State of M.P. & ANR. Vs. Anshuman Shukla  INSC 895 (12 May 2008)
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. 3498 OF 2008 (Arising out of SLP
(C) No.12778 of 2007) State of M.P. and another .... Appellants Versus Anshuman Shukla ....
S.B. SINHA, J.
1. Leave granted.
2. Applicability of Section 5 of
the Limitation Act, 1963 (for short the 1963 Act) in the matter of entertaining
a revision application before the High Court in terms of Section 19 of the Madhya
Pradesh Madhyastham Adhikaran Adhiniyam, 1983 (for short the Act) is involved
in this appeal which arises out of a judgment and order dated 30th June, 2005
passed by a Full Bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court at Jabalpur in Civil
Revision No.1330 of 2003.
3. Before embarking on the said
question we may notice the statutory provisions of the Act for resolution of
the legal issue.
The Act came into force with
effect from 1st March, 1985. It was enacted to provide for the establishment of a
Tribunal to arbitrate on disputes to which the State Government or a Public
Undertaking (wholly or substantially owned or controlled by the State
Government), is a party, and for matters incidental thereto or connected
The Arbitral Tribunal is
constituted in terms of Section 3 of the Act for resolving all disputes and
differences pertaining to works contract or arising out of or connected with
execution, discharge or satisfaction of any such works contract.
Section 7 provides for reference
to Tribunal. Such reference may be made irrespective of the fact as to whether
the agreement contains an arbitration clause or not. Section 7-A provides for
the particulars on the basis whereof the reference petition is to be filed.
Section 7-B provides for
limitation for filing an application, which is in the following terms :-
"7-B. Limitation.- (1) The Tribunal shall not admit a reference petition
unless - (a) the dispute is first referred for the decision of the final
authority under the terms of the works contract; and 3 (b) the petition to the
Tribunal is made within one year from the date of communication of the decision
of the final authority :
Provided that if the final
authority fails to decide the dispute within a period of six months from the
date of reference to it, the petition to the Tribunal shall be made within one
year of the expiry of the said period six months.
(2) Notwithstanding anything
contained in sub- section (1), where no proceeding has been commenced at all
before any Court proceeding the date of commencement of this Act or after such
commencement but before the commencement of the Madhya Pradesh Madhyastham
Adhikaran (Sanshodhan) Adhiniyam, 1990, a reference petition shall be
entertained within one year of the date of commencement of Madhya pradesh
Madhyastham Adhikarn (Sanshodhan) Adhiniyam, 1990 irrespective of the fact
whether a decision has or has not been made by the final authority under the
(2-A) Notwithstanding anything
contained in sub- section (1), the Tribunal shall not admit a reference
petition unless it is made within three years from the date on which the works
contract is terminated, foreclosed , abandoned or comes to an end in any other
manner or when a dispute arises during the pendency of the works contract :
Provided that if a reference
petition is filed by the State Government, such period shall be thirty
4. Chapter IV of the Act contains
Sections 16 to 18. Section 16 deals with passing of an award by the Tribunal
and/or its Benches. Section 17 gives finality to the award made thereunder.
Such awards made, in terms 4 of Section 18 would be deemed to be a decree
within the meaning of Section 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. Section
19 confers a power of revision on the High Court, sub-section (1) whereof reads
as under :- "19. High Court's power of revision. - (1) The High Court may
suo motu at any time or on an application for revision made to it within three
months of the award by an aggrieved party, call for the record of any case in
which an award has been made under this Act by issuing a requisition to the
Tribunal and upon receipt of such requisition, the Tribunal shall send or cause
to be sent to that Court the concerned award and record thereof :
Provided that any application for
revision may be admitted after the prescribed period of three months, if the
applicant satisfies the High Court that he had sufficient cause for not
preferring the revision with such period.
Explanation. - the fact that the
applicant was misled by any order, practice or judgment or the High Court in
ascertaining or computing the prescribed period may be sufficient cause within
the meaning of this sub-section."
5. We may notice that the proviso
thereto had been appended by the M.P. Act No. 19 of 2005.
6. The State of M.P. filed a
revision application before the High Court. It was barred by 80 days.
7. A question as to whether the
High Court could have condoned the delay or not came up for consideration
before a Division Bench of the said Court in Nagarpalika Parishad, Morena vs.
