Thu, 25 May 2023

Forum Shopping

In News:  Chief Justice of India (CJI) reprimands the practice of ‘forum shopping’ by lawyers

About Forum Shopping:

  • Forum shopping refers to the practice of litigants or lawyers deliberately choosing a specific judge or court for their case in the hope of obtaining a more favourable outcome.
  • It involves strategically selecting a court or judge based on factors like expertise, perceived biases, or the likelihood of a desired judgment.
  • Forum shopping is considered a disreputable practice that undermines the integrity of the judicial system.
  • It can lead to unequal treatment, overburdening of certain courts, and interference with the fair administration of justice.
  • Judges may impose costs or penalties on litigants engaged in forum shopping to discourage such behavior and promote fairness.
  • Bench hunting is a related practice where litigants seek to have their case heard by a specific judge or court known for favourable rulings.
  • The use of a functional test by courts helps determine if a litigant is engaged in forum shopping by assessing the functional similarity between different courts' proceedings.
  • In fact, some jurisdictions use the "forum non-conveniens" principle to prevent forum shopping, allowing courts to decline jurisdiction and transfer cases to more appropriate forums.
  • Time and again, the Supreme Court and other courts have consistently condemned forum shopping and emphasized that it has no legal sanction or paramountcy.


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