Legal Malice

In a Judgment reported as HMT Ltd. v. Mudappa, (2007) 9 SCC 768 quoting from earlier Judgment of this Court reported as State of A.P. v. Goverdhanlal Pitti, (2003) 4 SCC 739 it was held that ‘legal malice’ or ‘malice in law’ means ‘something done without lawful excuse’. It is an act done wrongfully and willfully without reasonable or probable cause, and not necessarily an act done from ill feeling and spite. In a Judgment reported as Union of India v. Ashok Kumar, (2005) 8 SCC 760 it has been held that allegations of mala fides are often more easily made than proved, and the very seriousness of such allegations demands proof of a high order of credibility. In another Judgment reported as Ratnagiri Gas and Power Private Limited v. RDS Projects Limited, (2013) 1 SCC 524 this Court held that when allegations of mala fides are made, the persons against whom the same are levelled need to be impleaded as parties to the proceedings to enable them to answer the charge. A judicial pronouncement declaring an action to be mala fide is a serious indictment of the person concerned that can lead to adverse civil consequences against him.”

Hon’ble Justice Hemant Gupta, Rajneesh Khajuria v. M/s. Wockhardt Ltd., [Civil Appeal No. 8989 of 2019].