Agrawal Construction Co. : 2004 (II) MPJR 374. It was held therein that the
provisions of Section 5 of the 1963 Act being not available, the delay cannot
8. Reference was thereafter made
to a Full Bench in the light of the decision rendered by this Court in Mukri
Gopalan vs. Cheppilat Puthanpurayil Aboobacker (1995) 5 SCC 5. In the meantime
the decision in Nagar Palika Parishad, Morena (supra) came up for consideration
before this Court. The decision of the Division Bench was affirmed by this
Court stating :- "Heard Mr. Sushil Kumar Jain, learned counsel for the
petitioner at length.
In our view there is no infirmity
in the impugned judgment. The authority in the case of Nasiruddin and others
vs. Sita Ram Agarwal reported in (2003) 2 SCC 577 has been correctly followed.
Same view has also been taken by this Court in the case of Union of India vs.
Popular Construction Co. reported in (2001) 8 SCC 470.
The Special Leave Petition stands
dismissed with no order as to costs."
9. In the meanwhile the matter was
referred again for consideration by a larger Bench which included the question
as to whether the decision of this Court in regard to the dismissal of the
special leave petition constitutes a binding precedent. The questions referred
for decisions of the larger Bench were :- "(a) Whether the power of High
Court for exercise of revisional jurisdiction under Section 19 of M.P.
Madhyasthm Adhikaran Adhiniyam,
1983 is totally constricted and restricted to a period of three months of the
passing of the award which is the limitation prescribed for an aggrieved party
or it can exercise such power of revision suo motu within a reasonable period
of time that can travel beyond here months? (b) Whether the decision tendered
in the case of Nagarpalika Parishad vs. Agrawal Construction Co.
2004 (2) MPJR 374 would be a
10. The Constitution Bench found
that the decision of this Court in Nagarpalika Parishad (supra) constitutes a
binding precedent and it was bound thereby.
It was held that Section 5 of the Limitation Act
has no application to a revision application filed before the High Court under
Section 19 of the Act.
11. Mr. S.K. Dubey, learned senior
counsel appearing on behalf of the appellants, would submit that the
Arbitration Tribunal being a Court, in 7 view of the provisions contained in
sub-section (2) of Section 29 of the Limitation Act,
the High Court committed a serious error in opining that it did not have any
power to condone the delay.
12. The Act is a special Act. It
provided for compulsory arbitration. It provides for a reference. The Tribunal
has the power of rejecting the reference at the threshold.
It provides for a special
limitation. It fixes a time limit for passing an Award. Section 14 of the Act
provides that proceeding and the award can be challenged under special
circumstances. Section 17, as noticed hereinbefore, provides for finality of
the award, notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other law
relating to arbitration.
13. The High Court exercises a
limited power. The revisional power conferred upon the High Court is akin to
Section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure. It has the power to decide as to
whether the Tribunal has misconducted itself or the proceedings or has made an
award which is invalid in law or has been improperly procured by any party to
14. As noticed heretobefore the
proviso appended to Section 19 was added by M.P. Act No.19 of 2005. Prior
thereto the High Court, even at 8 the instance of a party, despite expiry of
the period of limitation could have exercised its suo motu jurisdiction.
15. It is a trite law that
provisions of the Limitation
Act, 1963 shall apply to a Court. It has no application in regard to a
Tribunal or personal designata. There exists a distinction between a Court and
16. The very fact that the
authorities under the Act are empowered to examine witnesses after
administering oath to them clearly shows that they are 'Court' within the
meaning of the Evidence Act. It is relevant to refer to the definition of
'Court' as contained in Section 3 of the Indian Evidence Act which reads as
follows :- 'Court' includes all Judges and Magistrates, and all persons, except
arbitrators, legally authorised to take evidence.
The Tribunal has been confirmed
There, therefore, in our opinion,
cannot be any doubt whatsoever that the authorities under the Act are also
'courts' within the meaning of the provisions of the Indian Evidence Act.
17. The definition of 'Courts'
under the Indian Evidence Act is not exhaustive (See The Empress vs. Ashootosh
Chuckerbutty and others :
9 ILR (4) Cal. (15) 483 (FB).
Although the said definition is for the purpose of the said Act alone, all
authorities must be held to be courts within the meaning of the said provision who
are legally authorised to take evidence. The word 'Court' under the said Act
has come up for consideration at different times under the different statutes.
18. The Commissioner who has been
authorised to take evidence of the witnesses has been held to be a court (See
Jyoti Narayan vs.
Brijnandan Sinha : AIR 1954 Patna
289). The Rent Controller has been held to be a court (See G. Bulliswamy vs.
Smt. C. Annapurnamma :
AIR 1976 Andhra Pradesh 270. The
Election Tribunals have been held to be courts (See Prem Chand vs. Sri O.P.
