Decided on March 21,2012

Pushkar Steel (P) Ltd Appellant
Ombudsman (Electricity) Respondents


BARIN GHOSH, J. - (1.) AS it appears to us, the order under appeal was passed on 13th December, 2011 and, accordingly, appeal ought to have had been filed on or before 12th January, 2012. With effect from 12th January, 2012, the Court was closed for long vacation. The Court re -opened after long vacation on 21st February, 2012. The present appeal was filed on 21st February, 2012. There is, therefore, no delay in filing the appeal. However, an application has been filed for condonation of delay in preferring the appeal, where it has been stated that the copy of the order appealed against was received only on 28th January, 2012.
(2.) HAVING regard to the situation, as depicted above, the learned counsel appearing on behalf of respondent No.2 did not seriously object to the application for condonation of delay. We are of the view that there was no delay in filing the appeal.
(3.) WE have considered the matter on merit. Respondent No.2 had put forward a claim against the appellant. This claim was disputed by the appellant before the Consumer Grievances Redressal Forum created under the Uttarakhand Electricity Regulatory Commission Regulation, 2004. The Forum rejected the contention of the appellant by an order dated 21st April, 2008. The appellant, being aggrieved thereby, preferred an appeal with an application for condonation of delay in preferring the appeal. The appeal, in terms of the said Regulation, could be filed within 30 days from the date of the order of the Forum. Inasmuch as, the appeal was preferred almost after two years from the date of the order of the Forum, appellant filed the aforementioned application for condonation of delay, where it was stated that the reason for delay was misplacement of the file by the concerned clerical staff of the appellant. This explanation was not accepted by the appellate authority, namely, the Ombudsman and, accordingly, he dismissed the application for condonation of delay in preferring the appeal. Appellant, accordingly, approached this Court by filing a writ petition, which has been dismissed also on the ground that the reason, as disclosed for delay, was such that if the same was not accepted by the appellate authority, the writ Court can not interfere with the same. Aggrieved thereby, the present appeal has been preferred. It is true that there was a delay of about two years in approaching the Ombudsman in the appeal against the order of the Forum and it is also true that the reasons furnished for delay in preferring the appeal before the Ombudsman were too weak, but having regard to the fact that the controversy in the appeal, which was sought to be highlighted, was not addressed to, we think that the learned Judge, instead of dismissing the writ petition, should have allowed the same by compensating the respondents adequately.;

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