ALI KHAN Vs. SPECIAL DEPUTY COLLECTOR LAND ACQUISITION INDUSTRIES HYDERABAD
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
SPECIAL DEPUTY COLLECTOR LAND ACQUISITION (INDUSTRIES) HYDERABAD
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Kondaiah, J. -
(1.) Two applications, viz., C. M. P. No. 8289/72 praying to condone the delay of 104 days in filing the application to set aside the judgment and decree in C. C. C. A. No. 156/68 dated 19-4-1972 and C. M. P. No. 8288/72 praying to add the petitioners therein as party respondents in C. C. C. A. No. 156/68 are preferred under Section 151, Civil Procedure Code and Order 1, Rule 10 read with Section 151, Civil Procedure Code respectively. The main application, i.e., C. M. P. No. 8288/72 would arise for decision only if the delay of 104 days in filing the set aside application is condoned. We shall, therefore, first advert to the question whether sufficient cause within the meaning of Section 5 of the Limitation Act has been shown by the petitioner for condonation of the delay.
(2.) The appeal preferred by the Special Deputy Collector, Land Acquisition, Industries, Hyderabad, questioning the enhancement of the market value of the acquired property from Rs. 944.00- to Rs 1,500 /- per acre, was dismissed by us on 19-4-1972. That appeal arose out of the judgment of the Lower Court in O. P. No. 362/65. The petitioners were admittedly not parties to the appeal as well as to the O. P. No. 362/65. The contention of Mr. C. Seetharamayya, counsel for the petitioners, is that his clients were parties to the proceedings before the Special Deputy Collector before whom they claimed to be the owners of 341 acres of land now acquired, but the Special Deputy Collector did not accept their claim and the subject-matter of the award was referred to Civil Court in four O. Ps. Viz., O. P. Nos. 240, 248, 362 and 234 of 1965. The petitioners herein were parties to the O. P. Nos. 240 and 248/65. As they were not made parties to O. P. No. 362/65 and another, they were not aware of the proceedings in the lower Court as well as in this Court. They came to know only recently about the dismissal of the appeal and have filed this application.
(3.) It is well settled that the party who seeks to have the delay in filing an appeal or application beyond the period of limitation has to satisfactorily explain every days delay. See Ramlal v. Rewa Coalfields Ltd., AIR 1962 SC 361. The affidavit filed by the petitioners in support of their claim for condonation of the delay does not disclose and valid or justifiable grounds. The only ground stated by the counsel is the award being split up into four OPs. According to the petitioners, they claimed to be owners of 341 acres now acquired and in respect of which a compensation of nearly 6 lakhs rupees has been awarded. The conduct of the petitioners in sleeping over for a period of 7 years is really unexplainable. A party who is interested in his property or his rights has to be diligent and careful in protecting and safeguarding the same by taking appropriate proceedings as and when required. If the petitioners were really interested in getting themselves added as parties to C. C. C. A. No. 156/68 or prompt steps. On the facts and in the circumstances, we have no hesitation to hold that they were negligent in not taking diligent and proper steps in the matter. Mr. Seetharamayya admits that this is an exceptional case and normally no Court will condone the delay in the circumstances of this case. We do not feel that the petitioners are entitled to have the inordinate delay of 104 days condoned in this application. We may add that the real delay in this case is not 104 days but seven years as the grievances of the petitioners is not in respect of our decision in C.C.C.A.No.156/68 but against the splitting up of the award passed by the Special Deputy Collector in the year 1965 and referring the same to the Civil Court in 4 OPs. We are unable to accede to the submission of Mr. Seetharamayya, which has been very vehemently made, that his clients did not know about the filing of OP.No.362/65 and its disposal and also the preferring of appeal by the Special Deputy Collector, which was dismissed by us on 19-4-1972, till recently. It is stated in paragraph 7 of the affidavit filed in C.M.P. No. 8288/77 that the petitioners and eight others are parties in respect of title and enhancement in OP.Nos.240 and 248/1965. The petitioners as well as their counsel must be fully aware of the scope and application of O.P. Nos.240 and 248/65 to which they are admittedly parties. If those O.Ps. are not comprehensive enough, the petitioners and their counsel could have easily known the present controversy in respect of which they feel so much aggrieved. The petitioners alleged that their counsel never informed the stage of the O.Ps. in the Civil Court till notices were served on them in O.S.No. 97/71 filed by one Smt. Khulsumunisa Begum claiming her share in the Matruka property of late Shamohamud Doul. In paragraph 7, it is further stated that;- "In the said suit reference was made to the above O.Ps. and as we instructed our lawyer to look into the matter would be looked into and care would be taken. In 1972 January we suspected something in the proceedings pending in the Civil Court in respect of O.Ps. 240 and 248 of 1965 and we requested another advocate to peruse the said filed and to our surprise we found that we were set ex parte and the amount that was awarded would have been given to some others had we not taken immediate steps. We engaged another lawyer and requested the Honble Court to give us permission so that matter could be contested.";
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