Citizens' Issues
Late, Later, Late-est
The perils of delay in most judicial systems
 
English is a funny language. The superlative for late, if such a word existed, would mean the newest, most recent. Semantics aside, we take on a matter that excites a lot of passion in court proceedings. The matter of time. How late is late?
 
When Debashis Basu was queried on the one reason why people lose cases, his immediate reply was: ‘Procrastination’. All too true. Yet, most judicial systems, like ours, have an inbuilt long fuse. Though it may not seem right at first glance, it does make more sense in the whole gamut of things.
 
A man had a lease on a flat. He died during the pendency of the lease. His son was appointed heir and went on to defend the proceedings as the legal representative. On 5 April 2012, an order was passed thereby forfeiting the lease and for the estate, now controlled by the son, to pay arrears of rent and service charges. This totalled about Rs22 lakh, but considered reasonable by UK standards. 
 
The son now asked for relief from forfeiture and the next date of hearing was set 22 months away. Just before that fateful day, the two antagonists signalled a truce. They agreed on certain points and signed consent terms.
 
Consent terms, once signed, are etched in stone. Well, almost. Neither party can re-agitate the matter in court. The stage of finality has been reached. The matter is determined. That, however, leaves a grey area. What if one, or both, parties renege on the terms? Would it mean contempt of court? If one looked upon consent terms as a court order, the answer would be a ‘yes’. But consent terms, though they have the stamp of court approval, can hardly be called a judgement. 
In this case, the son could not fulfil the requirements of the terms in time. The other party asked for execution, that is, repossession of the flat. The son, then, hurriedly did as he had been asked to do.
 
You be the judge. On which side would you lean? Son complies, but under threat of eviction. He is late in keeping his promise. He may have delayed matters still further if the sword were not hanging on his head. He paid up, with interest, but under pressure. Did he intend to keep his promise otherwise?
 
The other side contended that the court cannot extend the time period after the consent terms had been accepted by both the parties. They said that there were no special circumstances, no unusual reason. 
 
The court of appeal saw merit in the son’s behaviour. Late, yes. But he did pay up and kept the other parts of the bargain, too. The court also decided that it had jurisdiction in the matter and was competent to decide. It must be noted that the issue was one of a residence. The courts are usually sympathetic to the occupier. After all, it is a matter of a roof over one’s head.
 
Moreover, the son had complied. The courts look at the correction factor. If the error has been rectified, even a bit later than agreed upon, the court declares that it is satisfied with the compliance.
 
The son was lucky, as he was in possession. Now, does that mean that one can delay legal issues? The answer is a categorical ‘No’. Most often, when a legal problem arises, people refuse to take legal advice. They think that the trouble, like the rains, will go away. Unfortunately, it festers. The sore turns into an open wound; goes septic. Gangrene sets in. By then, it’s often too late.
 
Ask people why they resisted going to a lawyer and they will invariably mention the cost involved. But is the cost of not approaching an advocate, till now, any less? In all likelihood, it could be, and often will be, many times more.
 
The old adage, ‘A stitch in time, saves nine’, is most apt in matters legal. Please do not wait. It will prove costly. And one may lose the case.
 
(Bapoo Malcolm is a practising lawyer in Mumbai. Please email your comments to mail@moneylife.in)

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Bombay HC asks NSE to pay Rs50 lakh as cost, donation in Moneylife case
While dismissing NSE's notice of motion, the High Court asked the Exchange to pay Rs3 lakh as cost to Sucheta Dalal and Debashis Basu of Moneylife and pay Rs47 lakh as donation to two hospitals within two weeks
 
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday, while dismissing National Stock Exchange (NSE)'s notice of motion, asked the bourse to pay Rs1.5 lakh each to Sucheta Dalal, Managing Editor of Moneylife and Debashis Basu, Editor & Publisher of Moneylife as cost and Rs47 lakh to two trusts, Tata Memorial and Masina Hospital as donation within two weeks.
 
In his order, Justice Gautam S Patel, observed that Courts cannot be treated as playground. "....NSE ignored three messages sent across by Ms Dalal seeking a response before the story was published. This shows that either the NSE was arrogant or there was an element of truth in the allegations, and that NSE had nothing to say," he said. 
 
NSE had filed the case against Moneylife, Ms Dalal and Mr Basu for writing two articles, Blowing the Whistle on Manipulation in NSE and High-frequency Trading Needs a Detailed Probe. The articles apparently made the regulators to swung into action against the increasing influence of algorithm trading or high frequency trading (HFT) ().

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COMMENTS

saurabh dikshit

1 year ago

Congratulations !!

Anup Kumar Chakravarty

1 year ago

Great. Congratulations.

