At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC
By, THE HONOURABLE MS. JUSTICE DEEPA SHARMA
By, PRESIDING MEMBER
For the Petitioner: Saroj Kumar Pandey, Advocate. For the Respondent: -----------
The present Revision Petition, under Section 21(b) of Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (for short “the Act”) has been filed against the order dated 20.11.2018, dismissing the Appeal of the Bihar State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Patna (for short “the State Commission”) in Appeal No.263 of 2018 of the Petitioner against the order dated 26.06.2015 of the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Buxar (for short “the District Forum”) in Complaint No.56 of 2014.
2. The present Revision Petition has been filed with a delay of 109 days and hence an application for condonation of delay has also been filed by the Petitioner along with the Revision Petition.
3. Arguments on the application for condonation of delay are heard. It is contended that the delay had occurred because the senior counsel had lost the file and therefore, the Revision Petition could not be filed within the period of limitation.
4. I have given thoughtful consideration to the contention of the learned counsel. It is a settled preposition of law that law has to be applied equally to all. No doubt, the courts/commissions have the discretion to extend the period of limitation on equitable grounds, however, the courts/commissions cannot ignore the provision of law only because delay caused inconvenience to a particular party. Unless the applicant explains to the court that there was sufficient cause for such delay, the courts are prevented from exercising its jurisdiction in extending the period of limitation or condoning it. The sufficient cause means adequate and enough reasons which prevented a party from approaching the court within limitation. The party is required to show that it had been acting diligently and remained active and that the delay had occurred for the reasons which were beyond its control. In the case of “Ram Lal and Ors. vs. Rewa Coalfields Limited, AIR 1962 Supreme Court 361” the Hon’ble Supreme Court has held that condonation of delay is not a matter of right and where sufficient reasons are not shown, the courts have no discretion to condone the delay and have to dismiss the application. The Apex 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.”
5. In “R. B. Ramlingam vs. R. B. Bhavaneshwari, I (2009) (2) CLJ (SC) 24 the Hon’ble Supreme Court has held as under:
"5. 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.”
6. In the case of “Anshul Aggarwal vs. New Okhla Industrial Development Authority, (2011) 14 SCC 578,” the Hon’ble Supreme Court has clearly stated that the special nature of the Act has to be kept in mind while dealing with the applications for condonation of delay. The 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 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 Fora."
7. It is a settled proposition of law that delay of each and every day has to be explained by showing sufficient reasons a
Please Login To View The Full Judgment!
nd grounds. In the present case, the only reason for delay as contended is that the file was lost by senior counsel. The application is very vague. No date as to when the file was assigned to the senior counsel who had lost the file, is disclosed in the application. I am satisfied that the Petitioner has failed to explain the reasons for delay. The application has no merit and the same is dismissed. Revision Petition Consequently, the Revision Petition is dismissed in limine.