BENCH HUNTING A.K.A FORUM SHOPPING

The expanding corrupt practice particularly in subordinate courts of India and Judiciary, raised eyebrows of the Apex Court of India – Supreme Court has said that deceitful litigants, disputants cannot be permitted to try or indulging in &ld...

By: ASHISH GUPTA | Update: 2016-11-29 10:42:55

BENCH HUNTING A.K.A FORUM SHOPPING

The expanding corrupt practice particularly in subordinate courts of India and Judiciary, raised eyebrows of the Apex Court of India – Supreme Court has said that deceitful litigants, disputants cannot be permitted to try or indulging in “bench hunting” or “forum shopping” to get positive orders and such “depreciable conduct” in the field of law shake individuals confidence and trust in the Indian justice system.

For more intellectual clarity, Bench hunting refers to an offer by a litigant, represented and aided by its lawyers, to manage and deal with his/her legal matter being listed and heard by a specific judge or a bench for ensuring and guaranteeing a favorable order and judgment. Bench hunting also known as Forum Shopping, it is the casual name of bench hunting. The practice, naturally, can only be achieved if there is complicity between the disputant’s litigants, lawyers and official court authorities.

Thus Bench Hunting a.k.a Forum shopping happens in three ways –

  1. By seeking to list a case before a specific judge,
  2. By avoiding a specific judge, and
  3. By writing bogus complaints to the Chief Justice of India (CJI) to remove an honest judge from a specific case.

Bench hunting has no authorization in law and had no sanctity. If the same is allowed to prevail, it is prone to introduce rebellion and in the ultimate eventuate shake the confidence in the adjudicating judiciary framework. Bench hunting trend is “unfortunate and disturbing”, legal specialists said that the alleged practice of forum shopping in the Indian Courts has been there for some time and confidence is step by step getting dissolved.

The bench hunting a.k.a forum shopping is one of the numerous malpractices happening in Indian courts and there is a need to curb such anti institutional trends.

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