w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n



Durga Kaur v/s Steel Authority of India Ltd. represented through Chief Managing Director, Delhi & Others


Company & Directors' Information:- STEEL AUTHORITY OF INDIA LIMITED [Active] CIN = L27109DL1973GOI006454

Company & Directors' Information:- S A L STEEL LIMITED [Active] CIN = L29199GJ2003PLC043148

Company & Directors' Information:- M M S STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27109TZ1996PTC006849

Company & Directors' Information:- G. O. STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27100PB2007PTC031033

Company & Directors' Information:- C P S STEEL INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27104TZ2003PTC010552

Company & Directors' Information:- J M G STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27105BR1992PTC004985

Company & Directors' Information:- H L STEEL PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U27107AS1992PTC003726

Company & Directors' Information:- K V M STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U29141DL1988PTC031248

Company & Directors' Information:- K STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27104JH1973PTC000998

Company & Directors' Information:- R. J. STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U28112MH2009PTC193047

Company & Directors' Information:- M M STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27107MH2001PTC131270

Company & Directors' Information:- B L STEEL PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U51909WB1981PTC034021

Company & Directors' Information:- R K G STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27109DL2004PTC128852

Company & Directors' Information:- DURGA STEEL COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51398DL2013PTC252477

Company & Directors' Information:- V B STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U28112MH2010PTC211691

Company & Directors' Information:- I B STEEL COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U28910MH2010PTC211344

Company & Directors' Information:- Y D STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27109WB1997PTC086155

Company & Directors' Information:- J S C STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27106UP2013PTC061568

Company & Directors' Information:- S. M. STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51101MH2013PTC239811

Company & Directors' Information:- R K P STEEL LTD [Active] CIN = L27109WB1980PLC033206

Company & Directors' Information:- C P STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27100WB2008PTC127447

Company & Directors' Information:- A. K. J. STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U28112WB2010PTC144880

Company & Directors' Information:- C D STEEL PVT LTD [Under Liquidation] CIN = U27109WB1981PTC034340

Company & Directors' Information:- T M S STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U02710TZ1996PTC007498

Company & Directors' Information:- DELHI STEEL CORPORATION LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27310DL1956PLC002613

Company & Directors' Information:- P M R STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51102DL2003PTC122675

Company & Directors' Information:- C T STEEL PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U27109WB2005PTC106634

Company & Directors' Information:- P G STEEL PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U24111AS1998PTC005409

Company & Directors' Information:- A AND S STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U63090DL1987PTC027835

Company & Directors' Information:- J S STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U52190CT1978PTC001432

Company & Directors' Information:- U M STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27209TN1986PTC013670

Company & Directors' Information:- E & G STEEL INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U28113PN2009PTC134643

Company & Directors' Information:- L N STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27310WB2007PTC118206

Company & Directors' Information:- K. D. W. STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U28910UP2011PTC043976

Company & Directors' Information:- R. N. STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27100WB2007PTC116588

Company & Directors' Information:- P M STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27105MP1982PTC001915

Company & Directors' Information:- M R STEEL (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27100TG2013PTC088808

Company & Directors' Information:- C K STEEL PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U29150WB1975PTC030259

Company & Directors' Information:- A M Q STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27310UP2012PTC053823

Company & Directors' Information:- K STEEL & COMPANY PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U51909WB1991PTC053960

Company & Directors' Information:- N S STEEL PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U27106PB1980PTC004266

Company & Directors' Information:- R C STEEL PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U28112AS1980PTC001811

Company & Directors' Information:- M K G STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1995PTC066480

Company & Directors' Information:- P D STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1989PTC038426

Company & Directors' Information:- A K STEEL PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U99999DL1961PTC003566

Company & Directors' Information:- H S P STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27100MH2013PTC242983

Company & Directors' Information:- R B R STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51103PB2013PTC037791

Company & Directors' Information:- D H STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27109RJ2012PTC039742

Company & Directors' Information:- R A STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51909MH2014PTC253625

Company & Directors' Information:- N. V. STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27310DL2009PTC186541

Company & Directors' Information:- K. D. STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U28939DL2012PTC244467

Company & Directors' Information:- STEEL INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U00349KA1958PTC001309

Company & Directors' Information:- STEEL CO PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U51109WB1947PTC015981

    L.P.A. No. 667 of 2018

    Decided On, 15 December 2020

    At, High Court of Jharkhand

    By, THE HONOURABLE CHIEF JUSTICE DR. RAVI RANJAN & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE SUJIT NARAYAN PRASAD

    For the Appellant: Rajeeva Sharma, Sr. Advocate, Neetu Singh, Advocate. For the Respondent: Indrajit Sinha, Vijay Kant Dubey, Advocates.