Trivedi and others : AIR 1967 All. L.J. 5 at page 7). Coroners before whom
evidence can be adduced have been held to be courts (See Tanajirao Martinrao
Kadambande vs. H.J. Chinoy : 71 Bombay Law Reporter 732.
In Brijnandan Sinha vs. Jyoti
Narain : AIR 1956 SC 66 it has been held that any Tribunal or authority whose
decision is final and binding between the parties is a court. In the said
decision, the Supreme Court, while deciding a case under Court of Enquiry Act
held that a court of enquiry is not a court as its decision is neither final
nor binding upon the parties. In Vindar Kumar Satya vs. State of Punjab : AIR
1956 SC 153 10 the Supreme Court has made a broad distinction of a court and
quasi judicial Tribunal. In the Sitamathi Central Co-operative Bank Ltd. vs.
Jugal Kishore Sinha : AIR 1965 Pat
227 a Division Bench of the Patna High Court has held that Assistant Registrars
appointed under the Bihar and Orissa Cooperative Societies Act to be courts. In
the said decision, this Court has held that, when a question arises as to
whether the authority constituted under a particular Act exercising judicial or
quasi judicial power is a court or not, then the following tests must be
fulfilled before the said authority can be termed as a court :
"(a) the dispute which is to
be decided by him must be in the nature of a civil suit :
(b) the procedure for
determination of such dispute must be judicial procedure ; and (c) the decision
must be a binding nature."
The aforementioned judgment has
been affirmed by the Supreme Court in the case of Thakur Jugal Kishore Sinha
vs. Sitamarhi Central Coop. Bank Ltd. : AIR 1967 SC 1494 11 In Chandra Kishore
Jha vs. State of Bihar : 1975 BBCJ 656, a Division Bench of the Patna High
Court has held the the Compensation Officer acting under the Bihar Land Reforms
Act, 1950, to be a court as the said officer exercises judicial power deciding
civil dispute and pass an order which is final and binding between the parties.
In S.K. Sarkar, Member, Board of Revenue, U. P., Lucknow vs. Vinoy Chandra
(1981) 1 SCC 436 the Board of
Revenue has been held to be a court subordinate to the High Court for the
purpose of the provisions of the Contempt of Court Act.
19. However, in The Bharat Bank
Ltd., Delhi vs. The Employees of the Bharat Bank Ltd., Delhi AIR 1950 (SC) 188
it has been held that a 'Labour Court' although has all the trappings of the
Court but still is not a court in technical sense. In Sakuru vs. Tanaji :
(1985) 3 SCC 590, the Supreme Court has held that the statutory authorities did
not come within the purview of the definition of courts for the purpose of
Section 5 of the Limitation
20. In K.P. Verma vs. State of
Bihar : 1988 PLJR 1036, which arose out of a case under the Bihar
Administrative Tribunal Act, a Division Bench of the Patna High Court held as
under :- "32. The modern sociological condition as also the needs of the
time have necessitated growth of 12 administrative law and administrative law
Executive functions of the State
calls for exercise of discretion and judgment also and not a mere dumb
obedience of the orders so that the executive also forms quasi-judicial and
quasi legislative functions and, in this view of the matter, the administrative
adjudication has become as indispensable part of the modern state activity.
However, judicial process differs from administrative adjudicative process.
adjudication is understood as the same thing as administration of justice,
though both the terms relate to deciding upon disputes yet over the years a
great many difference have been noticed in them which may be placed in the
table as under :- Judicial Adjudication
In this the
disputes are decided by the persons specially trained in law.
The Courts normally cannot move
a matter by themselves, eg. suo moto.
are bound by earlier precedents and settled principles of Law.
decisions are objective.
Normally only the parties
directly interested ino the lis take part in it.
provides many safeguards against the arbitrary decisions of the Courts in the
shape of procedures , appeals, revisions, reviews, etc. etc.,
judgments must be given with detailed reasons by the Courts.
a legal immunity from responsibility of acts done in discharge of their duties
and their conduct cannot be a subject of discussion in any form, even in
The Laws of evidence and other
principles of Common Law are fully applicable to the Courts. 13
The justice in courts is
without `biss' or `affection or ill will."
Administrative Adjudication In
this the disputes are decided by the persons having administrative experience.
The administrators may initiate
action by themselves.
The administrators may decide each
case on its merits.
The decisions of administrators
are usually subjective.
In this even other citizens may
appear in the interest of public.
