Satya or truth

1. For many centuries, Indian society cherished two basic values of life i.e., ‘Satya’ (truth) and ‘Ahimsa’ (non-violence). Mahavir, Gautam Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi guided the people to ingrain these values in their daily life.

Truth constituted an integral Dart of justice delivery system which was in vogue in pre-independence era and the people used to feel proud to tell truth in the courts irrespective of the consequences. However, post-independence period has seen drastic changes in our value system. The materialism has over-shadowed the old ethos and the quest for personal gain has become so intense that those involved in litigation do no hesitate to take shelter of falsehood, misrepresentation and suppression of facts in the court proceedings.

In last 40 years, a new creed of litigants has cropped up. Those who belong to this creed do not have any respect for truth. They shamelessly resort to falsehood and unethical means for achieving their goals. In order to meet the challenge posed by this new creed of litigants, the courts have, from time to time, evolved new rules and it is now well established that a litigant, who attempts to pollute the stream of justice or who touches the pure fountain of justice with tainted hands, is not entitled to any relief, interim or final.

2. In Hari Narain v. Badri Das, AIR 1963 SC 1558, Suprem Court adverted to the aforesaid rule and revoked the leave granted to the appellant by making the following observations:

It is of utmost importance that in making material statements and setting forth grounds in applications for special leave made under Article 136 of the Constitution, care must be taken not to make any statements which are inaccurate, untrue and misleading. In dealing with applications for special leave, the Court naturally takes statements of fact and grounds of fact contained in the petitions at their face value and it would be unfAIR to betray the confidence of the Court by making statements which are untrue and misleading. Thus, if at the hearing of the appeal the Supreme Court is satisfied that the material statements made by the appellant in his application for special leave are inaccurate and misleading, and the respondent is, entitled to contend that the appellant may have obtained special leave from the Supreme Court on the strength of what he characterizes as misrepresentations of facts contained in the petition for special leave, the Supreme Court may come to the conclusion that in such a case special leave granted to the appellant ought to be revoked.

3. In Welcome Hotel and OTHERS v. State of Andhra Pradesh and OTHERS etc., AIR 1983 SC 1015, the Court held that a party which has misled the Court in passing an order in its favour is not entitled to be heard on the merits of the case.

4. In G. Narayanaswamy Reddy and OTHERS v. Governor of Karnataka and ANOTHER, AIR 1991 SC 1726, Supreme Court denied relief to the appellant who had concealed the fact that the award was not made by the Land Acquisition Officer within the time specified in Section 11A of the Land Acquisition Act because of the stay order passed by the High Court. While dismissing the special leave petition, the Court observed:

Curiously enough, there is no reference in the Special Leave Petitions to any of the stay orders and we came to know about these orders only when the respondents appeared in response to the notice and filed their counter affidavit. In our view, the said interim orders have a direct bearing on the question raised and the non-disclosure of the same certainly amounts to suppression of material facts. On this ground alone, the Special Leave Petitions are liable to be rejected. It is well settled in law that the relief under Article 136 of the Constitution is discretionary and a petitioner who approaches this Court for ‘such relief must come with frank and full disclosure of facts. If he fails to do so and suppresses material facts, his application is liable to be dismissed. We accordingly dismiss the Special Leave Petitions.

5. In S.P. Chengalvaraya Naidu (dead) by L.Rs. v. Jagannath (dead) by L.Rs. and OTHERS, JT 1993 (6) SC 331, the Court held that where a preliminary decree was obtained by withholding an important document from the court, the party concerned deserves to be thrown out at any stage of the litigation.

Dalip Singh- JT 2009 (15) SC 201 : (2009) 14 SCALE 473 : (2010) 2 SCC 114 : (2009) 16 SCR 111