Judgment Text

Oral Judgment1. The matter has been heard with the consent of learned counsel for the parties through video conferencing. There is no complaint about any audio and visual quality.The instant intra-court appeal is directed against the order/judgment dated 03.10.2018 passed by the learned Single Judge of this Court in W.P.(S) No.5599 of 2017, whereby and whereunder, the claim of the writ petitioner seeking death-cum-retiral benefits on compassionate appointment and family pension, claiming herself to be the widow of late Jagarnath Ojha said to have died in harness on 02.12.1974 while working under Steel Authority of India Limited, in short ‘SAIL’, at Bhawanathpur Lime Stone Mines has been declined to pass any positive direction by dismissing the writ petition.2. The brief facts of the case are required to be referred herein which reads hereunder as:-The writ petitioner happens to be the widow of the deceased employee, namely, late Jagarnath Ojha. Her husband was appointed in the year 1968 as Driller Staff in Bhawanathpur Lime Stone Mines on permanent basis, the services was confirmed on 01.07.1971 being Permanent Staff No.5360. He was died in harness on 02.12.1974. The writ petitioner was directed to submit all relevant documents and duly attested photographs for payment of death-cum-retiral benefits and also for fixation of family pension. The SAIL has not given any family pension and other benefits to the writ petitioner and as such, the information was obtained under Right to Information Act which was supplied to the writ petitioner stating therein that the husband of the writ petitioner was working, however, it was stated that as there is delay, his file cannot be traced. The writ petitioner has pursued the matter before the authority but however, to that no effect, therefore, the writ petition was filed praying inter-alia therein for a direction to make payment of death-cum-retiral benefits, to provide appointment on compassionate ground and to release the family pension.The respondent-SAIL has appeared before the learned Single Judge taking the plea about non-availability of service record of the deceased.The learned Single Judge after taking into consideration the fact that the husband of the writ petitioner has died in the year 1974 and the writ petition has been filed in the year 2017 i.e., after lapse of 43 years and further, no material particulars or supporting documents have been annexed to the writ petition.3. Mr. Rajeeva Sharma, learned Senior Counsel appearing for the writ petitioner assisted by Mrs. Neetu Singh has submitted that the fact about employment of husband of the writ petitioner is not in dispute. The death in harness on 02.12.1974 is also not in dispute but as yet no terminal benefit, appointment on compassionate ground as also the family pension have given on the ground of non-availability of the record.With respect to delay of 43 years on the date of filing of the writ petition, submission has been made to take lenient view on compassion.4. Mr. Indrajit Sinha, learned counsel appearing for the respondent-SAIL has appeared and contested the case by defending the order passed by the learned Single Judge.He submits that there is no infirmity in the impugned order since the writ petitioner has admittedly approached to this Court after lapse of 43 years and as such, on the ground of principle of delay and laches, the writ petition has rightly been dismissed.5. We have heard the learned counsel for the parties and gone across the material available on record as also finding recorded in the impugned order.The admitted fact herein is that the writ petitioner has raised the claim by filing the writ petition in the year 2017 for the cause of action which have occurred way back on 02.12.1974, the death of the husband of the writ petitioner.6. The learned Single Judge has dismissed the writ petition on the ground of inordinate delay and laches.7. This Court, in order to scrutinize the legality and propriety of the finding recorded by the learned Single Judge, has considered the judgment rendered by the Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of U.P. Jal Nigam & Anr. V. Jaswant Singh & Anr. reported in (2006) 11 SCC 464, wherein on the ground of principle of delay and laches as under paragraph-9 to 11, it has been laid down that the delay disentitles a party to discretionary relief under Article 226 or Article 32 of the Constitution of India, for ready reference paragraph 9 to 11 reads as hereunder:-“9. Similarly in Jagdish Lal v. State of Haryana reported in (1997) 6 SCC 538 this Court reaffirmed the rule if a person chose to sit over the matter and then woke up after the decision of the court, then such person cannot stand to benefit. In that case it was observed as follows: (SCC p. 542)‘The delay disentitles a party to discretionary relief under Article 226 or Article 32 of the Constitution. The appellants kept sleeping over their rights for long and woke up when they had the impetus from Union of India v. Virpal Singh Chauhan reported in (1995) 6 SCC 684. The appellants’ desperate attempt to redo the seniority is not amenable to judicial review at this belated stage’10. In Union of