NCDRC | Law of limitation has to be applied with all its rigor even though it may harshly affect a particular party

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi: C. Viswanath (Presiding Member) dismissed a revision petition as the petitioner was not able to give sufficient reasons for condonation of delay.

The respondent had deposited Rs 500 on 26-02-1979 for allotment of MIG house in Sikandara Residential Scheme, Agra, launched by the UP Housing Board. Subsequently, he deposited Rs 27,612.50 and Rs 8,899.10 towards the house costing Rs 1,89,850.50. According to the respondent he also completed all other formalities, yet he was not given possession of the house. On not depositing the remaining amount in time, the Housing Board cancelled the allotment on 03-03-1992. On his request, the allotment was again restored on 24-01-1995. The respondent was then asked to deposit the remaining cost of the house with interest and penal interest. Aggrieved by the penal interest charged, the respondent filed a consumer complaint before the District Forum, Agra. The District Forum allowed the appeal but the respondent, further aggrieved, filed an appeal before the State Commission. The State Commission modified the impugned order accordingly. Aggrieved by the order of the State Commission, the petitioners filed the present revision petition before the Commission.

Learned counsel of the petitioner, Dr Indra Pratap Singh submitted that the present petition was accompanied by an application seeking condonation of delay of 162 days in filing the Revision Petition. He further informed Commission that “Earlier the filing of the present revision petition was entrusted to some other learned counsel. However, due to some reasons, the learned counsel returned the file to the petitioner department at Lucknow. Subsequently, the responsibility of filing the present revision petition was entrusted to the present counsel. The petitioner was a government body which needed approval from different authorities before filing the case which caused some delay in filing the case. For filing revision petition the study, preparation and drafting took some time. Also, substantial time was consumed in getting the documents accurately translated.” Thus, he prayed before the Commission to allow the petition in light of the reasons given above.

The Commission observed that the petitioner appeared to have not acted diligently and remained inactive for a long time. The Supreme Court had very clearly held that the settled legal proposition of law of limitation had to be applied with all its rigour when the statute so prescribed, though it may harshly affect a particular party. The petitioner had not been able to give adequate and sufficient reason which prevented it to approach this Commission within the limitation.

The Commission also relied on the judgment of Ramlal, Motilal and Chhotelal v. Rewa Coalfields Ltd., AIR 1962 SC 361, in which it was clearly observed that condonation of delay was not a matter of right and the applicant had to set out the case showing sufficient reasons for not being able to come to the Commission within the stipulated period of limitation. Thus, the petition was dismissed as it failed to give sufficient reasons to the Commission. [Housing Commr. UP Avas Vikas v. Shiv Charan Sagar, Revision Petition No. 105 of 2019, decided on 29-05-2019]

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