New Delhi: The Supreme Court has slapped a cash fine of Rs 200 crore on a Rajasthan based chemical firm for defying orders for the past 15 years.

The Apex Court has asked Hindustan Agro Chemicals Private Limited to pay Rs 37 crore along with 12 percent compound interest which amounts to more than Rs 200 crore. The court also slapped additional fine of Rs 10 lakh for prolonging the litigation.

Dismissing the two petitions of the company, the bench of Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Justice H L Dattu came up with the verdict.

The bench also observed that if the company fails to pay the fine within two months, its land will be recovered as arrears for the revenue.

Showing its displeasure, the bench stated it’s an exceptional case where even after 15 years of the final judgment the litigation has been kept alive.

“This is a live example of abuse of the process of law even after the final judgment by the Supreme Court,” the bench stated.
This is indeed a "very serious" matter concerning the sanctity and credibility of the judicial system in general and of the Apex Court in particular, the bench observed.

The court stated that the amount received as compensation will be used as clean up operations in the Bicchri village of Rajasthan.

It should be noted that water in Bicchri village had been contaminated after Hindustan Agro Company released effluents from the company's plant which accounted for health problems in people and animals of the village in Udaipur district.

The Supreme Court had first announced its decision in February 1996 and in 1997 had imposed a fine of Rs 37.39 crore.

JPN/Bureau