New Delhi: In a bid to curtail pendency and frivolous litigations filed by big corporates, the Supreme Court on Friday asked parties including Star India Private Ltd and its opponents including BCCI in a batch of cases to deposit Rs 50 lakh each side before it proceeds with the hearing.
The order came a day after Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, while opposing a plea for setting up of National Court of Appeal with regional benches in major cities for deciding cases arising from high courts, suggested imposition of heavy pre-hearing deposit on corporates as one of the measures to discourage avoidable cases.
"Litigation should become expensive for big clients. The learned Attorney General had suggested yesterday as one of the steps which can be adopted to reduce pendency and discourage litigation. This is a beginning," a bench of Chief Justice TS Thakur and Justice UU Lalit said.
The bench was hearing a batch of petitions in which some cases have been filed by Star India and some by BCCI. The
parties also include Akuate Internet Services Pvt Ltd, Idea Cellular Ltd, among others.
The matters concern disputes over rights over cricket match information.
The petitioner (Star India) will have to deposit Rs 50 lakh in four weeks with the apex court registry and likewise, respondents (which include more than one person or entity) will have to together deposit the same amount before their cases are being heard.
At the outset, the bench said that this is the fit case for implementing the Attorney General's suggestion.
The court asked senior lawyers, including AM Singhvi, to suggest the amount.
It said ideally the amount should be Rs 1 crore a side as it should be ten times the fee charged by the lawyer.
On Thursday, the apex court had reserved its order on a plea seeking setting up of National Court of Appeal with
regional benches in major cities for deciding cases arising from high courts.
Attorney General had opposed the plea and had said that Supreme Court should take "some self-correcting measures and use innovative technology and impose heavy costs on frivolous petitions to reduce pendency".