Over 2 lakh Indian cases. Search powered by Google!

Case Details

SMT. RISALO versus IIND A.D.J. & OTHERS

High Court of Judicature at Allahabad

Case Law Search

Indian Supreme Court Cases / Judgements / Legislation

Judgement


Smt. Risalo v. Iind A.D.J. & Others - WRIT - C No. 23289 of 1998 [2007] RD-AH 4927 (20 March 2007)

 

This is an UNCERTIFIED copy for information/reference. For authentic copy please refer to certified copy only. In case of any mistake, please bring it to the notice of Joint Registrar(Copying).

HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE OF ALLAHABAD

"Reserved"

Civil Misc. Writ Petition No. 23289 of 1998.

Smt. Risalo

Versus

II nd A.D.J. and others.

................

Hon'ble Anjani Kumar, J.

By means of present writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, petitioner Smt. Risalo challenges the order passed by II nd Additional District Judge, Ghaziabad dated 13th April, 1998, whereby the appeal filed by the petitioner against the order dated 24th January, 1998 has been dismissed.  The order dated 24th January, 1998 was passed by the trial Court on the application moved by the petitioner in original suit no. 181 of 1989.  It so happen that the suit no. 181 of 1989 is decreed ex-parte  on 30th May, 1989.  The petitioner filed application for recall of the order decreeing the suit no. 181 of 1989 by way of an application under Order IX Rule 13, read with Section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure.  On the pleadings of the parties, it appears that the petitioner filed a suit before Munsif concerned being suit no. 743 of 1992.  In the aforesaid suit no. 743 of 1992, the defendant-contesting respondent in this petition filed written statement on 8th September, 1992 and it is only after filing of the written statement, the petitioner came to know on 8th September, 1992 that suit no. 181 of 1989 has been decreed ex-parte and the decree was also got executed ex-parte passed in suit no. 181 of 1989. The petitioner has explained that on coming to know of the ex-parte decree dated 30th May, 1989 on 8th September, 1992, the petitioner got the record inspected on 13th October, as 11th 12th and 13th September, 1992 were holidays and from 14th September, 1992  to 12th October, 1992, the Advocates of the judgeship were on strike and has filed the application on 5th November, 1992 wherein it has been explained that for th first time, as stated above, the petitioner came to know of the ex-parte decree, it was therefore prayed that the ex-parte decree may be set aside and the delay, if any, in filing the aforesaid application may be condoned.

The defendant-contesting respondent in this petition contested the statement made by petitioner and submitted that even on her own saying the petitioner has acquired knowledge of the ex-parte decree on 8th September, 1992 but she has not given any satisfactory explanation of not

-2-

filing the application for setting aside the ex-parte decree up to 9th October, 1992 and even assuming that 12th October, 1992 was a holiday for the Court, she should have filed the said application on 13th October, 1992, whereas the application has been filed beyond time and explanation filed for the condonation of delay should not be accepted.  The petitioner stated that on 19th October, 1992 she obtained the copy of Intkhab from the concerned Lekhpal and on 30th October, 1992 after the Courts were re-opened, she filed the application on 5th November, 1992.  The trial Court found that the explanation is not sufficient for condonation of delay in filing the aforesaid application under Order IX Rule 13, read with Section 151 of Code of Civil Procedure, thus rejected the same vide its order dated 24th January, 1998.

Aggrieved by the order passed by the trial Court dated 24th January, 1998, the petitioner filed appeal before the lower appellate authority, which vide judgment and order dated 13th April, 1998 dismissed the appeal and confirmed the order passed by the trial Court, thus this writ petition.

Heard learned counsel appearing on behalf of the parties.

Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner in support of his contention relied upon the law laid down by the Apex Court reported in AIR 1987 S.C., 1353 - Collector, Land Acquisition, Anantnag and another Vs. Mst. Katiji and others, wherein the Apex Court in paragraph 3 has held, which reads as under :-

"3. The legislature has conferred the power to condone delay by enacting S. 5 of the Indian Limitation Act of 1963 in order to enable the Courts to do substantial justice to parties by disposing of matters on 'merits'.  The expression "sufficient cause" employed by the legislature is adequately elastic to enable the Courts to apply the law in a meaningful manner which subserves the ends of justice that being the life-purpose for the existence of the institution of Courts.  It is common knowledge that this Court has been making a justifiably liberal approach in matters instituted in this Court.  But the message does not appear to have percolated down to all the other Courts in the hierarchy.  And such a liberal approach is adopted on principle as it is realized that :-

1. Ordinarily a litigant does not stand to benefit by lodging an appeal late.

-3-

2. Refusing to condone delay can result in a meritorious matter being thrown out at th very threshold and cause of justice being defeated.  As against this when delay is condoned the highest that can happen is that a cause would be decided on merits after hearing the parties.

3. "Every day's delay must be explained" does not mean that a pedantic approach should be made.  Why not every hour's delay, every second's delay? The doctrine must be applied in a rational common sense pragmatic manner.

