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Union of Indai owning, Rep. by its General Manager & Others v/s M/s. The Tata Iron & Steel Company Ltd., Rep. by its Legal Manager cum Constituted Attorney A.K. Bhaduri & Another


Company & Directors' Information:- TATA STEEL LIMITED [Active] CIN = L27100MH1907PLC000260

Company & Directors' Information:- S A L STEEL LIMITED [Active] CIN = L29199GJ2003PLC043148

Company & Directors' Information:- M M S STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27109TZ1996PTC006849

Company & Directors' Information:- G. O. STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27100PB2007PTC031033

Company & Directors' Information:- INDIA IRON AND STEEL CORPORATION LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27106DL2006PLC149653

Company & Directors' Information:- C P S STEEL INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27104TZ2003PTC010552

Company & Directors' Information:- J M G STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27105BR1992PTC004985

Company & Directors' Information:- J. J. IRON AND STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27106MH2008PTC188056

Company & Directors' Information:- H L STEEL PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U27107AS1992PTC003726

Company & Directors' Information:- K V M STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U29141DL1988PTC031248

Company & Directors' Information:- J D IRON PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51420DL1996PTC079084

Company & Directors' Information:- K STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27104JH1973PTC000998

Company & Directors' Information:- S P IRON PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27106DL2005PTC136441

Company & Directors' Information:- R. J. STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U28112MH2009PTC193047

Company & Directors' Information:- M M STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27107MH2001PTC131270

Company & Directors' Information:- A M R IRON AND STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27100MH2003PTC140824

Company & Directors' Information:- B L STEEL PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U51909WB1981PTC034021

Company & Directors' Information:- R K G STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27109DL2004PTC128852

Company & Directors' Information:- V B STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U28112MH2010PTC211691

Company & Directors' Information:- I B STEEL COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U28910MH2010PTC211344

Company & Directors' Information:- Y D STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27109WB1997PTC086155

Company & Directors' Information:- J S C STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27106UP2013PTC061568

Company & Directors' Information:- S. M. STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51101MH2013PTC239811

Company & Directors' Information:- K L IRON AND STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27310UP2012PTC051496

Company & Directors' Information:- R K P STEEL LTD [Active] CIN = L27109WB1980PLC033206

Company & Directors' Information:- M K IRON PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27109CH1997PTC019501

Company & Directors' Information:- C P STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27100WB2008PTC127447

Company & Directors' Information:- A. K. J. STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U28112WB2010PTC144880

Company & Directors' Information:- J P IRON AND STEEL LTD [Active] CIN = U27106PB1994PLC014838

Company & Directors' Information:- C D STEEL PVT LTD [Under Liquidation] CIN = U27109WB1981PTC034340

Company & Directors' Information:- P P IRON & STEEL PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U27109WB2005PTC106080

Company & Directors' Information:- G K IRON AND STEEL COMPANY LIMITED [Active] CIN = U13100KA2005PLC065824

Company & Directors' Information:- T M S STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U02710TZ1996PTC007498

Company & Directors' Information:- O P G IRON & STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27109WB2005PTC103315

Company & Directors' Information:- P M R STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51102DL2003PTC122675

Company & Directors' Information:- C T STEEL PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U27109WB2005PTC106634

Company & Directors' Information:- P G STEEL PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U24111AS1998PTC005409

Company & Directors' Information:- STEEL UNION PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U51420WB1940PTC010133

Company & Directors' Information:- A AND S STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U63090DL1987PTC027835

Company & Directors' Information:- UNION GENERAL CO LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U10200WB1950PLC018697

Company & Directors' Information:- A. G. IRON & STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27310WB2008PTC123843

Company & Directors' Information:- J S STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U52190CT1978PTC001432

Company & Directors' Information:- U M STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27209TN1986PTC013670

Company & Directors' Information:- E & G STEEL INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U28113PN2009PTC134643

Company & Directors' Information:- L N STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27310WB2007PTC118206

Company & Directors' Information:- K. D. W. STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U28910UP2011PTC043976

Company & Directors' Information:- R. N. STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27100WB2007PTC116588

Company & Directors' Information:- P M STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27105MP1982PTC001915

Company & Directors' Information:- M R STEEL (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27100TG2013PTC088808

Company & Directors' Information:- C K STEEL PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U29150WB1975PTC030259

Company & Directors' Information:- G R IRON & STEEL PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U51909WB1991PTC053653

Company & Directors' Information:- H P IRON PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27100DL2009PTC191318

Company & Directors' Information:- A M Q STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27310UP2012PTC053823

