Case Briefs

Appellate Tribunal (FEMA): Justice G.C. Mishra (Acting Chairman) allowed the application for the condonation of delay in respect to the substitution of the legal representatives (LRs) of the managing director of the deceased Ramesh Babu Muppalaneni of the company Sanjay Agro Traders (P) Ltd.

 In the instant case, the deceased having died on 26-10-2017, the appellant failed to file an application for the substitution of his legal heirs. Rather the application for its condonation of delay was filed on 27-05-2019, which prayed to condone a delay of 296 days only though there was a delay of 370 days.

The counsels for the appellant, S.K. Vasudeva Rao and Rabin Majumder pleaded that the delay in filing the application for the substitution of the LRs was not intentional but it happened due to the communication gap between the deceased’s family and the counsel about the death of the deceased which reached the counsel much later on 05-09-2018 as the family was much disturbed from their irreparable loss. Moreover, on 06-09-2018 itself, the Tribunal allowed the appellant to file an appropriate application in that regard when he submitted for it.

The counsel on behalf of the respondent, Aagam Kaur, however, contended that even though the family was in grief, the advocate could have moved an application for bringing the legal heirs on record. Also, there seemed no reasonable cause as to how he was prevented from moving a timely application. The Counsel also placed reliance on the judgment of the case N. Balakrishnan v. M. Krishnanmurthy, (1998) 7 SCC 123 wherein it was clearly held that the law of limitation fixes a lifespan for such legal remedy for the redressal of the legal injury so suffered. 

In view of the above case, the Tribunal allowed the application of condonation of delay in filing the applications for substitution of legal heirs subject to payment of Rs 25000 in each appeal to be paid within six weeks from the date of the order. 

Observing “sufficient cause” under Section 5 of the Limitation Act, 1963 the Court noted the concept of reasonableness as brought out by the case Esha Bhattacharjee v. Managing Committee of Raghunathpur Nafar Academy, (2013) 12 SCC 649.[S. Ramesh v. Special Director Directorate of Enforcement, Hyderabad, MP-FE-476/HYD/2019(COD) IN FPA-FE-300/HYD/2009, decided on 24-12-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jharkhand High Court: Sujit Narayan Prasad, J. dismissed the writ petition filed under Article 227 of the Constitution of India.

This is a case of respondents/plaintiff where a petition was filed on 01-02-2018 about some particular documents which could not have been filed at the time of presenting the plaint. On further, cross-examination of the document’s relevancy was assessed and it led the plaintiffs to file the petition where they requested leave from the trial court for marking those documents.

The petitioners had objected to the filed the petition on the grounds that no reason was given as to what held the plaintiffs from protecting the said documents along with the complaint. Another point of contention was that the petition was filed under the provision of Section 5 of Limitation Act, 1963 instead of Order 7 Rule 14 (3) of The Code Of Civil Procedure, 1908. It was because the Trial Court had the power for granting such relief under the CPC. Hence, the petition should not have been allowed but as per Mr Rajeeva Sharma, the learned counsel for the petitioners, the trial court allowed the petition without considering the facts. As a result of this the present writ petition was filed.

Mr M. Jalisur, the learned counsel appearing for the respondent has referred to the provision of Order 7 Rule 14 (3) of the CPC in defence to order dated 06-03-2018. It was further submitted by the counsel that the writ petition has no merit on the ground that the trial court had granted liberty to cross-examine the witnesses produced by the plaintiff. The respondents had filed an interlocutory application for vacating the stay on the order granted by the court by issuing a notice to the respondent on 10-07-2018.

The High Court after considering all the legalities and referring to the provisions of Order 7 Rule 14 (3) of the CPC deemed it fit and fair that the power to grant relief, taking into consideration the relevancy of the documents.

In the following case, the petition has been filed by the plaintiff under Section 5 of Limitation Act rather than Order 7 Rule 14 (3) of the CPC. The court relied on the judgment rendered by the Supreme Court of India in P.K. Palanisamy v. N. Arumugham, (2009) 9 SCC 173 where it was held that mentioning of the wrong provision or not mentioning that provision will not make the order invalid, if the court and/or statutory authority have the requisite jurisdiction  therefore.

Another question taken into consideration is the question of prejudice. The court on the following question held that in terms of the provision of Order 7 Rule 14 (3) of the CPC give liberty of cross-examining the witnesses to the petitioner.

Thus, as per the Supervisory jurisdiction in Article 227 of the Constitution of India, the Court was not mistaken in warranting any interference by the court. Therefore, the writ petition failed and Interim Order dated 10-07-2018 was vacated. [Jay Shankar Yadav v. Bhola Yadav, 2019 SCC OnLine Jhar 1509, decided on 07-11-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: This petition was filed before a Division Bench of Amit Rawal and Arun Kumar Tyagi, JJ. against the impugned order passed by the Debts Recovery Tribunal-II, Chandigarh whereby an application for condonation of delay accompanied by Securitization Application was dismissed, being barred by 52 days.

Petitioner submitted that an order passed by this court held that DRT had jurisdiction to entertain an application for condonation of delay lest accompanied with Securitization Application. It was viewed that the explanation provided in the application was reasonable. The DRT should not have dismissed the application and decided the same in limine. The case of Esha Bhattacharjee v. Raghunathpur Nafar Academy, (2013) 12 SCC 649 was referred to wherein the principles applicable to an application for condonation of delay were given.

High Court observed that the securitization application filed against the measures taken under Section 13(4) of the SARFAESI Act was dismissed being barred by 52 days. DRT’s jurisdiction under S. 5 of the Limitation Act was not disputed and it should not have adopted harsh approach by not condoning the delay as per the principles laid down in Esha Bhattacharjee case. Therefore, the impugned order was set aside and the DRT (II), Chandigarh was directed to decide the case on merits. [Ajmer Enterprises v. Debt Recovery Tribunal, 2019 SCC OnLine P&H 4, decided on 04-01-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: A Division Bench comprising of G.S. Sistani and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal, JJ., refused to condone a delay of 65 days in filing the appeal under Section 37 of Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 which was consequently dismissed.

The appellant filed the said appeal against the order of the learned Single Judge who dismissed appellant’s objection to the award passed by the Arbitrator. However, there was a delay of 65 days in filing the appeal. The appellant sought condonation of such delay on the grounds that the appellant was a corporate body (a company) with a legal department and higher management. Every decision of filing an appeal is scrutinised by the higher management. It was stated that the appellant had preferred to take opinion from some counsels, and also made a self-analysis of the case. Thereafter, the facts were placed before the management who took the decision of filing the appeal. Thus, the appellant submitted, the delay was on account of bona fide reasons and not due to inaction or carelessness.

The High Court did not find favour with the submissions of the appellant. Referring to a few Supreme Court decisions, the High Court observed that while deciding an application under Section 5 of Limitation Act, the courts must adopt a liberal approach, provided there is no gross negligence, deliberate inaction or lack of bona fide imputable to the party seeking condonation of delay. Further, while considering the application seeking condonation of delay, the period of delay is not the criteria. A short delay may not be condoned in absence of an acceptable explanation while a large delay may be condoned if the explanation is satisfactory. In the instant case, the appellant was a private limited company with a legal department. The application for condonation of delay was highly casual in nature, it lacked material particulars and did not disclose sufficient cause for the condoning the delay. A bald statement of taking opinion from some counsels could not be taken as a sufficient cause. Holding thus, the High Court denied to condone the delay and dismissed the appeal. [Lifelong Mediatech (P) Ltd. v. United India Insurance Co. Ltd.,  2018 SCC OnLine Del 9559, dated 03-05-2018]