What is practice of forum shopping?


  • Recently, Chief Justice of India (CJI) said that, he will not permit forum shopping.

What is practice of forum shopping?

  • When litigants or lawyers attempt to deliberately move their case to a particular judge or Court where they think the judgment could be more favourable, they are said to be “forum shopping.” Forum shopping
  • Websters’s dictionary defines forum shopping as the “practice of choosing the court in which to bring an action from among those courts that could properly exercise jurisdiction based on a determination of which court is likely to provide the most favorable outcome.”
  • Lawyers think about which is the right forum to approach as part of their litigation strategy.
    • For example, one could directly approach the Supreme Court via a public interest litigation case instead of the concerned High Court because the issue could get more eyeballs.
  • However, an obvious effort to circumvent the process or avoid a particular judge is frowned upon.
  • Judges have cited the injustice caused to the other party in the case and overburdening some courts over others and interfering with judicial process.
  • The Supreme Court in its 1988 ruling in ‘Chetak Construction Ltd. vs. Om Prakash’ said, “A litigant cannot be permitted choice of the forum,” and that every attempt at forum shopping “must be crushed with a heavy hand.”
  • Similarly, “Bench hunting” refers to petitioners managing to get their cases heard by a particular judge or court to ensure a favourable order.

Source: IE

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