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M/s. DDF (Davood Fruit Merchant), Rep. by S. Davood v/s M/s. Murugan Cold Storage Pvt. Ltd.

    Revision Petition No. 2120 of 2013
    Decided On, 08 July 2013
    At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC
    By, MEMBER
    For the Petitioner: V. Sridhar Reddy, Advocate. For the Respondent: ----

Judgment Text
K.S. Chaudhari, Presiding Member

This revision petition has been filed by the petitioner against impugned order dated 04-07-2011 passed by the learned State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Andhra Pradesh (in short, ‘the State Commission’) in Appeal No.293 of 2009 – M/s DDF (Davood Fruit Merchant) Vs. M/s Murugan Cold Storage Pvt. Ltd. by which, while allowing the appeal, order of the District Forum allowing complaint partly, was set aside and complaint was dismissed.

2. Brief facts of the case are that complainant/petitioner purchased apples worth Rs.26,08,907/- and same were stored in cold storage of opposite party/respondent. When complainant was lifting the stock, he was informed that apples worth Rs. 20 lakhs have been damaged. Complainant alleged that apples were damaged due to mismanagement of opposite party and alleging deficiency on the part of the opposite party filed complaint before the District Forum. Opposite party contested the complaint. Learned District Forum after hearing both the parties partly allowed the complaint and directed opposite party to pay an amount of Rs. 4 lakhs along with 9% p.a. interest. Appeal filed by the respondent was allowed by learned State Commission vide impugned order, against which this revision petition has been filed along with application for condonation of delay.

3. Heard learned Counsel for the petitioner at admission stage and perused the record.

4. Petitioner, along with revision petition, has filed application for condonation of delay of 57 days whereas as per office report there is delay of 592 days in filing the revision petition. Perusal of application reveals that learned State Commission passed impugned order on 04-07-2011 and issued free copy on 12-07-2011. Petitioner contacted his advocate in the month of August, 2011 but as his file was missing from the advocate’s office, he could not get opinion from the advocate. In the third week of December, 2012 file was traced and petitioner applied for certified copy of the impugned order on 21-12-2012 and received on 27-12-2012. It was further mentioned that his counsel asked him to approach another advocate appearing in the National Commission and petitioner’s present counsel was approached in March, 2013 and revision petition has been filed on 24th May, 2013.

5. It becomes clear that instead of delay of only 57 days, there is delay of 592 days in preferring revision petition. No satisfactory explanation has been given for condonation of inordinate delay of 592 days. As per application, when he received another certified copy on 27-12-2012, he should have preferred revision petition immediately. When petitioner’s counsel was also approached in March, 2013, he should have filed revision petition immediately but revision petition has been filed on 24th May, 2013.

6. As per law, revision petition is to be filed within 90 days and after excluding period of limitation, this revision petition has been filed with inordinate delay of 592 days, which cannot be condoned.

7. 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.'

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. 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.'

10. Hon’ble Apex Courtin (2012) 3 SCC 563 – Post Master 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.

11. Hon’ble Apex Courtin 2012 (2) CPC 3 (SC) – AnsulAggarwal 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 an

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d 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'. Thus, it becomes clear that there is no reasonable explanation at all for condonation of inordinate delay of 592 days. 12. As revision petition has been filed after 592 days, application for condonation of days is liable to be dismissed and as revision petition is barred by limitation, revision petition is dismissed at admission stage. 13. Consequently, revision petition filed by the petitioner is dismissed as barred by limitation at admission stage with no order as to costs.