The Court observed that rules of Limitation are not meant to destroy the rights of the parties rather the idea is that every legal remedy must be kept alive for a legislatively fixed period of time.
Vide impugned order the High Court rejected the application seeking condonation of delay of more than 10 years in filing the appeal under Section 54 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (Act). The appeal was originally preferred by some of the land owners against the finding of Reference Court. The Claimants for the purposes of present appeal chose not to file appeal at the initial stage but filed the same after a lapse of 10 years 2 months and 29 days. High Court refused to condone the delay despite the fact that other persons who had preferred the appeals in time were given higher compensation.
The Court observed that rules of Limitation are not meant to destroy the rights of the parties rather the idea is that every legal remedy must be kept alive for a legislatively fixed period of time. The courts should not adopt an injustice-oriented approach in rejecting the application for condonation of delay. However the court while allowing such application has to draw a distinction between delay and inordinate delay for want of bona fides of inaction or negligence would deprive a party of the protection of Section 5 of the Limitation Act, 1963. Sufficient cause is a condition precedent for exercise of discretion by the Court for condoning the delay. If some person has taken a relief approaching the Court just or immediately after the cause of action had arisen, other persons cannot take benefit thereof approaching the court at a belated stage for the reason that they cannot be permitted to take the impetus of the order passed at the behest of some diligent person.
The Impugned finding of the High Court was accordingly affirmed for want of sufficient grounds to condone the delay.
[Brijesh Kumar and Ors. vs. State of Haryana and Ors.]