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Vexatious Litigation Act

June 7, 2020

Maharashtra has provision to stop vexatious litigant, while for Central Government a Bill No XI is introduced in Rajya Sabha on 11th March 2016. What is Vexatious? In common parlance, “To vex” means anger by a slight or a petty annoyance; irritate. “Vexation” means the act or an instance of vexing or annoying or distressing thing. “Vexatious” means such as to cause vexation. (See The Oxford English Reference Dictionary, Edition 1995). The term “vexatious”, when used in law, signifies an action not having sufficient ground therefore and seeking only to annoy *7* appln. 3397.03. sxw the adversary. The Advanced Law Lexicon, 3rd Edition Reprint 2007, defines the term “Vexation” as under: “The action of troubling or harassing by aggression or interference; the action of troubling or irritating by physical means.” “Vexatious” has been defined as causing or likely to cause vexation. The “vexatious action” or “vexatious proceedings” has been defined as under: “An action brought for the purpose of annoying the opponent and with no reasonable prospect of success.” 10 Black’s Law Dictionary, Eighth Edition, defines the words “vex”, “vexation”, “vexatious”, “vexatious litigant” and “vexatious proceeding” as under: (a) Vex : to harass, disquiet, or annoy.(b) Vexation : The damage that is suffered as a result of another’s trickery or malice.(c) Vexatious : (Of conduct) without reasonable or probable cause or excuse; harassing; annoying.(d) Vexatious litigant : A litigant who repeatedly files frivolous lawsuits.(e) Vexatious proceeding : A lawsuit instituted maliciously and without good cause. The Object and Reasons of the Bill are : Frivolous and vexatious litigations are the cause of concern for the courts for quite some time. Often, this matter has been highlighted by various courts and the Law Commission as well which favoured for a check on the filing of frivolous and vexatious proceedings. Attimes, it has been seen that many persons abuse the process of law and indulge in the habitual and intentional filing of frivolous and vexatious civil or criminal proceedings to harass other persons without any reasonable ground. It has also been observed by the courts that some persons habitually and persistently file cases on the issues, which have already been decided once or more than once against some parties or their successors or against different parties. Besides the harassment, filing of such proceedings also leads to wastage of the precious time of the law courts which are already burdened. Such frivolous litigation cause unnecessary and avoidable strain on the States’ resources in the area of dispensation of justice. There is no denying of the fact that every person has right to file civil or criminal proceedings against any other person, but a check is necessary to allow the court to examine the bona fide of a person filing the proceeding. Many countries in the world, like the USA, the UK have enacted a law on the filing of frivolous and vexatious litigation. In our country also, there is a law on the subject in two States, i.e., Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. In view of the concern expressed by the courts, it is necessary that a central law be enacted to prevent the […]

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