Sanjeev Dhabre

1 year ago

Congrats!!!

MAHESH VORA

1 year ago

Congratulations to Ms.Suchita Dalal and CA Debasish Basu , on winning the suit at Bombay High Court and especially for Donating the huge sum of Rs.50 lacs for noble cause.

Gandhali Girme

1 year ago

Maam ...congrats to you and your team

Vaibhav Dhoka

1 year ago

Congratulations to duo and team,Truth prevails.

R Choksi

1 year ago

Congratulations to both of you and your team.

Raj K Swamy

1 year ago

Congrats.Great job-keep it up. What penalty did the court impose on the officials who did not answer moneylife queries. Also what action is taken by nse board to ascertain the extent of nexus between HFT and its officials- how will nse ensure a level playing field or will it admit there is no level playing field?

Vaibhav Trivedi

1 year ago

Congratulations!

S A Narayan

1 year ago

Good luck to Sucheta and Debashis.Thankless public service sometimes does get rewarded!

S A Narayan

1 year ago

Good luck to Sucheta and Debashis.Thankless public service sometimes does get rewarded!

manoharlalsharma

1 year ago

Courts cannot be treated as playground. but only in few cases like this and there r crores of cases pending necessarily and peoples dying without JUSTICE loosing there properties to lawyers fee.

Ravindra Shetye

1 year ago

This is a good step forward. However, the money of fine goes out of NSE which is Taxpayers' Money. It has to go out of the salaries of the arrogant officers who brought about this situation. Can someone make an appeal to tis effect in the Court?

Senior Citizen

1 year ago

Why High Court did not take suo moto cognizance of possible criminal acts of NSE management and order criminal probe against the corrupt officials of NSE?

REPLY

NARENDRA NEGANDHI

In Reply to Senior Citizen 1 year ago

fully agree with your view. not only the penalty but criminal action should be taken against these guys.

Vishal Modi

1 year ago

Whew! Thank God!

Nifty, Sensex may gain more subject to dips - Wednesday closing report
Nifty has to stay above 7,740 for the rally to continue
 
We had mentioned in Tuesday’s market report that Nifty, Sensex will rally subject to dips and that Nifty has to stay above 7,650 for the rally to continue. A global rally sponsored by reforms and stimulus measures by the Chinese government supported the Indian equity markets and the major indices in the Indian stock markets advanced by 1%-2%.
 
 
A global rally sponsored by the Chinese government's reforms and expected stimulus coupled with the union cabinet's approval of spectrum trading, gold bonds and hike in dearness allowance buoyed Indian equity markets on Wednesday.
 
The positive signs from the government on the reforms front especially on the passage of the goods and services tax (GST) bill, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting on Tuesday with industry representatives, upcoming seventh pay commission and a strengthening rupee supported the upward movement of the markets.
 
The relief rally got extended a day after the 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) rose 424.06 points or 1.70 percent. 
 
Similarly, bullish sentiments were seen on the wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE). The CNX Nifty closed higher by 130.25 points or 1.70 percent at 7,818.60 points.
 
Analysts said the reforms being initiated by the Chinese government boosted investor confidence world over and extended the relief rally. Expectations of a new stimulus package in China has also soared the confidence of investors.
 
The Chinese government has announced plans to increase funding to infrastructure projects and in part provide a stimulus package that might include tax breaks and other incentives. Further announcements on increased spending are expected.
 
The rupee too gained strength for a second day in a row. The Indian rupee closed at 66.41 to a dollar -- a gain of 14 paise from its previous close of 66.55 to a greenback. The rupee had touched an intra-day weakest point of 66.23.
 
Market observers elaborated that the rally was also supported by the cabinet’s decision, PM's message to increase industry's investments, the upcoming seventh pay commission and cooling oil prices.
 
Sector-wise, all 12 sub-indices of the BSE made gains during the day's trade.
 
The S&P BSE automobile index zoomed by 498.96 points, banking index rocketed by 316.61 points, capital goods index augmented by 2270.04 points, metal index gained by 251.98 points and consumer durables index increased by 234.19 points.
 
The S&P BSE information technology (IT) rose by 151.20 points and oil and gas index was higher by 121.02 points.
 
Major Sensex gainers during Wednesday's trade were: Hindalco Industries, up 7.97% at Rs.78.60; Vedanta, up 6.85% at Rs.99.85; NTPC, up 5.50% at Rs.120.85; Tata Steel, up 4.57% at Rs.239.25; and Tata Motors, up 3.98% at Rs.344.90.
 
The major Sensex losers were: Sun Pharma, down 0.63% at Rs.840; Gail, down 0.39% at Rs.293.90 and Wipro, down 0.23% at Rs.561.
 
The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
 
 
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:
 
 

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