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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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