K.S. Chaudhari, Presiding Member
This revision petition has been filed by the petitioner against the order dated 03.10.2011 passed by the M.P. State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Bhopal (in short, ‘the State Commission’) in Appeal No. 1844 of 2010 – Anunay Vs. Vinayak Missions University & Anr. by which, while allowing appeal, order of District Forum dismissing complaint was set aside and complaint was allowed.
2. Brief facts of the case are that complainant/respondent was admitted in OP No. 2/Petitioner Institute. Complainant deposited fees, but as neither study was proper, nor Institute got recognition, complainant prayed for refund of the fees. Alleging deficiency on the part of OPs, complainant filed complaint before District Forum. OP resisted complaint and submitted that no refund is payable as per undertaking given by the complainant. Learned District Forum after hearing both the parties dismissed complaint against which, appeal filed by the complainant was allowed by learned State Commission vide impugned order and State Commission directed OP No. 2 to refund Rs.1,25,000/- along with 6% p.a. interest and further awarded cost of Rs.1,000/- against which, this revision petition has been filed along with application for condonation of delay.
3. Heard learned Counsel for the petitioner on application for condonation of delay and perused record.
4. Petitioner filed application for condonation of delay of 485 days and submitted that delay of 485 days was unintentional; hence, it may be condoned. Paragraph 4 of the application runs as under
'4. That the petitioner respectfully submits that there is a delay of filing the present petition is 485 days. It is submitted that the petitioner was not aware about the final order and thereafter, the petitioner also did not contact with the counsel who was dealing his case in Bhopal and he was under the impression that the appeal was still pending adjudication before learned State Commission. Petitioner only on 6.4.2013 enquired about the proceedings but he came to know about the impugned order and also came to know that there are certain directions have been passed against petitioner institute. Thereafter, petitioner applied for the certified copy of impugned order and on 12.4.2013, he received the same and thereafter petitioner contacted present conducting counsel but unfortunately present conducting counsel was on bed-rest then thereafter he again came to the office of conducting counsel on 27.4.2013 and requested to file the present revision petition'.
5. Learned Counsel for the petitioner submitted that as delay was unintentional and petitioner has good case on merit, delay in filing revision petition be condoned.
6. Perusal of record reveals that after hearing Counsel for Petitioner and Respondent No. 1/Complainant No. 1, learned State Commission delivered judgment on 3.10.2011 and in such circumstances, it cannot be presumed that petitioner remained under the impression upto 6.4.2013 that appeal was still pending before State Commission. Either the petitioner should have contacted his Counsel appearing before State Commission or the Counsel appearing before the State Commission should have apprised fate of appeal to the petitioner. Inordinate delay of 485 days cannot be condoned simply on the ground that petitioner was under the impression that appeal was still pending.
7. No doubt, petitioner applied for certified copy of the impugned order on 12.4.2013 and it was received by him on 12.4.2013 and revision petition was filed on 30.4.2013 with promptness, but as there is no proper explanation regarding condonation of inordinate delay upto 5.4.2013, application for condonation of delay is liable to be dismissed in the light of the following judgments:
8. In Ram Lal and Ors. Vs. RewaCoalfields Ltd., AIR 1962 Supreme Court 361, it has been observed;
'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.'
9. In R.B. Ramlingam Vs. R.B. Bhavaneshwari 2009 (2) Scale 108, it has been observed:
'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.'
10. Hon’ble Supreme Court after exhaustively considering the case law on the aspect of condonation of delay observed in Oriental Aroma Chemical Industries Ltd. Vs. Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation reported in (2010) 5 SCC 459 as under;
'We have considered the respective submissions. The law of limitation is founded on public policy. The legislature does not prescribe limitation with the object of destroying the rights of the parties but to ensure that they do not resort to dilatory tactics and seek remedy without delay. The idea is that every legal remedy must be kept alive for a period fixed by the legislature. To put it differently, the law of limitation prescribes a period within which legal remedy can be availed for redress of the legal injury. At the same time, the courts are bestowed with the power to condone the delay, if sufficient cause is shown for not availing the remedy within the stipulated time.'
11. Hon’ble Apex Courtin 2012 (2) CPC 3 (SC) – AnshulAggarwal Vs. New Okhla Industrial Development Authority observed as under:
'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 prescribed 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 Foras'.
12. Hon’ble Apex Courtin (2012) 3 SCC 563 – Post Mast
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er General & Ors. Vs. Living Media India Ltd. and Anr. has not condoned delay in filing appeal even by Government department and further observed that condonation of delay is an exception and should not be used as an anticipated benefit for the Government departments. Thus, it becomes clear that there is no reasonable explanation at all for condonation of inordinate delay of 485 days. In such circumstances, application for condonation of delay is dismissed. 13. As application for condonation of delay is liable to be dismissed, revision petition being time barred is also liable to be dismissed. 14. Consequently, revision petition filed by the petitioner being barred by limitation is dismissed at admission stage with no order as to costs.