested that the rules of the apex court must be amended to ensure pre deposits to deter frivolous litigation in tax and service matters.
Chief Justice Thakur, whose priority is reduction in pendency of cases, fixed the hearing in the case related to the ban on registration of luxury diesel vehicles in the National Capital Region on Saturday, normally a holiday.