Condonation of delay rejected due to ‘lackadaisical approach’ of the applicant

Sikkim High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Meenakshi Madan Rai, Acting CJ. dismissed an application for condonation of 115 days’ delay in filing the appeal, filed under Section 173(1) of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.

The appeal was to be filed against a decision of Motor Accident Claims Tribunal. However, there was a delay of 115 days in filing the appeal, the purported reason of which, according to the applicant, being the departmental procedure of approvals before filing an appeal. It was submitted that the delay was neither intentional nor willful.

The High Court perused Section 173 and observed that it was to be seen whether the applicant was prevented by sufficient cause from preferring the appeal in time. The grounds as taken by the applicant were considered by the Court, which then held that the conduct of the applicant cannot be said to be beyond reproach. The impugned judgment was pronounced ex parte as the applicant failed to appear before the MACT. Further, the file, while seeking the opinion of various officers of the Company, was sent from one desk to another. It was observed that ‘justice’ means justice to the applicant as well as the respondent. The Court held the conduct of the applicant to be lackadaisical and, hence, rejected the application filed by the applicant. [Shriram General Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Kezang Kazi, 2018 SCC OnLine Sikk 128, dated 03-07-2018]

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