In administrative adjudication, normally
the decisions are final and there is a much greater scope for arbitrary
decisions of the adjudicators.
The administrative adjudicators
may pass even cryptic non speaking orders.
This is not so normally in case of
Tribunals unless the law incorporating them may provide.
The Tribunals are not bound by any
such law and need to follow only the principles of Natural Justice.
These have to apply the special
policy and thus cannot view things with that `Cold neutrality of the impartial
judge' (Schwarts in American Administrative Law. P. 61) "
Dr. Durga Das Basu in his
Administrative Law, Second Edition, at page 280 has also given broad features
which characterise a `Court'.
14 However, this broad distinction
may not be held to be applicable as how in India apart from the Administrative
Tribunals pure and simple as in the United Kingdom or the United States of
America, various special Tribunals are being constituted, and that although
they are not regular `courts' and have judicial authorities but have all the
trappings of the Court. The number of such Tribunals is on the increase owing
to the welfare role taken up by the State under our Constitution, as such so
that "the number of Indian statutes which constitute administrative
authorities, purely administrative and quasi judicial, is legion." (See
Durga Das Basu, Administrative Law, 2nd Edition at page 285).
"Although in its
constitution, it is a Tribunal as the source of authority is by reason of a
statutory provision and it is empowered by the statutory provisions to exercise
any adjudicating power of the State. (See A.P.H.L.
Conf. vs. Sangma, A. 1977 S.C.
2155 (2163), e.g. the Election Commission, deciding disputes as to Party
Symbols (ibid); the settlement Commision under s. 2451 of the Income-tax Act
(C.I.T. v. Bhattacharya, A.
1979 S.C. 1724); Arbitrator
appointed under s.
10A of the Industrial Disputes Act
(Gujarat Steel Tubes vs. Mazdoor Union, A. 1980 S.C.
1896) ; The Central Government,
exercising powers under s. 111 (3) of the Companies Act (Harinagar Sugar Mills
vs. Shyam Sundar, A.
1961 S.C. 1669 (1679)."
In this connection, it may further
be necessary to bear in mind that the root of the word "Tribunal" is
Tribunal which is a Latin word meaning a raised platform on which the seats of
the tribunes or the magistrates are placed. Thus, all courts are tribunals but
all tribunals are not courts.
However, there cannot be any doubt
that these administrative tribunals or the administrative 15 tribunals or the
administrative courts are authorities outside the ordinary Court system which
interpret and apply the laws when acts of public administration are attacked in
formal suits or by other established methods. In essence the Administrative
Tribunals may be called a specialized court of law, although it does not fulfil
the criteria of a law court as is understood inasmuch as it cannot like an
ordinary law court entertain suits on various matters, including the matter
relating to the vires of legislation. However, such a Tribunal like ordinary
law courts, as found hereinbefore, are bound by the rules of evidence and
procedure as laid down under the law and are required to decide strictly, as
per the law.
O. Hood Phillips and Paul Jackson
in O. Hood Phillips' Constitutional and Administrative Law, Sixth Edition, at
page 575 observed as follows. - "Administrative Jurisdiction" or
"Administrative Justice" is a name given to various ways of deciding
disputes outside the ordinary courts. It is not possible to define precisely
what bodies constitute the "ordinary courts" although this expression
was used in the Tribunals and Inquiries Acts 1958 and 1971. There are some
bodies that might be placed under the heading either of ordinary courts or of
special tribunals. Guidance cannot be found in the name of a body; the
Employment Appeal Tribunal, for example, is a superior court of record."
At page 576 under the Chapter
"Special Tribunals" the author has stated as follows:- `These are
independent statutory tribunals whose function is judicial. They are often called
"administrative tribunals" especially those more closely related by
appointment or policy to the Minister concerned, because the reasons for
creating them are administrative.
The tribunals are so varied in
composition, 16 method of appointment, functions and procedure, and in their
relation to Ministers on the one hand and the ordinary courts on the other,
that a satisfactory formal classification is impossible.' It, therefore, in my
opinion, logically follows that the tribunal, although not a law court in its
true sense but is a court in a limited sense and is bound to act independently
and impartially and exercise judicial authority without any fear or favour from
any person and, thus, would be a court within the meaning of the provisions of
the Evidence Act and the Contempt of Courts Act."
21. A Court for the purpose of
application of the Limitation Act
should ordinarily be subordinate to the High Court. The High Court exercises its
jurisdiction over the subordinate courts inter alia in terms of Section 115 of
the Code of Civil Procedure. While the High Court exercises its revisional
jurisdiction, it for all intent and purport exercises an appellate
jurisdiction. [See - Shankar Ramchandra Abhyankar vs.
