Concept of liberal approach has to encapsulate conception of reasonableness

Punjab and Haryana High Court: The relief prayed for in a writ petition was denied to the petitioner by a Single Judge Bench comprising of Jaspal Singh, J. due to inordinate delay in taking action.

The husband of the petitioner worked as a safai karamchari in Municipal Committee, Samalkha. He died in the year 1990. The petitioner claimed for widow pension under Haryana Municipal Employees Pension and General Provident Fund Rules, 1993. The instant petition was filed seeking directions to the respondents to release the said pension to the petitioner.

The High Court considered the submissions of the parties and relied on the Supreme Court decision in Brijesh Kumar v. State of Haryana, (2014) 11 SCC 351, wherein it was held, “lack of bonafides imputable to a party seeking condonation of delay is a significant and relevant fact. The concept of liberal approach has to encapsulate the concept of reasonableness and it cannot be allowed a totally unfettered free play.” In the instant case, the Court held that the petitioner gave no plausible explanation as to the delay of more than two and a half decades in filing the petition. She was guilty of long delay and laches which was suggestive of the fact that she had waived off her claim. Due to the fact that the petitioner slept over the matter for a considerably long period of time without explanation, the Court held that the petition was without merits and the same was accordingly dismissed. [Urmila Devi v. State of Haryana,  2018 SCC OnLine P&H 606, dated 01-03-2018]

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