Citizens' Issues
Know the Doctrine of Clean Hands

This legal maxim demands that a litigant must not wilfully mislead the courts and justice


“In its order, the apex commission also said that ‘it is well settled that if any litigant approaches any judicial fora by making false assertions in its complaint and tries to mislead the judicial fora, then such litigant is not entitled to any relief in equity.’ Such petition should be thrown away at the threshold itself.” — a news report.


Hallelujah! If only more courts had the guts that the Delhi consumer forum has shown.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), has been giving such orders against frivolous and lying litigants. We had carried a story of tampered receipts, by two aspiring Delhi beauticians, who were caught red-handed. It is called the ‘Doctrine of Clean Hands’. A person who approaches a temple of justice cannot do so with wrong or evil intent.
Unfortunately, the situation is not uncommon. Plenty of false and frivolous litigation continues to be filed everyday, clogging up our courts. Senior advocates, who should know better, openly admit that they will lie in court for the sake of their clients. Worse, litigants expect their lawyer to lie. It is justified by the argument that the other side is also lying.
One client said to this author that he would give a false statement in court. When warned that he would be stopped from doing that, he rebelled vociferously. He wanted to know why his own lawyer would not side with him!
For those who want to know what happened next; I had to give up the case, even though we were winning.
This, we are sure, must come as a shock to most readers. But the explanation is simple. A court of law is constituted to pass judgements, or orders, or convictions, or acquittals. It is, however, most importantly set up to find the truth. That is the court’s primary duty. 
Now, you be the judge.
In the instant case before the NCDRC, the aggrieved party, or so he pretended, made perjurious statements. He had purchased a machine. He found it not in working condition. He approached the consumer court (district forum). An award was passed ordering a replacement and a fine of Rs55,000/-. The supplier appealed (state forum) and was ordered to pay only the fine. That meant the machine was with the complainant, who then went to the NCDRC and blamed his advocate for averring that the machine was repaired, when he still had the original.
NCDRC was not amused. There were too many contradictions in the complaints. Even though the man may be entitled to some relief, he was not telling the truth. Should he, therefore, be punished or not? He was fined Rs50,000/-.
There is a feeling that going to the consumer courts is to surely win a case against the supplier.
Maybe, it has something to do with the court’s common language title. ‘Consumer Court’. It is misleading. This appellation evokes the sense that the court belongs to the consumers. And where else but one’s ‘own court’ to get what one wants? No one calls it a forum for redressal and understands that the other party can, and will, be allowed to have its say.
Another angle to the argument is the complaint against the advocate. The advocate is the representative of his client. He pleads as per the instructions given to him. The countersign and oath mean that the client has read the papers, understood them AND that they tell the truth.
The moral of the exercise, then, is this. Go to court with clean hands. Tell the truth. Hide nothing, even if it is inconvenient; it will come out later, rest assured. The other side is no fool. If you are lying, then it is his neck you are putting on the line. And he will do his damnedest to save it.


Nifty, Sensex deeply oversold – Wednesday closing report

Nifty will be influenced by global clues, but to rally it has to close above 8,080 tomorrow


Today for the ninth consecutive session, the S&P BSE Sensex recorded a lower low and a lower high. And it was the sixth session when it opened lower, while it was the third consecutive session the CNX Nifty opened in the red. The indices moved down to the lowest since 21 October 2014. However, soon after hitting the intra-day low at around 10.25 AM, the indices recovered most of the intra-day loss, though it closed in the red. Today was the fifth occasion in 2014, when the indices recorded losses for five consecutive trading days. This was last observed in the month of July 2014.

Sensex opened at 26,724 while Nifty opened at 8,041. Sensex moved in the range of 26,872 and 26,469, while Nifty moved between 8,082 and 7,961. Sensex closed at 26,710 (down 71 points or 0.27%) while Nifty closed at 8,030 (down 38 points or 0.47%). NSE recorded a volume of 98.96 crore shares. India VIX rose 3.79% to close at 16.9250.

There was a rumour that Life Insurance Corporation of India has started buying shares after a steep slide in stock prices.

Key oil and gas sector reforms like diesel de-regulation and a new gas pricing policy will have a positive impact on companies engaged in fuel retailing and gas production, says a report by Fitch Ratings. But the rating outlook for Indian oil and gas entities remains stable in 2015, it said.

Great Eastern Shipping (6.44%) was the top gainer in ‘A’ group on the BSE. The stock had been falling in each of the past four sessions.

PMC Fincorp (10%) was the top loser in ‘A’ group on the BSE. The stock lost for the fifth consecutive trading session today.

Sesa Sterlite (3.50%), which was at the bottom of the Sensex 30 pack yesterday, made it to the top of the pack today.

Recent concerns over the falling Rouble have affected many pharma stocks which have exposure to the Russian market. Cipla (2.92%) was the top loser in Sensex 30 stock.

On Tuesday, US indices closed in the red. Among economic data, housing starts declined 1.6%, the first drop since August, to a 1.03 million annualised rate from a revised 1.05 million pace in October that was stronger than previously estimated, figures from the Commerce Department showed.

A two-day meeting of Federal Open Market Committee to discuss monetary policy review ends today.

Asian indices showed mixed performance. Shanghai Composite (1.28%) was the top gainer while Hang Seng (0.37%) was the top loser Japan's exports rose less than forecast in November. Overseas shipments rose 4.9% from a year earlier, the finance ministry said.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) slightly trimmed its growth forecast for developing Asia for this year and next, but said sliding prices for oil should help economies in the region push through with growth reforms. In its update to the 2014 outlook, ADB said that developing Asia was now expected to grow 6.1% this year, a tad below its 6.2% forecast in September. Growth in 2015 was seen at 6.2%, lower than 6.4% estimated previously.

European indices were trading in the red, while US Futures were trading higher.


Fines reduced on E-cigarette companies that misled consumers

Two Utah-based e-cigarette companies that were the subject of a investigation and which admitted to multiple violations of consumer protection laws only have to pay two percent of the fines the state assessed when citing the companies.


According to final settlement agreements obtained by, the companies, Vapex LLC and Sinless Vapor LLC, which violated numerous Utah consumer laws including advertising risk-free starter kits that weren’t free, repeatedly charging consumers without their consent and making claims that the products are a healthy alternative and could be smoked anywhere, have to pay a combined total of less than $20,000 of more than $1 million in assessed fines.


Vapex was cited for 329 violations and will only have to pay $16,450 of the $822,500 assessed fine. Sinless Vapor was cited for 94 violations and will only have to pay the state $4,700 of the $235,000 fine. (A third company, OZN Web LLC, of Arizona, reached an agreement with the state earlier this year and is paying $10,000 of the assessed $45,000 fine for 18 violations.)


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