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Justice not blind, courts don't wear blinkers, says High Court

"Justice is not blind and nor do the courts wear blinkers," Delhi High Court has said while coming down hard on a man for keeping his 94-year-old mother "out of her own home" for 16 years by engaging her in litigation over possession of the house built by her.

While imposing costs of Rs 5.3 lakh on the son, Justice Hima Kohli said litigants like him "seem to be harbouring an impression that by engaging in prolonged litigation, they would not only manage to deprive the lawful owner of the right to enjoy her premises, the said litigation will also give them a handle to occupy the same for a song".

"It is high time that such devious attempts are curbed and clipped," the court said while directing the son, Harish Relan, to pay the amount within four weeks.

The court said some litigants "remain under a misconception" that since the statue of Lady Justice has blindfolds, "the justice system turns a blind eye to false, vexatious and frivolous claims and defences".

Clarifying that the blindfold "personifies impartiality and objectivity and signifies that justice should be meted out without fear or favour, regardless of money, wealth, fame, power or identity", the judge said that "courts are not influenced by the background, connections, status, power or authority of a claimant or a defendant".

"Similarly, the set of scales (held by the statue) are symbolic of measuring the strength of a case's support and the double-edged sword is an embodiment of the power of reason and justice that must be wielded either for or against any party," it said.

The court, in its 53-page verdict, also said that one of the reasons for "docket explosion" was "vexatious, frivolous and mischievous litigation being brought in by litigants, who for their vested interest, make every effort to perpetuate the lis at the costs of the opposite side".
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