4. When substantial justice and technical considerations are pitted against each other, cause of substantial justice deserves to be preferred for the other side cannot claim to have vested right in injustice being done because of a non-deliberate  delay.

5. There is no presumption that delay is occasioned deliberately, or on account of culpable negligence, or on account of mala fides.  A litigant does not stand to benefit by resorting to delay.  In fact he runs a serious risk.

6. It must be grasped that judiciary is respected not on account of its power to legalize injustice on technical grounds but because it is capable or removing injustice and is expected to do so.

Making a justice-oriented approach from this perspective, there was sufficient cause for condoning the delay in the institution of the appeal.  The fact that it was the 'State' which was seeking condonation and not a private party was altogether irrelevant.  The doctrine of equality before law demands that all litigants, including the State as a litigant, are accorded the same treatment and the law is administered in an even-handed manner.  There is no warrant for according a stepmotherly treatment when the 'State' is the applicant praying for condonation of delay. In fact experience shows that on account of an impersonal

-4-

machinery (no one in charge of the matter is directly hit or hurt by the judgment sought to be subjected to appeal) and the inherited bureaucratic methodology imbued with the note-making, file pushing, and passing-on-the-buck ethos, delay on its part is less difficult to understand though more difficult to approve.  In any event, the State which represents the collective cause of the community, does not deserve a litigant non grata status.  The Courts therefore have to informed with the spirit and philosophy of the provision in the course of the interpretation of the expression "sufficient cause".  So also the same approach has to be evidenced in its application to matters at hand with the end in view to do even-handed justice on merits in preference to the approach which scuttles a decision on merits.  Turning to the facts of the matter giving rise to the present appeal, we are satisfied that sufficient cause exists for the delay.  The order of the High Court dismissing the appeal before it as time barred, is therefore, set aside.  Delay is condoned.  And the matter is remitted t the High Court. The High Court will now dispose of the appeal on merits after affording reasonable opportunity of hearing to bot the sides.

In view of above law laid down by the Apex Court in the case of Collector, Land Acquisition (supra), which has been followed by the Apex Court in the subsequent decisions in the case of G.P. Srivastava Vs. Shri R. K. Raizada & Ors. JT 2000 (2) SC, 569 and International Airports Authority of India Vs. M.L. Dalmia & Co. Ltd., particularly in view of the law laid down in the case of Collector, Land Acquisition (supra), in clause 4, 5 and 6, which read thus, in my opinion the present writ petition deserves to be allowed.

4. When substantial justice and technical considerations are pitted against each other, cause of substantial justice deserves to be preferred for the other side cannot claim to have vested right in injustice being done because of a non-deliberate  delay.

5. There is no presumption that delay is occasioned deliberately, or on account of culpable negligence, or on account of mala fides.  A litigant does not stand to benefit by

-5-

resorting to delay.  In fact he runs a serious risk.

6. It must be grasped that judiciary is respected not on account of its power to legalize injustice on technical grounds but because it is capable or removing injustice and is expected to do so.

Learned counsel for the petitioner has also relied upon the decision in the case of Ramji Dass and others Vs. Mohan Singh reported in ARC 1978, 496, wherein the Apex Court has held that "we are inclined to the view that, as far as possible, Courts' discretion should be exercised in favour of hearing and not to shut out hearing".

Learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that in view of the decision of the Apex Court, referred to above, is abundant the view taken by the Courts below in refusing to condone the delay in filing the application under Order IX, Rule 13 is contrary to law.  Learned counsel further submitted that in the facts and circumstances the Courts below ought to have condone the delay in filing the application for setting aside ex-parte decree.

On the other hand, learned counsel for contesting respondent has submitted that the Courts below have not committed any error which may warrant any interference by this Court.

In view of the above discussions, the writ petition succeeds and is therefore allowed.  The order dated 13th April, 1998, passed by II nd Additional District Judge, Ghaziabad and the order dated 24th January, 1998, passed by the trial Court are hereby quashed.  The ex-parte decree dated 30th May, 1989 is recalled and the suit is restored to its original number on the payment of cost of Rs.500/- to be paid by the petitioner to the defendant-contesting respondent in this petition.  The matter will now go back to the trial court with the direction to decide the same after affording an opportunity of hearing to the petitioner within a period of six months' from the date of presentation of a certified copy of this order before it.

Dated:

Rks.


Copyright

Reproduced in accordance with s52(q) of the Copyright Act 1957 (India) from judis.nic.in, indiacode.nic.in and other Indian High Court Websites

Advertisement

dwi Attorney | dui attorney | dwi | dui | austin attorney | san diego attorney | houston attorney | california attorney | washington attorney | minnesota attorney | dallas attorney | alaska attorney | los angeles attorney | dwi | dui | colorado attorney | new york attorney | new jersey attorney | san francisco attorney | seattle attorney | florida attorney | attorney | london lawyer | lawyer michigan | law firm |

Tip:
Double Click on any word for its dictionary meaning or to get reference material on it.