Special Tehsildar, Land Acquistion, Kerala Vs. K.V. Ayisumma  INSC 844
(23 July 1996)
K.Ramaswamy, K.G.B. Pattanaik (J)
JT 1996 (7) 204 1996 SCALE (5)548
O R D
appeal by special leave arise from the order of the High Court of Kerala dated July 27, 1992 made in CRP No.695/92. The admitted
facts are that in an acquisition of the land for public purpose, the reference
Court by its award and decree dated March 31, 1989 had enhanced the compensation. The
appellant had filed an application on July 29, 1991 lo review the award and decree.
There was a delay in filing the application The learned subordinate judge had
condoned the delay. Against the said order of condoning The delay the
respondent has gone in revision to the High Court.
High Court in the impugned order Set aside the order of the Subordinate Judge. Thus
this appeal by special leave.
now settled taw that when the delay was occasioned at the behest of the
Government, it would be very difficult to explain the day today delay. The
transaction of the business of the Government being done leisurely by officers
who had no or evince no personal interest at different levels. No one takes
personal responsibility in processing the matters expeditiously. As a fact at
several stages they take their own time to reach a decision. Even in spite of
pointing at the delay, they do not take expeditious action for ultimate
decision in filing the appeal. This case is one of such instances. It is true
that Section 5 of the Limitation Act envisages explanation of the delay to the
satisfaction of the Court and in matters of Limitation Act made no distinction
between the State and the citizen. Nonetheless adoption of strict standard of
proof leads to grave miscarriage of public justice. it would result in public
mischief by skilful management of delay in, the process of filing the appeal.
approach of the Court would be pragmatic but not pedandic. Under those
circumstances, the Subordinate Judge has rightly adopted correct approach and
had condoned the delay without insisting upon explaining every day's delay Sn
filing the review application in the light of the law laid down by this Court.
The High Court was not right in setting aside the order. Delay was rightly
appeal is accordingly allowed. The case is remitted to the reference Court for
disposal of the review petition in accordance with law. No costs.