Sahara India Commercial Corporation Ltd. Through its Managing Director Having its Head Office at Sahara India Centre 8th Floor, Kapoorthala, Aliganj, Lucknow And also at: Sahara Mall, 3rd Floor, Mehrauli Gurgaon Road, Gurgaon – 122002, Haryana
For the Petitioners : Mr. Harpreet Singh & Mr. Suresh Chaudhary, Advocates
PRONOUNCED ON 16th July, 2014
O R D E R
PERJUSTICE K.S. CHAUDHARI, PRESIDING MEMBER
This revision petition has been filed by the petitioner against the order dated 16.09.2013 passed by the Haryana State Consumer Disputes RedressalCommission, Panchkula (in short, ‘the State Commission’) in Appeal No. 459 of 2013 – Sahara India Commercial Corpn. Ltd. Vs. Harpreet Kaur by which, while allowing appeal, order of District Forum allowing complaint was set aside and case was remanded back to District Forum.
2. Brief facts of the case are that complainant/petitioner was allotted villa by OP/respondent, but possession of villa was not handed over within the period promised in agreement. Alleging deficiency on the part of OP, complainant filed complaint. OP resisted complaint and submitted that possession of villa could not be handed over for want of some statutory compliance in the project. It was further pleaded that as per Clause 17 of the agreement, OP was not liable for any penalty and prayed for dismissal of complaint. Learned District Forum after hearing both the parties, allowed complaint and directed OP to pay penalty @ Rs.10/- per sq. ft. per month for delay in delivery of possession with interest. Appeal filed by the OP was allowed by learned State Commission vide impugned order against which, this revision petition has been filed along with application for condonation of delay of 168 days.
3. Heard learned Counsel for the petitioner on application for condonation of delay and perused record.
4. Learned Counsel for the petitioner submitted that delay occurred in seeking legal advice and procuring impugned order; hence, delay be condoned.
5. Paragraphs 3 & 4 of the application for condonation of delay runs as under:
“3. That impugned judgment and order was passed by the Ld. State Commission on 16.09.2013. That since the petitioner is based in New Delhi and the order was passed by the learned State Commission, Haryana at Panchkula, there was some delay in procuring the order.
4. That, upon receipt of the order, the petitioner appeared before the learned District Forum, Gurgaon in terms of the impugned order. However, upon seeking legal advised, the petitioner is approaching this Hon’ble Commission against the impugned order. In the entire process, some delay has occurred in approaching this Hon’ble Commission”.
6. Apparently, no reason has been shown in the application by the petitioner for condoning inordinate delay of 168 days in filing revision petition. This is no ground that petitioner is based in New Delhi and order was passed by the learned State Commission at Panchkula. At the time of decision by the State Commission both parties were present and as per judgment parties were directed to appear before District Forum on 4.10.2013. Learned Counsel for the petitioner submitted that petitioner appeared before State Commission and participated in the proceedings as directed by impugned order meaning thereby, he must have appeared before District Forum on 4.10.2013, whereas, this revision petition has been filed on 5.6.2014 almost after 8 months. Learned Counsel for the petitioner has not mentioned any date in application for condonation of delay when legal advice was sought and obtained and in such circumstances, in the absence of any explanation for condonation of delay, application for condonation of delay is liable to be dismissed in the light of following judgments delivered byHon’ble apex Court.
7. In R.B.RamlingamVs.R.B.Bhavaneshwari2009 (2) Scale 108,it has been observed:
“We hold that in each and every case the Court has to examine whether delay in filing the special appeal leave petitions stands properly explained. This is the basic test which needs to be applied. The true guide is whether the petitioner has acted with reasonable diligence in the prosecution of his appeal/petition.”
8. InRamLalandOrs. Vs. RewaCoalfields Ltd., AIR 1962 Supreme Court 361, it has been observed;
“It is, however, necessary to emphasize that even after sufficient cause has been shown a party is not entitled to the condonation of delay in question as a matter of right. The proof of a sufficient cause is a discretionary jurisdiction vested in the Court by S.5. If sufficient cause is not proved nothing further has to be done; the application for condonation has to be dismissed on that ground alone. If sufficient cause is shown then the Court has to enquire whether in its discretion it should condone the delay. This aspect of the matter naturally introduces the consideration of all relevant facts and it is at this stage that diligence of the party or its bona fides may fall for consideration; but the scope of the enquiry while exercising the discretionary power after sufficient cause is shown would naturally be limited only to such facts as the Court may regard as relevant.”
9. Hon’ble Supreme Court after exhaustively considering the case law on the aspect of condonation of delay observed in Oriental Aroma Chemical Industries Ltd. Vs.Gujarat Industrial Development Corporationreported in (2010) 5 SCC 459as under;
“We have considered the respective submissions. The law of limitation is founded on public policy. The legislature does not prescribe limitation with the object of destroying the rights of the parties but to ensure that they do not resort to dilatory tactics and seek remedy without delay. The idea is that every legal remedy must be kept alive for a period fixed by the legislature. To put it differently, the law of limitation prescribes a period within which legal remedy can be availed for redress of the legal injury. At the same time, the courts are bestowed with the power to condone the delay, if sufficient cause is shown for not availing the remedy within the stipulated time.”
10. Hon’ble Apex Court in (2012) 3 SCC 563 – Post Master General &Ors.Vs. Living Media India Ltd. andAnr. has not condoned delay in filing appeal even by Government department and further observed that condonation of delay is an exception and should not be used as an anticipated benefit for the Government departments.
11. Hon’ble Apex Court in 2012 (2) CPC 3 (SC) – AnshulAggarwal Vs. NewOkhlaIndustrial Development Authority observed as under:
“It is also apposite to observe that while deciding an application filed in such cases for condonation of delay, the Court has to keep in mind that the special period of limitation has been prescribed under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, for filing appeals and revisions in Consumer matters and the object of expeditious adjudication of the Consumer disputes will get defeated, if this Court was to entertain highly belated petitions filed against the orders of the Consumer Foras”.
12. Learned Counsel for the petitioner placed reliance on judgment of the Hon’ble Apex Court in Civil Appeal No. 10581 of 2013 – Manoharan Vs. Sivarajan&Ors. in which after considering Point Nos. 1 & 2 in favour of the appellant delay was condoned in filing proceedings before High Court and matter was remanded back to trial court. In the aforesaid case, as Point Nos. 1 & 2 were decided in favour of the appellant, delay was condoned in filing proceedings before High Court whereas in the case in hand we do not find any explanation for condonation of delay.
13. Learned Counsel for the petitioner further submitted that in similar matters of respondent, Hon’ble Apex Court in C.A. No. 6392/2012 – Sahara India Commercial Corporation Ltd. Vs. ChanderKantaBhatia &Anr. while allowing appeal, remanded the matter to the National Commission for consideration of facts regarding force majeure clause. In the case in hand, learned State Commission also remanded the matter to District Forum for consideration of force majeure clauses and thus, aforesaid judgment of Hon’ble Apex Court does not help to the petitioner rather supports the judgment of State Commission.
14. Thus, it becomes clear that there is no reasonable explanation at all for condonation of inordinate delay of 168 days. In such circumstances, application forcondonation of delay is dismissed.
15. Consequently, the revision petition filed by the petitioner is dismissed as barred by limitation at admission stage with no order as to costs.