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The State Of U.P. Thru' Collector, Bijnor v. Harbansh Singh & Others - FIRST APPEAL DEFECTIVE No. - 33 of 2006  RD-AH 15907 (21 September 2007)
HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT ALLAHABAD
Court No. 1
First Appeal No. (33) of 2006
State of U.P. through Collector, Bijnor ......... Appellant/Defendant
Harbansh Singh and others .........Claimants/Respondents
Hon'ble Pankaj Mithal, J.
Heard learned counsel for the parties.
This appeal under Section 54 of the Land Acquisition Act is reported to be beyond time by 3 years 117 days.
The appeal is directed against the judgment, order and award dated 28.5.2002 passed by the reference court in LAR No. 360 of 1997 (Harbansh Singh and others Vs. State of U.P. through Collector, Bijnor). The appeal is accompanied by an application under Section 5 of the Limitation Act and an affidavit in support thereof.
Learned Standing counsel submits that there is no wilful and deliberate delay on part of the appellant in filing the appeal and therefore, the delay in its presentation may be condoned. I have considered the averments made in the affidavit filed in support of the application. From the averments made therein it is undisputed that the District Government Counsel Civil, Bijnor along with his legal opinion to file the appeal had submitted the certified copy of the judgment, order and decree to the office of the SLAO (Joint Organisation, Bijnor) on 18.7.2002. The District Magistrate vide letter dated 2.9.2002 had written to the Secretary Irrigation Department, Lucknow for granting the permission to file appeal. After several reminders, the permission was granted only on 19.7.2004. It is said that the copy of the same was never received by any of the officer of the department. However, the District Magistrate on the basis of the letter of the State Government dated 28.9.2005 enclosing the copy of the permission dated 19.7.2004 informed the Executive Engineer, Irrigation Division, Bijnor that the permission to file appeal has been recorded. Be as it may be, it is apparent that the State Government consume more than three years in according sanction to file appeal. There is no explanation as to what was being done during the above period of 3 years. It has not been stated that the letter of the District Magistrate for grant of permission was not received by the relevant officer in the State Government or that the officers of the State Government were unable to attend the file. There is no allegation of foul play in not allowing the State Government to deal with the file in the normal way. It may be noted that the Government officials responsible for dealing such matters are well versed with the legal procedure and the limitation provided for filing the appeals. However, in spite of the above, no care was taken at any level to accord sanction at the earliest or to minimise the delay in granting the sanction. Even after the sanction was granted funds were not made available for the purposes of filing the appeal and the Executive Engineer, Irrigation Division, Bijnor had to repeatedly write letters. The funds were supplied on 27.10.2005 whereupon the appeal was presented on 10th February 2006. The period from the date on which the funds were supplied till the filing of the appeal is almost 4 months for which also there is no explanation whatsoever. In the totality of the circumstances the attitude of the appellant in filing the appeal appears to be quite casual. The laches are being sought to be covered by lame excuses. The delay or inaction on part of the State Government in granting permission to file the appeal has remained unexplained. In the absence of any explanation, the delay in filing the appeal cannot be condoned even if most pragmatic or liberal view is adopted. Accordingly the application under Section 5 of the Limitation Act is rejected.
Consequently, the appeal is dismissed as barred by time.
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