Decided on April 14,1972

UNION OF INDIA Respondents


- (1.) This application is to revise the order of the learned District Judge, Anantapur, rejecting the application I. A. 109/69 filed under Sections 5 & 14 of the Limitation Act, for condoning the delay in filing the appeal against the Judgment and Decree of the District Munsif, Gooty, dismissing the suit O. S. No. 10 of 1966.
(2.) The suit of O. S. 10 of 1966 was filed, in forma pauperis, for recovery of a sum of Rs. 1,948.00- being arrears of salary due to the petitioner from the defendant, the Union of India, represented by the General Manager, Southern Railway, from 24-11-1956 to 18-2-1961. It appears that the petitioner, employed by the defendant Railway, was suspended on 24-11-1956 and was re-instated by order dated 14-2-1961 and he rejoined duty on 18-2-1961. During the period of suspension, he was paid half the salary and half the allowances. As he was not paid the remaining half of the salary and allowances, after reinstatement he filed the suit O. S. 165 of 1957 on the file of the District Munsif, Gooty for recovery of the arrears. The said suit was dismissed and the dismissal was confirmed on appeal and second appeal on the ground that a notice under Section 80 of Civil P. C. Was not given. The petitioner then issued a notice under Section 80, Civil P. C. And filed the suit O. S. 10 of 1966 for recovery of the arrears of salary. In the suit, the defendant Railway, contended, inter alia, that the Civil Court has no jurisdiction to entertain the suit, by virtue of Section 22 of Payment of Wages Act. An issue was framed with regard to the question of jurisdiction. The learned District Munsif discussed the question of jurisdiction in paragraph 13 of his judgment and overruled the objection of the defendant railway and held the Civil Court has jurisdiction to entertain the suit. He however dismissed the suit on the ground of limitation. This dismissal of the suit was on 31/08/1966.
(3.) Instead of filing a regular appeal, against the judgment and decree of the District Munsif, Gooty dismissing the suit O. S. 10 OF 1966, the petitioner filed an application, before the Authority under the Payment of Wages Act, Guntur Region, Guntur under Section 15 of the Payment of Wages Act. By an order dated 15-11-1968, the Authority under the Payment of Wages Act rejected the petition on the ground that sufficient cause was not shown for the delay in filing the application. The petitioner thereafter filed the appeal on 23-1-1969 in the Court of the District Judge, Anantapur, against the dismissal of the suit O. S. No. 10 of 1966 by the District Munsif, Gooty. Along with the appeal an application I. A. No. 109 of 1969 under Sections 5 and 14 of the Limitation Act for condoning the delay in filing the appeal, was filed by the petitioner. In support of the petition, for condoning the delay, the petitioner stated that the judgment in O. S. 10 of 1966 was delivered on 31-8-1966, that the application for printed copies of judgment was made on 6-9-1966, the printed copies of the judgment were made ready on 26-9-1967 and delivered to his advocate on 27-9-1967. But by that date the petitioners application, filed under Section 15 of the Payment of Wages Act, was pending and that the petition was dismissed on 15-11-1968, and the order thereon received on 22-12-1968 and the order was communicated to him only " recently ". He therefore stated that he was bona fide pursuing the litigation, under the legal advice of his counsel in a wrong Court and that the delay in filing the appeal is neither intentional nor wanton and that, therefore, the delay should be condoned and the appeal taken on file.;

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