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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sec.5 of Limitation Act - Delay of 481 days in filing special leave petition - Moving file from department to another department is not a valid reason for condoning the delay - Limitation Act equally applies to the Govt. Bodies also - it is settled law that only in the absence of gross negligence or deliberate inaction or lack of bona fides, a liberal concession has to be adopted to advance substantial justice - Moving file from department to another department is not a valid ground - Apex court dismissed the petition = State of U.P. Thr. Exe. Engineer & Anr. …. Petitioner(s) Versus Amar Nath Yadav …..Respondent(s) = 2014 ( January vol - 1 ) judis.Nic. In / S.C. / file name = 41147

Sec.5 of Limitation Act - Delay of 481 days in filing special leave petition - Moving file from department to another department is not a valid reason for condoning the delay - Limitation Act equally applies to the Govt. Bodies also - it is settled law that only in the absence of gross  negligence  or deliberate inaction or lack of bona fides, a liberal  concession  has to be adopted to advance substantial justice - Moving file from department to another department is not a valid ground - Apex court dismissed the petition =
There is a delay of 481 days in filing this Special Leave Petition  and
     by means of present application petitioner seeks condonation thereof.
 In the application the petitioner  has  attributed  the  delay  to  the
     moving of file from one Department/ Officer to  the  other.  We  hardly
     find this to be a sufficient explanation for condoning such an abnormal
     delay. 
2014 ( January vol - 1 ) judis. Nic. In / S.C. / file name = 41147

                                                              NON-REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                        CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
               SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL) NO. _882_/ 2014
                    (Arising out of CC No. 20855 of 2013)

    State of U.P. Thr. Exe. Engineer & Anr.                  ….
    Petitioner(s)
                                   Versus
    Amar Nath Yadav
    …..Respondent(s)

                               J U D G M E N T
     A.K. SIKRI, J.




  1. There is a delay of 481 days in filing this Special Leave Petition  and
     by means of present application petitioner seeks condonation thereof.
  2. In the application the petitioner  has  attributed  the  delay  to  the
     moving of file from one Department/ Officer to  the  other.  We  hardly
     find this to be a sufficient explanation for condoning such an abnormal
     delay. This Court in the case of Postmaster General and Ors. vs. Living
     Media India Ltd.; (2012) 3 SCC 563 has deprecated such practices on the
     part of the Government Authorities/ Departments in the following words:-


           “It is not in dispute that the  person(s)  concerned  were  well
           aware or conversant  with  the  issues  involved  including  the
           prescribed period of limitation for taking up the matter by  way
           of filing a Special Leave Petition in this  Court.  They  cannot
           claim that they have a separate period of  limitation  when  the
           Department was possessed with competent  persons  familiar  with
           Court proceedings. In the absence of  plausible  and  acceptable
           explanation, we are posing a question why the  delay  is  to  be
           condoned mechanically merely because the Government or a wing of
           the Government is a party before us.


           Though we are  conscious  of  the  fact  that  in  a  matter  of
           condonation of delay 
when  there  was  no  gross  negligence  or
           deliberate inaction or lack of bona fides, 
a liberal  concession
           has to be adopted to advance substantial justice, 
we are of  the
           view that in the facts and circumstances, Department cannot take
           advantage of various earlier decisions. 
The claim on account  of
           impersonal machinery and inherited bureaucratic  methodology  of
           making several notes cannot be accepted in view  of  the  modern
           technologies being used and available.  
The  law  of  limitation
           undoubtedly binds everybody, including the Government.


           In our view, it is the right time to inform all  the  government
           bodies, their agencies and instrumentalities  that  unless  they
           have reasonable and acceptable explanation  for  the  delay  and
           there was bona fide effort, there is no need to accept the usual
           explanation that the file was  kept  pending  for  process.  The
           government departments are under a special obligation to  ensure
           that they perform their duties with  diligence  and  commitment.
           Condonation of delay is an exception and should not be  used  as
           an anticipated benefit for the Government Departments.  The  law
           shelters everyone under the same light and should not be swirled
           for the benefit of a few.


           Considering the  fact  that  there  was  no  proper  explanation
           offered by the Department for the  delay  except  mentioning  of
           various dates, according to us,  the  Department  has  miserably
           failed to give any acceptable and cogent reasons  sufficient  to
           condone such a huge delay. Accordingly, the appeals  are  liable
           to be dismissed on the ground of delay.


  3. We further find that in identical circumstances in similar type of case
     which also arose against the award of the Labour Court, upheld  by  the
     High Court this court had refused to condone the  delay  and  dismissed
     the Special Leave Petition on that ground. That was  CC  No.  5368/2013
     titled State of  U.P.  &  Ors.  vs.  Hanuman  which  was  dismissed  on
     11.3.2013. We had summoned the file of that  case  and  find  both  the
     cases are almost similar. Therefore, there  is  no  reason  to  take  a
     different view. We thus, dismiss this SLP on the ground of delay.


                                 …........................................J.
                                                        [K.S. RADHAKRISHNAN]








                                 …........................................J.
                                                                [A.K. SIKRI]


     New Delhi
     January 10, 2014




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