Company & Directors' Information:- K STEEL & COMPANY PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U51909WB1991PTC053960

Company & Directors' Information:- D A IRON AND STEEL COMPANY PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U27103PB1994PTC014497

Company & Directors' Information:- N S STEEL PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U27106PB1980PTC004266

Company & Directors' Information:- P S IRON AND STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51909PB2000PTC023340

Company & Directors' Information:- M. L. IRON PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U27101DL2011PTC220421

Company & Directors' Information:- P K IRON PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U34300WB1981PTC034415

Company & Directors' Information:- R C STEEL PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U28112AS1980PTC001811

Company & Directors' Information:- UNION STEEL (INDIA) PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27107MH1995PTC094592

Company & Directors' Information:- M K G STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1995PTC066480

Company & Directors' Information:- P D STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U74899DL1989PTC038426

Company & Directors' Information:- A K STEEL PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U99999DL1961PTC003566

Company & Directors' Information:- H S P STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27100MH2013PTC242983

Company & Directors' Information:- R B R STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51103PB2013PTC037791

Company & Directors' Information:- D H STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27109RJ2012PTC039742

Company & Directors' Information:- R A STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Active] CIN = U51909MH2014PTC253625

Company & Directors' Information:- V M IRON PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U51909PN2012PTC142963

Company & Directors' Information:- C M D IRON & STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U52100UP2013PTC057889

Company & Directors' Information:- K M D IRON & STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U52300UP2013PTC055973

Company & Directors' Information:- D N IRON AND STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27310DL2004PTC126698

Company & Directors' Information:- N. V. STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27310DL2009PTC186541

Company & Directors' Information:- K. D. STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U28939DL2012PTC244467

Company & Directors' Information:- STEEL INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U00349KA1958PTC001309

Company & Directors' Information:- VERSUS IRON AND STEEL PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U27109MH1997PTC109497

Company & Directors' Information:- STEEL CO PVT LTD [Strike Off] CIN = U51109WB1947PTC015981

Company & Directors' Information:- GENERAL CORPORATION LIMITED [Not available for efiling] CIN = U99999MH1926PTC001261

Company & Directors' Information:- GENERAL CORPORATION LIMITED [Dissolved] CIN = U99999MH1946PLC007742

    C.M.P. Nos. 19401 of 2017, 552 of 2021 & M.P. No. 1 of 2015 in C.M.A.SR. Nos. 99948 of 2008, 69499 of 2017

    Decided On, 21 January 2021

    At, High Court of Judicature at Madras

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE S.M. SUBRAMANIAM

    For the Petitioner: M. Vellaisamy, G. Bharadwaj, Advocates. For the Respondent: No appearance.



