Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court:  Lisa Gill, J. allowed the application for the refund of the fees on the ground that the matter was resolved between the parties.

An appeal was filed by the appellant-plaintiff against the order passed by the Additional Civil Judge (Senior Division), Faridabad where the suit for specific performance filed by the appellant was dismissed.

Rakesh Kumar Sharma, counsel for the applicant/appellant submitted that the appellant does not wish to pursue the appeal which was filed for the specific performance as the dispute between the parties had been resolved amicably.The applicant/appellant further prayed for the refund of the court fee.  Reliance was placed upon the decision of Division Bench of the Karnataka High Court in the case of A. Sreeramaiah v. South Indian Bank Ltd., 2006 SCC Online Kar 563 in which it was held that the matter being resolved by the parties amicably, amongst themselves without the intervention of the court, the court fees should be refunded.

In the above-mentioned case, the court held that the object behind Section 89 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 is to encourage the parties to arrive at the settlement. It is not important that the parties are referred to the four methods but if parties themselves at the earliest stage before the court come to the settlement, it will be considered that the object of Section 89 is achieved. The court further held that “No party should be discriminated in the matter of refund of Court Fees mainly on the ground that they have settled the dispute at the earliest stage before the court without recourse to any of the methods mentioned under Section 89 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908.” Thus, the court directed the refund of the court fees appended with the appeal to the appellant. [Raj Kumar v. Gainda Devi, 2019 SCC OnLine P&H 658decided on 29-5-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Vibhu Bhakru, J. dismissed a writ petition filed for recovering the application fee deposited with the Medical Council of India for establishment of a new medical college.

The petitioner had filed an application for establishing a new medical college before the MCI for the academic year commencing from 2014. However, the MCI rejected the application. Thereafter, the petitioner filed an application for refund of the application fee deposited, which application was also rejected. Aggrieved thus, the petitioner filed the instant petition for recovery of Rs 7 lakhs deposited as application fee along with interest thereon.

The High Court referred to Regulation 4 of the Establishment of Medical College Regulations, 1999. It was apparent on reading the said regulation that the application fee was non-refundable. On this count alone, the instant petition was liable to be dismissed. However, the High Court also noted that the petition was filed after more than four years from the date when the application was rejected by the MCI. Since the petition was filed after the period of limitation (3 years), the action was barred by the limitation, there being no credible explanation for the delay. It was observed that although Limitation Act, 1963 may not strictly apply to proceedings under Article 226 of the Constitution, however, it is a settled law that the courts do not extend the discretionary remedy to applicants who have failed to approach the court within time. Furthermore, recourse to proceedings under the Article is not available for recovering any amount where suit for recovery of that amount would be barred by limitation. In view of the aforementioned, the Court dismissed the petition. [Dr R.N. Gupta Technical Educational Society v. Union of India,2018 SCC OnLine Del 10749, dated 17-08-2018]