BHAGAT RAM Vs. BASANT RAM
HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
Referred Judgements :-
SHAKUNTLA DEVI JAIN V.KANTA KUMARI AND OTHERS
KARAMBIR SINGH V. SMT. MUKHTIAR INDER KAUR
MADAN SINGH AND OTHERS V. PURAN SINGH AND OTHERS
RURA MAI V. RAM CHAND
SHIV DUTT SHARMA V. PREM KUMAR BHATIA
FINUN V. GIANU
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(1.)The appellants have filed this application under Section 5 read with Section 12 of the Indian |Limitation Act praying that the time taken for obtaining the copy of the judgment and decree of the lower appellate Court, from 12 -6 -1979 till 22 -8 -1979 be condoned. The undisputed facts are that the lower appellate court dismissed the appeal of the appellants on 8 -6 -1979. An urgent application for obtaining the copies of the judgment and decree sheet was filed on 12 -6 -1979. It is stated in the present petition that according to the practice the urgent copies of judgment and decree had to be supplied within 48 hours. The copies were, however, not prepared within that time. The appellants are stated to have visited the office of the Copying Agency several times, but no date was given by which the copies would be ready. The copies were ultimately delivered to the appellants on 22 -8 -1979 though the same had been prepared and attested on 26 -7 -1979. It is contended by the learned counsel for the appellants that in case the period from 26 -7 -1979 to 22 -8 -1979 is excluded or condoned, the appeal would be within limitation This fact is not disputed even by the learned counsel for the respondents.
(2.)It is contended by Shri K. D. Sud, the learned counsel for the respondents, that the appeal is patently barred by limitation for the reason that the appellants have not explained the delay in obtaining the requisite conies from the Copying Agency from. 26 -7 -1979 till 22 -8 -1979. It is further contended that even if the copies were obtained by the appellants on 22 -8 -1979, they could still file the appeal by 24 -10 -1979, whereas the appeal was filed on14 -11 -1979 It is further contended that the appeal was not properly filed as the attested copies of the judgment of the trial court were not filed therewith. It may be pointed out that the appellants had filed a separate application for dispensing with the filing of the judgment of the trial court or extending time to file an attested copy thereof afterwards. That application is numbered as C M P No. 1727 of 1979 and shall be decided separately.
(3.)There are rules framed for the supply of copies of record, under the control of Deputy Commissioners in Himachal Pradesh. Rules 1.19 and 120 may be reproduced for a ready reference which deal with urgent applications for supply of copies : - "1.19. Urgent applications to take priority over ordinary applications. - Orders made on urgent applications shall have priority over all orders made on ordinary applications; orders on urgent applications and orders on ordinary application shall have, as far as possible, priority among themselves, according to the date and serial number of each order, subject to any special! orders in any particular case or cases. 1.20. Prompt delivery of urgent copies. -An applicant for an urgent copy shall be entitled to have his copy furnished to him, if possible, by the second working day after the filing of the application." It is not disputed that an urgent application for the supply of copies was made on behalf of the appellants. As pointed out earlier above, the copies were not supplied to the appellants by the second working day. The learned counsel for the appellants has referred to a decision in Shikhr Chane v. Krishan Chand [1968 P. L. R. (Del Sec.) 363]. In this judgment Mr. Justice I. D. Dua has observed that a litigant applying for a copy cannot be expected to go to the Copying Department every day to enquire as to when his copy would be ready. Such a position will be untenable for it is both impracticable and unreasonable and also unjust. The applicant is entitled to be informed as to when his copy will be ready, otherwise the delay in securing the same could not be made rigidly to go against him. Reliance has also been placed on a judgment in Madan Singh and others v. Puran Singh and others [A. I. R. 1926 Lah 84]. The learned Judge while dealing with this aspect of the matter observed that where the delay in producing the copy of the decree was due to the office, not informing the applicant of the date when the copy would be ready, limitation under Section 5 of the Limitation Act will be extended. Similar is the view taken in Rura Mai v. Ram Chand [A. I. R. 1936 Lah 200]. In this judgment it was observed by the learned Judge that the copying department is a department under the control of the Deputy Commissioner and is a branch of the Deputy Commissioners office. Once this position is established, it follows that no person can be damnified on account of the laches, ignorance or negligence of any official attached to a department connected with the administration of justice.
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