India v. C.K. Dharagupta reported in (1997) 3 SCC 395 it was observed as follows: (SCC p. 398, para 9)‘9. We, however, clarify that in view of our finding that the judgment of the Tribunal in R.P. Joshi v. Union of India gives relief only to Joshi, the benefit of the said judgment of the Tribunal cannot be extended to any other person. The respondent C.K. Dharagupta (since retired) is seeking benefit of Joshi case. In view of our finding that the benefit of the judgment of the Tribunal dated 17-3-1987 could only be given to Joshi and nobody else, even Dharagupta is not entitled to any relief.’11. In Govt. of W.B. v. Tarun K. Roy reported in (2004) 1 SCC 347, Their Lordships considered delay as serious factor and have not granted relief. Therein it was observed as follows: (SCC pp. 359-60, para 34)34. The respondents furthermore are not even entitled to any relief on the ground of gross delay and laches on their part in filing the writ petition. The first two writ petitions were filed in the year 1976 wherein the respondents herein approached the High Court in 1992. In between 1976 and 1992 not only two writ petitions had been decided, but one way or the other, even the matter had been considered by this Court in State of W.B. v. Debdas Kumar reported in (1991) Supp (1) SCC 138. The plea of delay, which Mr Krishnamani states, should be a ground for denying the relief to the other persons similarly situated would operate against the respondents. Furthermore, the other employees not being before this Court although they are ventilating their grievances before appropriate courts of law, no order should be passed which would prejudice their cause. In such a situation, we are not prepared to make any observation only for the purpose of grant of some relief to the respondents to which they are not legally entitled to so as to deprive others therefrom who may be found to be entitled thereto by a court of law.”In the case of Harwindra Kumar v. Chief Engineer, Karmik & Ors. reported in (2005) 13 SCC 300, wherein, the Court refused to extend the benefit applying the principle of delay and laches. It was held that an important factor in exercise of discretionary relief under Article 226 of the Constitution of India is laches and delay. When a person who is not vigilant of his rights and acquiesces into the situation, his writ petition cannot be heard after a couple of years on the ground that the same relief should be granted to him as was granted to the persons similarly situated who were vigilant about their rights and challenged their retirement.In the case of Govt. of West Bengal v. Tarun K. Roy & Ors. reported in (2004) 1 SCC 347, Their Lordships considered delay as serious factor and have not granted relief. Therein it was observed at para-34 which reads hereunder as:-“34.The respondents furthermore are not even entitled to any relief on the ground of gross delay and laches on their part in filing the writ petition. The first two writ petitions were filed in the year 1976 wherein the respondents herein approached the High Court in 1992. In between 1976 and 1992 not only two writ petitions had been decided, but one way or the other, even the matter had been considered by this Court in State of W.B. v. Debdas Kumar reported in (1991) Supp (1) SCC 138. The plea of delay, which Mr Krishnamani states, should be a ground for denying the relief to the other persons similarly situated would operate against the respondents. Furthermore, the other employees not being before this Court although they are ventilating their grievances before appropriate courts of law, no order should be passed which would prejudice their cause. In such a situation, we are not prepared to make any observation only for the purpose of grant of some relief to the respondents to which they are not legally entitled to so as to deprive others therefrom who may be found to be entitled thereto by a court of law.”8. In view of the aforesaid position of law, we have examined the factual aspect involved in this case wherefrom, it is evident that the husband of

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the writ petitioner was died on 02.12.1974 and for the first time an application was filed under Right to Information Act for seeking information which was provided on 08.02.2013 and thereafter, the writ petition was filed in the year 2017 and as such, there is delay of about 43 years.The fact of laches and delay has been taken as a condition in the counter affidavit for dismissal of the writ petition coupled with the fact of non-availability of the record.9. Learned Single Judge of this Court has agreed with the ground/submission advanced on behalf of respondent-SAIL and has dismissed the writ petition.10. We, on the basis of the ratio laid down by the Hon’ble Apex Court as referred hereinabove, are of the view that the order passed by the learned Single Judge requires no interference on the ground of principle of delay and laches.Further, the writ petitioner has not been able to produce any documents in substance of her claim.11. In that view of the matter, the instant appeal lacks merit and accordingly, dismissed.
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