Read Judgement: Sri Veerabhadraiah Swamy v. N.Virupakshi @ Virupakshappa N
Bengaluru, July 5, 2021: After noting a rise in the number of “unscrupulous litigants”, the Karnataka High Court has opined that drastic measures will have to be adopted to eradicate the “evil of perjury, fraud and fabrication” in courts.
The Division Bench of Justices Krishna S Dixit and Pradeep Singh Yerur said they were at pain to see cases of such kind coming in considerable numbers nowadays.
The Bench strongly ruled that “a mere non-suiting of the unscrupulous litigants by throwing their case papers out through the court window would be militantly insufficient; something more drastic needs to be devised, so that message reaches out loudly to the unscrupulous class”.
The High Court made these observations while setting aside an appeal moved by a claimant in a motor vehicle case, which was founded on the ground of inadequacy of compensation awarded by the MACT. The High Court also imposed penal cost of Rs one lakh on the appellant.
The claimant met with a vehicular accident in Sandur Taluka of the state’s Ballari district, where he was dashed down by the offending motorcycle. However, the wound certificate stated that the injuries were simple in nature. But as per the claimant, the said accident resulted in severe injuries only as it had decreased his life span due to heart injury. Although the MACT had awarded compensation, however, dissatisfied, he approached the High Court challenging the adequacy of such compensation.
The High Court, however, found from the opinion of the Medical Officer after examination and on the basis of radiological tests that the injuries were simple, and the said opinion of the Medical Officer has to be treated as the expert opinion u/s 45 of the Evidence Act, 1872.
The Bench further found that even in the cross-examination, the appellant had falsely asserted that he suffered the heart ailment only because of the accident though the medical records of the Heart Hospital “even remotely do not whisper about it”. Also, “by no stretch of imagination, it can be stated that blockages in the heart could happen by the kind of the vehicular accident”, the court observed.
The Court, therefore, held that the act of the appellant appears to have been designed for extracting huge money from the insurer, which is nothing short of perjury.
The Court was further keen to note that the claimant had suppressed the reimbursement of huge expenses incurred by him for the heart treatment under the Yashashvini Co-operative Health Care for Farmers, a welfare scheme of the government, both in his claim petition and affidavit evidence.
Therefore, calling for stringent measures to be taken to curb such fraud practices by the litigants, and angrily stating that they were made to spend more than an hour of valuable time in turning every page of the original Trial Court Record that runs into 656 pages, keeping other older cases at a bay, the Division bench dismissed the petition and imposed penal costs of Rs.1 lakh on the appellant.