BRIJ KISHORE S. GHOSH Vs. JAYANTILAL MANEKLAL BHATT
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
Brij Kishore S. Ghosh
JAYANTILAL MANEKLAL BHATT
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(1.)ONE may legitimately ask - "why too many judgments insist on liberal approach while interpreting 'sufficient cause' occurring in Section 5 of the Limitation Act, 1963 ?". The answer is simple and yet disappointing. It is very hard to change the dogmatic approach having its roots in old traditions and irrationality. The case on hand provides an illustration as to how much difficult (almost impossible) it is to change such mental attitude and in still new thinking.
(2.)RESPONDENTS -plaintiffs filed regular civil suit No. 176 of 1979 in the Court of Civil Judge (SD), Narol for recovery of possession of the suit premises on the ground of non-payment of arrears of rent and for reasonable and bonafide requirements. The petitioner-defendant appeared in the suit. One Mr. Makwana, learned advocate engaged by the defendant, filed joint vakalatnama of himself and that of another advocate Mr. Rathod. After the appearance was filed the matter was being adjourned from time to time. On September 11, 1978 the learned advocates of the defendant were absent. Thereafter on October 16, 1978 in absence of the defendant the arguments of the plaintiffs were heard and the judgment was delivered on November 8, 1978 by which the trial court granted decree for eviction as prayed for by the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs filed execution application and obtained warrant for possession. According to the defendant only on March 19, 1979 when the Bailiff came for taking possession of the suit premises the defendant came to know about the decree having been passed against him. Therefore, on March 26, 1979 an application to set aside the decree was filed. Since there was delay of three months and ten days in filing the application, he prayed for condonation of delay by filing separate application. The plaintiff resisted the application. The trial court rejected the application on the ground that no sufficient cause for condonation of delay was made out.
The defendant preferred miscellaneous appeal No. 62 of 1980 in the Court of District Judge, Ahmedabad (Rural) at Nerol. The learned District Judge held, as per judgment dated July 15, 1980, that the appeal was not maintainable and, therefore, dismissed the same. However, he held that on merits following judgment of this High Court he would have condoned the delay. Both the plaintiffs as well as the defendant felt aggrieved by the aforesaid decision and preferred two different revision applications being civil revision application No. 1225 of 1980 (filed by the petitioner-defendant) and civil revision application No. 753 of 1981 (filed by the plaintiffs). Having regard to the provisions of Section 29(3) of the Bombay Rents, Hotel and Lodging House Rates Control Act, 1947 (hereinafter referred to as "the Act") and for the reasons mentioned in the order this Court came to the conclusion that the revision application under Section 29(3) of the Act was competent before the District Court, and remanded the matter to the District Court for deciding the same in accordance with law.
(3.)AFTER the matter was remanded the learned District Judge heard the parties again on same facts and on the same record. The learned District Judge, on merits, came to the conclusion that the delay was not required to the condoned, though in miscellaneous civil appeal No. 62 of 1980 decided by him on July 15, 1980 he had in terms held that following the decision of this High Court he would have condoned the delay Feeling aggrieved by the aforesaid decision the defendant has preferred this revision application.
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