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The Branch Manager, Max New York Life Insurance Company Limited v/s Sanjeet & Others

    First Appeal No. 287 of 2015

    Decided On, 13 January 2016

    At, Haryana State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Panchkula

    By, MEMBER

    For the Appellant: Ravi Kant, Advocate. For the Respondents: J.S. Sandhu, Advocate.

Judgment Text

R.K. Bishnoi, Judicial Member

1. Alongwith the appeal he has filed an application under Section 5 of the Limitation Act, 1963 (in short ‘Act’) for condonation of delay of 146 days wherein it is alleged that impugned order came to it’s notice on 14.01.2015 after receiving execution notice. Thereafter the matter was enquired from it’s counsel who sent his clerk to obtain copy of impugned order dated 12.09.2014 which was made available on 10.03.2015. Learned counsel did not dispatch the certified copy on account of bonafide error. Thereafter lot of time was consumed to examine the matter and file this appeal. The delay is not intentional and the same is condoned.

2. Arguments heard. File perused.

3. Learned counsel for the appellant argued that impugned order came to it’s notice on 14.01.2015 when the execution notice was received, so the delay be condoned.

4. This argument is of no avail. From the perusal of impugned order dated 12.09.2014 it is clear that appellant/O.P. was represented by counsel. His presence is marked in impugned order dated 12.09.2014, so it cannot be presumed that appellant came to know about the impugned order on 14.01.2015 when notice in execution proceedings was received. There is no plausible explanation about the delay and version introduced by appellant seems to be after thought.

5. A period of 30 days has been provided for filing an appeal against the order of the District Forum. The proviso therein permits the State Commission to entertain an appeal after the expiry of the period of 30 days if it is satisfied that there is 'Sufficient cause' for not filing the appeal within the prescribed period. The expression of sufficient cause has not been defined in the Act rightly so, because it would vary from facts and circumstances of each case.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court in case Bikram Dass Vs. Financial Commissioner and others, AIR, 1977 Supreme Court 1221 has held that;

'Section 5 of the Limitation Act is a hard task-master and judicial interpretation has encased it within a narrow compass. A large measure of case-law has grown around S.5, its highlights being that one ought not easily to take away a right which has accrued to a party by lapse of time and that therefore a litigant who is not vigilant about his rights must explain every days delay.'

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.'

In Ram Lal and Ors. Vs. Rewa Coalfields 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.'

Hon’ble Supreme Court in Oriental Aroma Chemical Industries Ltd. Vs. Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation reported in (2010) 5 SCC 459 held 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.'

In 2012 (2) CPC 3 (SC) – Anshul Aggarwal Vs. New Okhla Industrial Development Authority, Hon’ble Apex Court 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'.

6. Taking into account the ground taken

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by the appellant in the application for condonation of delay, and the settled principle of law, this Commission does not find it a fit case to condone the delay of 146 days in filing of the appeal. 7. Hence, the application filed by the appellant is dismissed. Resultantly the appeal fails and the same is also hereby dismissed as time barred. 8. The statutory amount of Rs.25000/- deposited at the time of filing the appeal be refunded to the appellant against proper receipt and identification in accordance with rules, after the expiry of period of appeal/revision, if any.