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The BEML Employees Co-op. Society Ltd. vs. N.S. Balakrishna dated 2014-09-11


                                               NEW DELHI


(Against the order dated 12.11.2013 in Complaint No.22 of 2012 of the State Commission, Karnataka)


The BEML Employees Co-op. Society Ltd.

C/o Bharath Earth Movers Ltd.,

Bangalore Complex

New Tippasandra Post


Rept., by its President,

J. Munnagappa                                                                     ...... Appellant



N.S. Balakrishna,

S/o Late N. Srinivasa Iyengar,

No.449, I Cross, Ideal Homes Township

Rajarejeshwari Nagar,

Bangalore-98                                                                     .....Respondent




                                    PRESIDING MEMBER



For the Appellant     :    Mr. R.S. Hegde, Advocate


PRONOUNCED ON: 11th September 2014.







          In a consumer complaint filed by Shri N.S. Balakrisha against the BEML Employees Co-op. Society, Bangalore, Karnataka State Consumer Disputes Redressal, Commission has directed the OP/Society to refund the entire amount of Rs.18.10 lakhs  received from the Complainant with 18% interest from respective dates of deposit and cost of Rs.5,000/-.

2.       Appeal against this order has been filed by the OP/Society with an inordinate delay of 131 days.  A perusal of the application filed by appellant/OP in explanation of this delay shows that it does not even mention the number of days of delay involved.  Admittedly, the certified copy of the impugned order was received on 26.11.2013.  The appeal itself has been filed on 6.5.2014.  The only explanation offered for the time between these two dates is as follows:-

            “It is submitted that the certified copy of the order was received in the office of the Advocate but was misplaced.  The Appellant came to know of the passing of the impugned order recently.  Thereafter the Appellant contacted their Advocate and forwarded the copy of the certified copy of the order to the Advocate in Delhi for obtaining opinion regarding filing the Appeal. The Advocate informed the Appellant to send the entire papers. Subsequently the papers were sent and after obtaining opinion the Appeal has been drafted and is being filed.  In the process there has occurred delay in filing the Appeal.  The Appellant has a prima facie case on merits.  It is in the interest of justice and equity that the delay may be condoned and the Appeal may be considered on merits.”

3.       Clearly, the explanation contains no details. It also shows that the appellant has failed to appreciate that delay in filing of an appeal cannot be condoned in routine.  In each case, there has to be  “sufficient cause” to justify condonation of delay. The law on this subject has been clearly enunciated in the following decisions.  

4.       In Oriental Aroma Chemical Industries Ltd. Vs. Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation & Anr., (2010) 5 SCC 459, on the question of what constitutes ‘sufficient cause’, Hon’ble Apex Court observed that it would depend upon the factual matrix of a given case.  In N.Balakrishnan Vs. M. Krishnamurthy, (1998) 7 SCC 123, it was held—

“Rules of limitation are not meant to destroy the rights of parties.  They are meant to see that parties do not resort to dilatory tactics, but seek their remedy promptly.  The object of providing a legal remedy is to repair the damage caused by reason of legal injury.  The law of limitation fixes a lifespan for such legal remedy for the redress of the legal injury so suffered.  Time is precious and wasted time would never revisit.  During the efflux of time, newer causes would sprout up necessitating newer persons to seek legal remedy by approaching the courts.  So a lifespan must be fixed for each remedy. Unending period for launching the remedy may lead to unending uncertainty and consequential anarchy.  The law of limitation is thus founded on public policy.  It is enshrined in the maxim interest reipublicae up sit finis litium (it is for general welfare that a period be put to litigation).  Rules of limitation are not meant to destroy the rights of the parties.  They are meant to see that parties do not resort to dilatory tactics but seek their remedy promptly.  The idea is that every legal remedy must be kept alive for a legislatively fixed period of time.”

 Again, in Anshul Aggarwal Vs. New Okhla Industrial Development Authority (2011) 14 SCC 578, while declining to condone a delay of 233 days in filing appeal against an order passed by this Commission, theHon’ble Supreme Court has observed that while deciding the application filed for condonation of delay, the Court has to keep in mind that the special period of limitation has been prescribed under the Act for filing appeals and revisions in consumer matters and the object of expeditious adjudication of the consumer disputes, will get defeated if the highly belated appeals and revisions are entertained.

5.       Applying the above principles to the case before us, we have no hesitation in holding that the appellant is failed to show sufficient cause in support of its prayer for condonation of long delay of 131 days. Therefore, the application for condonation of delay is dismissed. Consequently,   the appeal is also dismissed. No orders as to costs.



                                                        (K.S. CHAUDHARI,J.)




                                                        (VINAY KUMAR)







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