Delhi HC Cautions against Unnecessary case Transfers, Impact on Judicial officers

The Delhi High Court has observed the serious implications of transferring court cases without substantial reasons, saying that such transfers can cast doubts on the impartiality and integrity of the judicial officers involved and may even harm their careers permanently.

Justice C. Hari Shankar’s observations came during the dismissal of a petition that sought the transfer of a commercial lawsuit from one district judge to another within the same jurisdiction on May 7.

The petitioner was ordered to pay Rs 50,000 in costs for what the court described as a misuse of the legal provision for case transfers, specifically pointing out the abuse of Section 241 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.

“Applications such as the present are an abuse of process. A litigant cannot seek to argue a matter before a court which, according to a litigant, is the most convenient,” the court noted.

Justice Shankar criticised the misuse of the judiciary’s transfer powers by litigants, stating that dissatisfaction with court decisions does not justify the transfer of cases.

“Every order passed by a court which is not palatable to a litigant cannot constitute a basis to escape the court and argue the matter elsewhere. Such a practice has to be emphatically deprecated,” Justice Shankar noted.

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He noted that such actions are especially problematic in commercial litigation, where parties may employ various tactics to influence the outcome.

“This is all the more so where the litigation in question is a commercial litigation. It is a matter of common knowledge that, in commercial litigation, all stops are pulled out and the litigant tends to resort to every possible method to prejudice the proper continuance of the proceedings,” the court said.

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