Judgment Text

(Prayer: Miscellaneous Petition is filed under Section 23(3) of the Railway Claims Tribunal Act, to condone the delay of 562 days in filing the above Civil Miscellaneous Appeal)1. The Civil Miscellaneous Petition on hand is filed Section 23(3) of the Railway Claims Tribunal Act, to condone the delay of 562 days in filing the above Civil Miscellaneous Appeal2. The reasons stated in the affidavit filed in support of the miscellaneous petition reveals that there was an administrative delay in getting approval from the Higher Authorities to file an appeal. At the outset, it is contended that on account of administrative delay, the appeal was filed belatedly and the delay of 562 days is to be condoned.3. Long delay cannot be condoned merely on the ground that the authorities have committed lapses, negligence and dereliction of duty in filing the appeal within a limitation period.4. The only reason stated in the affidavit filed in support of this miscellaneous petition is that there is an administrative delay. Mere administrative delay is insufficient to condone the enormous delay of 562 days in filing the appeal. Except the above reason, no other reason has been stated for condoning the delay of 562 days in filing the above appeal.5. This Court has to consider whether such a long administrative delay can be condoned in a mechanical manner or not. Undoubtedly, there is a possibility of some administrative delay in certain unavoidable circumstances. However, such administrative delay, if exceeds and the delay is enormous, then it cannot be condoned in a mechanical manner. The Petitioner being a public authority, they are bound to be vigilant and prompt in performing their duties and responsibilities. Small amount of delay can be condoned by taking a lenient view. However, long delay cannot be condoned in the absence of any valid and acceptable reasons.6. In recent years, these public authorities are found to be frequently negligent and committing dereliction of duty in respect of dealing with such appeals and other cases. There is a general trend that the public authorities are having lack of sincerity and committing dereliction on duty. These negligence and dereliction of duty are serious misconducts and therefore, the higher authorities are bound to ensure that the officials are performing their duties and responsibilities with utmost care and with devotion to duty. Any such lapse or dereliction of duty is to be enquired into properly and all appropriate actions are to be initiated to ensure initiations of appropriate disciplinary proceedings. Therefore, the authorities cannot approach the Court in a routine or mechanical manner with a huge delay in filing an appeal. Every such delay is to be explained in a proper manner and the Courts are also to ensure that unexplained delay is not condoned in a routine manner.7. Perusal of the affidavit shows that there is absolutely no acceptable reason for the purpose of condoning the enormous delay of 562 days in filing the appeal. The reasons stated in the affidavit must be convincing, enabling this Court to consider the condonation of delay. Huge delay cannot be condoned in a routine manner. Law of Limitation is substantive. Condonation of delay is an exception. Only on genuine reasons, delay can be condoned by exercising the power of discretion.8. Mechanical way of condoning delay is undoubtedly impermissible. The condonation of delay can never be a mechanical affair and the High Court cannot condone the delay in a routine manner. Courts are bound to ensure that the reasons for condoning such delays are recorded, so as to set out a precedent and to avoid mechanical way of condonation of delay. When the law provides limitation for preferring an appeal and the proviso clause as contemplates the power of discretion to the Court to condone the delay, then such discretionary powers are to be exercised judiciously and by recording reasons. It is not as if, the High Courts can condone the delay in a routine manner, so as to dilute the law of limitation as contemplated under the Statutes. Thus, in all cases, where there is an enormous delay in filing an appeal, the Courts are bound to ascertain the reasons and its genuinity and the acceptability of such reasons. Every litigant is expected to prefer an appeal within the period of limitation stipulated in the statute. On account of certain unavoidable reasons, if the appeal is filed with some delay, then the Courts are vested with the discretionary power to condone such a delay. Rule is to file an appeal in time and condonation is an exception, which is to be exercised discreetly and by recording reasons. Recording of reasons are of paramount importance in order to maintain consistency in the matter of condonation of delay.9. Discretionary powers are expected to be exercised by the Courts judiciously. Any reasonable delay or the reasons, which all are valid and acceptable alone can form an opinion for exercising the power of discretion in the matter of condonation of delay. Thus, uncondonable delay cannot be condoned and what all are the condonable delay and the reasons stated and its validity, which all are important, so as to exercise the power of discretion. The very purpose and object of providing discretionary powers to the Courts are to ensure that the justice is done in an appropriate manner. Because of some genuine delay, the rights of the litigants cannot be neutralized and they should not be deprived of remedy from the Court of law. Therefore, the power of discretion, which is provided with genuine intention, cannot be diluted nor be neutralized by condoning the delay in a casual manner. Thus, while exercising the power of discretion, Courts are expected to be cautious and the reasons for condonation must be recorded and in the absence of recording any reasons, the Courts are not considering the substantive law of limitation. Therefore, the law must prevail in all circumstances and discretion must be exercised discreetly and with caution.10. Uncondonable delay cannot be condoned. Law expects that every such delay is to be explained. Unexplained delay cannot be condoned. Such unexplained delay is to be construed as uncondonable. Thus, delay under what circumstances, would be condonable is the relevant point to be considered by the Courts, while condoning such enormous delay.11. Parties are expected to file their respective appeals within the period of limitation stipulated in the statute. Undoubtedly, certain unforeseen circumstances may be the reason for delay. However, such unforeseen circumstances or reasons, which all are genuine, must be clearly and truthfully explained in the affidavit filed in support of the miscellaneous petition. In the present case, reading of the affidavit reveals that there is no valid and acceptable reason for the purpose of condoning the enormous delay of 562 days in filing an appeal. In the event of condoning such a long delay, undoubtedly, the same will set a wrong precedent and every such delay is to be condoned in other circumstances. Therefore, in the absence of any valid reasons, the Courts would not condone such an enormous delay. Undoubtedly, meagre delay can be condoned by taking a lenient view. Even to condone such a small delay, Court has to fi

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nd out, whether there is any sensible reason for such delay. Therefore, the Courts have to adopt a liberal approach only in small delays and certainly not in the cases of enormous delay. Thus, this Court has no hesitation in arriving a conclusion that the reasons stated in the affidavit filed in support of the miscellaneous petition are neither candid nor convincing and therefore, the delay is to be construed as uncondonable.12. In view of the reasons stated above, this Court has no hesitation in arriving a conclusion that the reasons stated by the petitioner for condoning the long delay of 562 days are neither candid nor convincing and consequently, the Miscellaneous Petition in M.P.No.1 of 2009 stands dismissed and consequently, C.M.A.SR.No.99948 of 2008 is rejected at the SR Stage itself. No costs.
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