Supreme Court warns Uttarakhand against filing frivolous litigations

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Dismissing a petition filed by the state of Uttarakhand challenging an order of reducing sentence of accused, the Supreme court has warned the stated that any other attempt of filing frivolous litigations may be penalized.

The petitioner, State of Uttarakhand had approached the top court questioning a judgement and order dated August 20, 2020 passed by the High Court of Uttarakhand at Nainital in an Criminal Appeal whereby the High Court, while maintaining conviction of the respondent-accused of offences under Sections 307/34 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 25 of the Arms Act, had reduced the sentence.

A bench of Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Vikram Nath noted,

"A perusal of the impugned judgment makes out that learned counsel for the respondent-accused did not challenge the conviction and only argued for reduction of sentence; and learned counsel for the State did not oppose such a prayer for reduction of sentence. This fact is distinctly mentioned in paragraph 10 of the impugned judgment."

This prompted the Court to remark that,

"It is rather disturbing to note that in such a matter, where the State’s counsel before the High Court did not even oppose the prayer for reduction of sentence and the High Court made slight modification in the sentence considering the facts and circumstances of the case in totality, the State has chosen to approach this Court seeking special leave to appeal without any justification."

It added, "The present petition could only be said to be a frivolous litigation by the State."

In this background, while dismissing the SLP, the bench dismissed the petition with a warning to the Uttarakhand state that any other attempt to file frivolous litigations in the Supreme Court "may be visited with penalization of the officers responsible for sanctioning."

Cause Title: State of Uttarakhand v Raman Singh Bisht