High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Smt.Chander Kanta & Ors v. Adu Sunar - CR-747-2004  RD-P&H 1362 (2 March 2006)
CIVIL REVISION NO.747 OF 2004
DATE OF DECISION: FEBRUARY 08, 2006
Smt.Chander Kanta and others
CORAM : HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE SATISH KUMAR MITTAL
Present: Mr.S.S.Walia, Advocate,
for the petitioners.
Mr.Ashok Arora, Advocate,
for the respondent.
This revision petition has been filed by the petitioners for setting aside the order dated 17.10.2003 passed by the Appellate Authority vide which the application filed by the petitioners under Section 5 of the Limitation Act was dismissed and the appeal preferred against the order dated 29.11.2000 passed by the Rent Controller, Hisar, was also dismissed being barred by limitation.
2. The petitioners filed the aforesaid appeal along with an application under Section 5 of the Limitation Act for condonation of delay of 36 days. The said appeal was filed by the petitioners against the order dated 29.11.2000 passed by the Rent Controller in the application under Section 4 of the Haryana Urban (Control of Rent and Eviction) Act, 1973 filed by them for fixation of fair rent of the shop in dispute. Vide that order dated 29.11.2000, the Rent Controller fixed the fair rent of the shop in CIVIL REVISION NO.747 OF 2004 (2)
dispute as Rs.68.34 with effect from the date of filing of the application i.e.
3. Feeling dissatisfied, the petitioners filed an appeal along with the application under Section 5 of the Limitation Act before the Appellate Authority. In the application, it was contended by the petitioners that they could not file the appeal within time as Surender Goyal, one of the petitioners and who was the person responsible for conducting the proceedings of the case, had obtained the certified copy of the order under appeal on 23.12.2000 from the Clerk of their Advocate. It was further contended that said Surender Goyal fell ill and could not move from the bed as he is suffering from 75% permanent disability. He was able to move from the bed only on 14.2.2001 and the appeal was filed on 19.2.2001. Thus, there was a delay of 36 days in filing the appeal.
4. The Appellate Authority dismissed the application filed by the petitioner while observing that there are as may as six petitioners/appellants and it is nowhere explained that why the other petitioners/appellants did not contact the counsel for filing the appeal. It has been further observed that there were no sufficient grounds which prevented the petitioners from filing the appeal. Accordingly, the application for condonation of delay in filing the appeal was dismissed and consequently the appeal was also dismissed being barred by limitation. Hence this revision.
5. I have heard the counsel for the parties and gone through the contents of the petition as well as the impugned order passed by the Appellate Authority. In my opinion, the Appellate Authority has adopted a hyper-technical approach in the matter whereas the petitioner has properly explained the delay of 36 days in filing the appeal.
CIVIL REVISION NO.747 OF 2004 (3)
6. In G.Ramegowda v. Spl.Land Acquisition Officer, (1988) 2 SCC 142, the Hon'ble Apex Court has held that the expression `sufficient cause' in Section 5 of the Limitation Act must receive a liberal construction so as to advance substantial justice and generally delays in preferring appeals should be condoned in the interest of justice where no gross negligence or deliberate inaction or lack of bona fides is imputable to the party seeking condonation of the delay. Again in State of Bihar v.
Kameshwar Prasad Singh, (2000) 9 SCC 94, the Hon'ble Apex Court has observed that power to condone the delay in approaching the Court has been conferred upon the courts to enable them to do substantial justice to parties by disposing of matters on merits. In this regard, liberal approach is to be preferred in condonation of delay finding somewhat sufficient cause to decide the appeal on merits, as dismissing of the appeal on technical grounds of limitation would not, in any way, advance the interests of justice.
Similarly in another judgment in Vedabai v. Shantaram Baburao Patil, (2001) 9 SCC 106, the Hon'ble Apex Court has observed that a distinction should be made between cases in which delay is inordinate, thus giving rise to question of prejudice to the other side and requiring a more cautious approach, and a case where delay is of a few days only. Whereas in the former case the consideration of prejudice to the other side will be a relevant factor, but in the latter case no such consideration may arise and such a case deserves a liberal approach.
7. In this case, there is a delay of 36 days in filing the appeal. The explanation given by the petitioners for condoning the delay in filing the appeal, in my opinion, is reasonable and satisfactory. In no way it can be said that the delay caused in the instant case was due to gross negligence or CIVIL REVISION NO.747 OF 2004 (4)
deliberate inaction or lack of bona fides. In the facts and circumstances of the case, the petitioners had sufficiently explained the delay in filing the appeal. Thus, the impugned order is liable to be set aside.
8. For the reasons above, this revision petition is allowed and the order dated 17.10.2003 passed by the Appellate Authority is set aside and delay of 36 days in filing the appeal is condoned. Keeping in view the fact that the matter has already been delayed, therefore, the Appellate Authority is directed to decide the appeal on merits within a period of six months.
February 6, 2006 ( SATISH KUMAR MITTAL ) vkg JUDGE
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