Krishnaji Dattatreya Bapat : AIR
1970 SC 1].
22. The provisions of the Act
referred to hereinbefore clearly postulate that the State of Madhya Pradesh has
created a separate forum for the purpose of determination of disputes arising inter
alia out of the works contract. The Tribunal is not one which can be said to be
a Domestic Tribunal. The Members of the Tribunal are not nominated by the
17 The disputants do not have any
control over their appointment. The Tribunal may reject a reference at the
threshold. It has the power to summon records. It has the power to record
evidence. Its functions are not limited to one Bench. The Chairman of the
Tribunal can refer the disputes to another Bench. Its decision is final. It can
award costs. It can award interests. The finality of the decision is fortified
by a legal fiction created by making an Award a decree of a Civil Court. It is
executable as a decree of a Civil Court. The Award of the Arbitral Tribunal is
not subject to the provisions of the Arbitration Act,
1940 and the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1944. The provisions of the
said Acts have no application.
23. We are, therefore, of the
opinion that the Tribunal for all intent and purport is a Court. The Tribunal
has to determine a lis. There are two parties before it. It proceedings are
judicial proceeding subject to the revisional order which may be passed by the
24. In Hukumdev Narain Yadav vs.
Lalit Narain Mishra : (1974) 2 SCC 133 this Court was considering a question
whether an Election Tribunal while sitting on a Saturday, which is not a usual
working day, would function as Court. It was opined :- "10. Now that we
have held that the Court is not closed and the petition could have been
presented to 18 the Registrar on Saturday, March 18, 1972, the question would
be, does Section 5 of the Limitation Act apply to enable the petitioner to show
sufficient cause for not filing it on the last day of limitation, but on a
subsequent day? Whether Section 5 is applicable to election petitions filed
under Section 81 of the Act will depend upon the terms of Section 29(2) of the Limitation Act.
Whether Section 5 could be invoked would also depend on the applicability of
sub-section (2) of Section 29 of the Limitation Act
to election petitions. Under this sub-section where a special or local law
provides for any suit, appeal or application a period different from the period
prescribed therefor by the Schedule, the provisions specified therein will
apply only insofar as and to the extent to which they are expressly excluded by
such special or local law.
Under Section 29(2) of the Limitation Act
of 1908 as amended in 1922, only Section 4, Sections 9 to 18 and Section 22 of
that Act applied ordinarily unless excluded by a special or local law. Thus
unless Section 5 was made applicable by or under any enactment the discretion
of the Court to extend time thereunder would not be available. Similarly
Sections 6 to 8 would not apply and neither acknowledgment nor payment (under
the former Sections 19 and 20) could give a fresh starting point of limitation.
Even Section 5 under the old Act was in terms inapplicable to applications
unless the Section was made applicable by or under any of the enactment. The
new Section 5 is now of wider applicability and as the objects and reasons
"Instead of leaving it to the
different States or the High Courts to extend the application of Section 5 to
applications other than those enumerated in that Section as now in force, this
clause provides for the automatic application of this Section to all
applications, other than those arising under Order 21 of the Code of Civil
Procedure, 1908, relating to the execution of decrees. In the case of special
or local laws, it will be open to such laws to provide that Section 5 will not
The present section incorporates
two changes: (1) a uniform rule making it applicable to all applications except
those mentioned therein [by defining "application" as including a
"petition" in Section 2 (b)]; and (2) to all special and local
enactments, unless excluded by any of them. The difference in the 19 scheme of
the provisions of sub-section (2) of Section 29 under the two Acts will be
discernible if they are juxtaposed as under:
Section 29(2) of old Act Section
29(2) of new Act Where any special or local law prescribes for any suit, appeal
or application a period of limitation different from the period prescribed
therefor by the First Schedule, the provisions of Section 3 shall apply, as if such
period were prescribed therefore in that Schedule, and for the purpose of
determining any period of limitation prescribed for any suit, appeal or
application by any special or local law --(a) the provisions contained in
Section 4, Sections 9 to 18, and Section 22 shall apply only insofar as, and to
the extent to which, they are not expressly excluded by such special or local
and(b) the remaining provisions of
this Act shall not apply. Where any special or local law prescribes for any
suit, appeal or application a period of limitation different from the period
prescribed by the Schedule, the provisions of Section 3 shall apply as if such
period were the period prescribed by the Schedule and for the purpose of
determining any period of limitation prescribed for any suit, appeal or
application by any special or local law, the provisions contained in Sections 4
to 24 (inclusive) shall apply only insofar as, and to the extent to which, they
are not expressly excluded by such special or local law.
