At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC
By, THE HONOURABLE MS. JUSTICE DEEPA SHARMA
By, PRESIDING MEMBER & THE HONOURABLE MR. C. VISWANATH
For the Petitioner: Bhupender Chauhan, Advocate. For the Respondents: ---------
The present revision petition is filed against the order dated 27th September, 2019 whereby the appeal preferred by the petitioner against the order of the District Forum dated 27.4.2016 was dismissed on the ground of delay of 400 days in filing the appeal.
2. It is argued that the appeal could not be filed within period of limitation since the petitioner is an old trible lady of 65 years of age and at the time when the order of District Forum was passed, she was 62 years of the age and due to her old age she could not prefer the appeal within time. It is also argued that she had to undergo regular routine medical check-up which stopped her from filing the appeal within prescribed limitation.
3. We have heard the arguments and perused the record. From the contention itself it is apparent that at the time when the appeal was filed she was 62 years of the age and not suffering from any specific ailment which prevented her from contacting the counsel for filing the appeal within limitation. There is an undue delay of 400 days in filing the appeal. The State Commission in the impugned order has observed that no sufficient reasons have been shown by the appellant. Even before us the petitioner has failed to point out any sufficient reason for condoning the delay. The sufficient cause means those facts which prevented the petitioner from coming to the Court despite his best efforts. In the case of Ram Lal and Ors. vs. Rewa Coalfields Limited, AIR 1962 Supreme Court 361, Hon’ble Supreme Court has clearly held that condonation of delay is not a matter of right and where sufficient reasons are not shown, the Courts have no other jurisdiction/discretion but to dismiss the complaint. The Hon’ble Supreme Court has held as under: -
“12. It is, however, necessary to emphasize that even after sufficient cause has been shown a party is not entitled to the condonation of delay in question as a matter of right. The proof of a sufficient cause is a discretionary jurisdiction vested in the Court by S.5. If sufficient cause is not proved nothing further has to be done; the application for condonation has to be dismissed on that ground alone. If sufficient cause is shown then the Court has to enquire whether in its discretion it should condone the delay. This aspect of the matter naturally introduces the consideration of all relevant facts and it is at this stage that diligence of the party or its bona fides may fall for consideration; but the scope of the enquiry while exercising the discretionary power after sufficient cause is shown would naturally be limited only to such facts as the Court may regard as relevant.”
4. In the case of “R. B. Ramlingam vs. R. B. Bhavaneshwari, I (2009) CLT 188 (SC), Hon’ble has given the guidelines which needs to be followed by the Court/Commission while determining whether there was a sufficient reason for condoning the delay. The Hon’ble Supreme Court has held as under: -
"4. We hold that in each and every case the Court has to examine whether delay in filing the special appeal leave petitions stands properly explained. This is the basic test which needs to be applied. The true guide is whether the petitioner has acted with reasonable diligence in the prosecution of his appeal/petition.”
5. Also in the case of Anshul Aggarwal Vs. New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (2011) 14 SCC 578, Hon’ble Supreme Court has clearly held that special nature of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 needs to be kept in mind while dealing with such applications. Hon’ble Court has held as under: -
“5. It is also apposite to observe that while deciding an application filed in such cases for condonation of delay, the Court has to keep in mind that the special period of limitation has been presc
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ribed under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 for filing appeals and revisions in consumer matters and the object of expeditious adjudication of the consumer disputes will get defeated if this court was to entertain highly belated petitions filed against the orders of the consumer Fora." 6. We found no infirmity and illegality in the impugned order. The present revision has no merit and the same is dismissed.