Decided on May 20,1999

Bashir Ahmed Bhat Respondents


QAWOOSA, J. - (1.) THIS order will dispose of the application seeking condonation of delay caused in filing the Letters Patent Appeal against the judgment dated 10.9.1998 passed by the learned Single Judge in SWP No. 570/86 titled Bashir Ahmad Bhat versus State of J&K others. Forty -seven days delay in total has been caused in filing the appeal. The justification given by the petitioners in the application for condonation of delay is that the Department came to know about this judgment on 12.11.1998 when notice bearing No.l/BA/95 dated 12.11.1998 was sent by Mr. M.A. Qayoom, Advocate, accompanied by a copy of the judgment, for implementation thereof. On receipt of this notice, the Deputy Director marked it as immediate  and a report was sought. It took some time in tracing the record in the Direction Office. The file was put up before the Deputy Director on 24.11.1998 who marked it to the legal cell for its examination on 25.11.1998. At official level, a detailed report was prepared on 30.11.1998. The matter was considered on 2nd and 3rd December 1998. The decision to file the appeal was taken on 7.12.1998. However, thereafter, it took some more time for obtaining a report from the field staff and the concerned Block Development Officer. Ultimately, the appeal was prepared on 24.12.1998. It is further stated that the date of judgment mentioned in the photo copy of the judgment received from the counsel of the writ petitioner alongwith the notice was not legible. It was bona -fide believed that the judgment was announced on 9th October, 1998. However, after obtaining the certified copy of the judgment from the Registry of this court, it was found that the judgment had actually been delivered on 10th September, 1998. On account of this confusion about the date of judgment, and official wrangling, the delay in filing the Letters Patent Appeal was caused.
(2.) OBJECTIONS have been filed by the othersise in which the respondent has controverted the pleas taken by the petitioners both on facts and on law.
(3.) HEAD learned counsel for the parties. Learned counsel for the respondent. Mr. Qayoom, has vehemently argued that the explanation tendered by the petitioners on facts is totally bereft of ground realities. According to him, the judgment was delivered in the presence of the counsel for respondents in the writ petition. Therefore, it cannot lie in the mouth of petitioners that they were not aware of the judgment delivered on 10th September, 1998. According to him, the delay has been caused deliberately and the law does not permit to condone the delay on flimsy grounds which will otherwise effect the right occurring to the respondent (writ -petitioner). He has placed reliance on the judgment of the Apex Court in case P.K. Ramachandran Vs. State of Karala  (AIR 1998 SC 2276) in which it has been held: - 5. Law of limitation may harshly affect a particular party, but it has to be applied with all its rigour when the statute so prescribe and the courts have no power to extend the period of limitation on equitable grounds. The discretion exercised by the High Court (Sic) thus, a (Sic) proper nor judicious. The order condoning the delay cannot be sustained. It needs a mention here that in the above said case, the Apex Court found that the High Court had not recorded any satisfaction that the explanation for the delay was either reasonable or satisfactory which was essential pre -requisites to condonation of delay . ;

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