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Narendra Pratap Singh v. State of U.P. & anr. - WRIT - A No. 323 of 2004  RD-AH 2205 (31 August 2005)
COURT NO. 34
CIVIL MISC. WRIT PETITION NO. 323 OF 2004
Narendra Pratap Singh ------------- Petitioner
State of U.P. & anr. ------------- Respondents
Hon'ble Dr. B.S. Chauhan, J.
Hon'ble Ghanshyam Dass, J.
(By Hon'ble Dr. B.S.Chauhan, J.)
Heard the learned counsel for the petitioner and the learned Standing Counsel, appearing for the respondents.
This writ petition has been filed at much belated stage, as the petitioner has approached this Court challenging the impugned order dated 28.11.2002, by which assessment has been made by the Trade Tax Officer. The order is appealable under Section 9 of the Trade Tax Act. However, without exhausting statutory remedy, he has preferred the writ petition before us. No satisfactory explanation has been furnished for approaching the Court at such a belated stage. The writ petition is liable to be dismissed only on the ground of delay and laches.
It is settled law that fence-sitters cannot be allowed to raise the dispute or challenge the validity of the order after its conclusion. (Vide Aflatoon & ors. Vs. Lt. Governor, Delhi & ors., AIR 1974 SC 2077; State of Mysore Vs. V.K. Kangan & ors., AIR 1975 SC 2190; Pt. Girdharan Prasad Missir Vs. State of Bihar & ors., (1980) 2 SCC 83; H.D. Vora Vs. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1984 SC 866; Bhoop Singh Vs. Union ofIndia, AIR 1992 SC 1414; The Ramjas Foundation & ors. Vs. Union of India & ors., AIR 1993 SC 852; Ram Chand Vs. Union of India, (1994) 1 SCC 44; State of Maharashtra Vs. Digambar, AIR 1995 SC 1991; Municipal Corporation of Greater Bombay Vs. Industrial Development Investment Co. (P) Ltd. & ors., (1996) 11 SCC 501; Padma Vs. Dy. Secy. to the Govt. of Tamil Nadu, (1997) 2 SCC 627; Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd. Vs. Dolly Das, (1999) 4 SCC 450; Life Insurance Corporation of India Vs. Jyotish Chandra Biswas, (2000) 6 SCC 562; L. Muthu Kumar & Anr. Vs. State of Tamil Nadu & ors., (2000) 7 SCC 618; Municipal Council, Ahmednagar & Anr. Vs. Shah Hyder Beig & ors., AIR 2000 SC 671; and Inder Jit Gupta Vs. Union of India & ors., (2001) 6 SCC 637.
The issue of delay in filing the writ petition was considered by the Hon'ble Apex Court in Smt. Sudama Devi Vs. Commissioner & ors., (1983) 2 SCC 1, wherein the Apex Court has observed as under:-
"There is no period of limitation prescribed by any law for filing the writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution. It is, in fact, doubtful whether any such period of limitation can be prescribed by law. In any event, one thing is clear and beyond doubt that no such period of limitation can be laid down either under the rules made by the High Court or by practice. For every case, it would have to be decided on the facts and circumstances whether the petitioner is guilty of laches and that would have to be done without taking into account any specific period as period of limitation. There may be cases where even short delay may be fatal while there may be cases where even a long delay may not be evidence of laches on the part of the petitioner."
Similarly, in State of U.P. Vs. Raj Bahadur Singh & Anr., (1998) 8 SCC 685; the Hon'ble Apex Court held that "there is no time limit for filing the writ petition. All that the Court has to see is whether the laches on the part of the petitioner are such as to disentitle him to the relief claimed by him."
In S.K. Mastanee Bee Vs. General Manager, South Central Railways & ors., (2003) 1 SCC 184, the Hon'ble Supreme Court held that entitlement of a particular right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution, coupled with the haplessness condition of a party may be a ground to entertain a petition even at a belated stage. But that was a case where third party's interest had not crystalised.
In Northern Indian Glass Industries Vs. Jaswant Singh & ors., (2003) 1 SCC 335, the Hon'ble Apex Court held that the High Court can not ignore the delay and laches in approaching the writ court and there must be satisfactory explanation by the petitioner as how he could not come to the Court well in time.
No satisfactory explanation has been furnished whatsoever.
In P.K. Ramachandran Vs. State of Kerala & anr., (1997) 7 SCC 556, the Hon'ble Apex Court held as under:-
"Law of limitation harshly affect a particular party but it has to be applied with all its rigour when the statute so prescribes and the courts have no power to extend the period of limitation as equitable grounds. The discretion exercised by the High Court was, thus, neither proper nor judicious. The order condoning the delay cannot be sustained."
In view of the above, we are of the considered opinion that the petitioner fails to furnish any satisfactory explanation for approaching the Court at such a belated stage, and therefore, petition cannot be entertained.
Petition is, accordingly, dismissed.
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