At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC
By, THE HONOURABLE MS. JUSTICE DEEPA SHARMA
By, PRESIDING MEMBER
For the Petitioner: Abhijeet Kumar, Advocate. For the Respondents: In person.
Through Video Conferencing
The present Revision Petition, under Section 58 (1) (b) of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 (for short “the Act”) has been filed by the Petitioner against the order dated 22.07.2016 of the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, West Bengal (for short “the State Commission”) in MA No.69 of 2016 in Revision Petition No.7 of 2016. By the impugned order, the Revision Petition which was filed with a delay of 57 days was dismissed as being filed beyond the period of limitation and the application MA/69/2016 seeking condonation of delay was also dismissed.
2. It is submitted by the learned Counsel for the Petitioner that the delay was only of 57 days and had occurred due to the fact that father of the learned Counsel, to whom the matter was assigned, was unwell and the learned Counsel was busy in attending to his father’s his medical needs. On these contentions, it is submitted that the impugned order be set aside.
3. It is argued by the Respondent, who is present in person, that the Petitioner is just delaying the matter and misappropriating the public money and that they were well aware of the impugned order which was passed in their presence and they did not care to file the Revision Petition within limitation.
4. I have heard the arguments of the parties and have perused the relevant material on record.
5. Vide the Revision Petition No.7 of 2016, the Petitioner had challenged the order of the District Forum dated 25.08.2015 in Complaint No.132 of 2014 which was a miscellaneous order. The Petitioner ought to have filed an Appeal. It seems that the State Commission had not rejected the Revision Petition and treated it as an Appeal. This Appeal was filed, as observed by the State Commission in the impugned order, with a delay of 57 days excluding the permissible period of 90 days for preferring a Revision Petition. Therefore, the said first challenge to the District Forum’s order was filed on expiry of 147 days from the date of the order of the District Forum, as the period of limitation for filing the first challenge, i.e., an Appeal is 30 days. Instead of filing the Appeal, the Petitioner had filed the Revision Petition just to show on record that the delay was only of 57 days, although it was more than 100 days of delay. The Petitioner thus had not invoked the jurisdiction of the State Commission with clean hands.
6. The State Commission has observed in the impugned order as under:
“It is striking to note that the impugned order was passed on 25.08.2015 but there was no endeavour or initiative to obtain the certified copy of the said order before 05.10.15 . The fact shows lack of diligence and seriousness about filing any revision petition against the impugned order. Though it is a fact that obtaining approval of appropriate authority in the matter of filing appeal against any order involves a set of formalities, it cannot be accepted that such formalities will take unusual time where the matter needs to be dealt with seriously and expeditiously by the concerned office/officials . In the present case, the blame appears to have been shifted to the Ld. Advocate of the revisionist without submission of any proof showing that there was any serious or timely attempt on the part of the revisionist to file the revision petition against the impugned order within the permissible period of 90 days which is not a very short period. In this connection we have reason to rely upon the observation of the Hon’ble Supreme Court made in the case of Anshul Aggarwal –vs- New Okhla Industrial Development Authority as cited by the OP which is as follows:
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 revision 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 .
Going by the above discussion we are inclined to hold that in the present case , the prayer for condonation of delay is not backed by sufficient / satisfactory cause and accordingly the prayer is liable to be rejected.
MA/69/16 stands disposed of accordingly.
The revision petition, in the result, stands dismissed as barred by limitation.”
7. From the above, it is apparent that the Petitioner had failed to explain that it had acted diligently and had failed to give any reason for condonation of delay. The ground on which condonation sought is that the Advocate to whom the matter was assigned for filing the challenge was busy in attending his ailing father. The Petitioner, admittedly, had a battery of panel lawyers at its disposal and if for one reason, the counsel to whom the file was given was unable to attend the case for personal reasons, the Petitioner if had acted diligently and rea
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sonably could have assigned the matter to some other Advocate and would have ensured that the challenge is represented before the appropriate forum within the period of limitation. The facts also show that there is an undue delay in obtaining the certified copy as well. In fact the period of limitation for filing an Appeal had already expired when the application for obtaining the certified copy was filed. 8. In view of the above, I found no illegality and infirmity in the impugned order. The present Revision Petition has no merit and the same is dismissed.