At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. ANUP K THAKUR
By, PRESIDING MEMBER
For the Petitioner: Harshita Chauhan, Advocate. For the Respondent: -----
1. Learned counsel appearing for the petitioner requested that the petitioner be allowed to file an amended revision petition in order that certain screenshots may be placed on record which support this revision petition. She submits that these screenshots have been placed before the lower fora but were missed out in this revision petition.2. Before this request could be considered, learned counsel was asked to explain the delay of 464 days, as per computation made by the Registry, in filing of this revision petition. She submitted that the delay was totally on account of the previous counsel who had failed to communicate the impugned order of the State Commission to the petitioner/OP.3. I.A. No.1618 of 2021 is an application that has been filed with this revision petition seeking condonation of delay. In this revision petition that the delay has been shown to be only 19 days. As already noted, in fact, the delay is of the order of 464 days. To understand how the delay claimed is of only 19 days, Para 3 to para 6 of the condonation application are reproduced below:“3. That the Petitioner has learnt of the dismissal of Appeal only on 03.10.2020 when it perused the records on www.confonet.in and found the Impugned Order uploaded thereon, much to its shock. It is submitted that the Petitioner had earlier checked the records of this website periodically but had not come across a copy of this order uploaded on an earlier date. It is most pertinent to note that a free copy of the Impugned Order has not been supplied to the Petitioner till date.4. That immediately on learning of the Impugned Order on 03.10.2020, the Petitioner contacted its Delhi based law firm ‘Commercial Law Chamber’ (CLC) for an explanation of this dismissal order and the reason for non-communication of the same to it, timely. It has been informed by CLC that they themselves had been routinely following up with the local counsel but he had failed to provide any update on the matter. In fact, they had to change the local counsel in July 2020 for various consumer matters in the state of Kerala and now even responsibility of applying for the certified copy of the Impugned Order re the Appeal has been been handed over to the new local counsel in Thiruvananthapuram on 04.10.2020. The certified copy of the Impugned Order, however, is awaited as procuring documents and visiting the Ld. State Commission for inspection of the file is difficult for the local counsel in the times of pandemic, considering the country is reeling under an increasing number of cases of COVID positive patients. An affidavit from the Petitioner's attorney is annexed herewith.5. That immediately the Petitioner has instructed its current counsels CLC to take steps to file the accompanying Revision Petition against the Impugned Order. Instructions have also been given by the Petitioner to CLC to apply for certified copy of the Impugned Order amongst other orders passed by the Ld. State Commission in the Appeal.6. That it is humbly submitted that the delay in preferring the Revision Petition is unintentional and inadvertent and on account of negligence of its advocates which is a circumstance beyond the control of the Petitioner.”4. It would be clear from a plain reading of above that it is as if the petitioner itself despite having a legal cell and the apparatus for pursuing legal matters, as it indeed should have, was completely dependent upon a local counsel who did not keep the petitioner informed. This is the explanation for coming to learn about the impugned order dated 27.6.2019 on 3.10.2020 i.e. more than a year and three months. Thereafter, the application states in para 7 that “That the Appellant has sufficient cause for the condonation of the 19 days of delay and has good case on merits”.5. In my view the above explanation for delay is completely and totally unsatisfactory and amounts to making a travesty of the law of limitation and the due proc
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ess of the courts.6. Though not necessary to reject this delay application, it is as well to mention that the impugned order under revisionary challenge had dismissed the appeal for non-prosecution. Apparently, no lessons were learnt by the petitioner.7. In view of the discussion above, I.A. No.1618 of 2021, application for condonation of delay is declined. Consequently, the revision petition stands dismissed at the stage of admission.