STATE OF H P Vs. BADRI
LAWS(HPH)-1997-1-3
HIGH COURT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH
Decided on January 09,1997

STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH Appellant
VERSUS
BADRI Respondents





Cited Judgements :-

RAJINDER KUMAR SUD VS. UNION OF INDIA [LAWS(HPH)-1999-9-12] [REFERRED]
STATE OF HIMACHAL PRADESH VS. BHAYNSROO [LAWS(HPH)-1999-5-12] [REFERRED]


JUDGEMENT

Arun Kumar Goel, J. - (1.)-Heard learned counsel for the parties. Facts giving rise to this appeal are that initially proceedings under Section 163 of the Himachal Pradesh Land Revenue Act, 1953 (hereinafter referred as the 'Act') where initiated against the respondent for his having encroached upon the Government land measuring five mar/as. These proceedings came to be taken up before Assistant Collector, 1st Grade, Badsar, District Hamirpur. Since the plea of title by way of adverse possession was raised by the respondent, who claimed possession over the land in question for a period beyond thirty years' in relation to the land in question, the Revenue Officer below proceeded to determine the question as if he was a.civil court. By means of order dated 3.3.1994, Badri respondent was declared to be the owner in possession of the land comprised in Khasra No. 2347/2296/1 measuring 5 mar/as situate the Tika Chakmoh, Tehsil Barsar, District Hamirpur, H.P. under Section 163 of the Act. This order of Assistant Collector is appealable under Section 163(5) of the Act. Limitation for filing the appeal before the District Judge is thirty days. However from the record of the trial court, it appears that instead of filing the appeal within time, a time-barred appeal was filed alongwith an application under Section 5 of Limitation Act for condonation of delay in filing the appeal. This application was contested and resisted by the present respondent Badri and by means of impugned order, the said application as well appeal both have been dismissed. Hence, this appeal.
(2.)Shri M.L. Chauhan, learned Assistant Advocate General has submitted that the delay in filing the appeal before the lower appellate court was neither wilful 'nor intentional, but was due to circumstances beyond the control of the appellant and in any event either due to inaction or laxity on the part of the officials of the State, the larger public interest should not suffer. It was further submitted that it is a matter of common knowledge that on account of impersonal machinery and inherited bureaucratic methodology imbued with the note-making, file-pushing and passing on the buck ethos, delay on the part of the State is less difficult to understand though more difficult to understand though more difficult to approve, but the State represents collective cause of the community. Decisions are taken by the officers/agencies proverbially at slow pace and encumbered process of pushing the files from table to table and keeping it on table for considerable time causing delay-Intentional or otherwise-Is a routine. On these basis, Shri Chauhan has submitted that pendantic approach of explaining each day's delay may not be insisted upon. He has further submitted that transaction, of business of Government being done leisurely by officers who had no or evince no personal interest at different levels. In these circumstances, insistence upon explaining the delay in filing the appeal by the court would not be just because it would result in failure of public interest.
(3.)Lastly, it was submitted that this is a fit case where the delay should have been condoned in filing the appeal before the lower appellate court and in not doing so, the said court has fallen into grave error.


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