25. There cannot, therefore, any
doubt whatsoever that if the Arbitral Tribunal in question is a Court and not a
personal designate, sub-section (2) of Section 29, Section 5 of the Limitation Act
would apply. It is only when the limitation provided under the Special Law, is
different from 20 that prescribed in the Schedule appended to the Limitation Act,
sub- section (2) of Section 29 would be attracted.
26. In Mukri Gopalan (supra) the
distinction between the `Personal Designata' and `Court' was noticed. It was
held that the appellate authority constituted under Section 18 of the Rent Act
was a Court having all the trappings of the Courts.
27. If the Tribunal is a Court,
fortiori sub-section (2) of Section 29 would apply. As it is a Court it was not
necessary for the legislature to confer power under Section 5 of the 1963 Act
specifically. In that view of mater an application under Section 5 of the Limitation Act
would be maintainable.
28. In Mukri Gopalan (supra), this
Court held :
"15. After repealing of
Indian Limitation Act, 1908 and its replacement by the present Limitation Act
of 1963 a fundamental change was made in Section 29 (2). The present Section
29(2) as already extracted earlier clearly indicates that once the requisite
conditions for its applicability to given proceedings under special or local
law are attracted, the provisions contained in Sections 4 to 24 both inclusive
would get attracted which obviously would bring in Section 5 which also shall
apply to such proceedings unless applicability of any of the aforesaid sections
of the Limitation Act is expressly excluded by such special or local law. By
this change it is not necessary to expressly state in a special law that the
provisions contained in Section 5 of the Limitation Act shall apply to the
determination of the periods under it. By the general provision contained in
Section 29(2) this provision is made applicable to the periods prescribed under
the special laws. An express mention in the 21 special law is necessary only
for any exclusion. It is on this basis that when the new Rent Act was passed in
1965 the provision contained in old Section 31 was omitted. It becomes
therefore apparent that on a conjoint reading of Section 29(2) of Limitation
Act of 1963 and Section 18 of the Rent Act of 1965, provisions of Section 5
would automatically get attracted to those proceedings, as there is nothing in
the Rent Act of 1965 expressly excluding the applicability of Section 5 of the
Limitation Act to appeals under Section 18 of the Rent Act."
29. The Full Bench, however,
affirmed the decision of the Division Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court on
the authority of Nasirrudin and others vs. Sitaram and others : (2003) 2 SCC
577 and Union of India vs. Popular Construction Co. : (2001) 8 SCC 470.
30. In Popular Construction
(supra) application of Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 was in question.
Act clearly provided for a limitation in the matter of exercise of
discretionary jurisdiction for condoning the delay only for a period of 30 days
and not thereafter. It was in the aforementioned situation this Court held that
Section 5 of the Limitation Act as such will have no application, as a special
limitation has been provided for.
31. In Nasirrudin (supra) this
Court was considering the applicability of Section 5 of the Limitation Act in
the matter of deposit of rent. The said question came up for consideration in
the light of the power of the Rent Controller in terms of the Rent Control
Statute in the matter of 22 depositing the rent. In other words the question
was that the provision was directory or mandatory. It was in that view of the
matter this Court opined :- "45. On perusal of the said section it is
evident that the question of application of Section 5 would arise where any
appeal or any application may be admitted after the prescribed period, if the
appellant or the applicant satisfies the court that he had sufficient cause for
not making the appeal or application within such period. Section 13(4) provides
that in a suit for eviction on the ground set forth in clause (a) of sub-
section (1), the tenant shall on the first date of hearing or on or before such
date, the court may on the application fixed in this behalf or within such time
the tenant shall deposit in court or pay to the landlord in court as determined
under sub-section (3) from the date of such determination or within such
further time not exceeding three months as may be extended by the court. Thus,
sub-section (4) itself provides for limitation of a specific period within
which the deposit has to be made, which cannot be exceeding three months as
extended by the court.
It was furthermore observed :-
"47. The provisions of Section 5 of the Limitation Act must be construed
having regard to Section 3 thereof.
For filing an application after
the expiry of the period prescribed under the Limitation Act or any other
special statute, a cause of action must arise.
Compliance with an order passed by
a court of law in terms of a statutory provision does not give rise to a cause
of action. On failure to comply with an order passed by a court of law, instant
consequences are provided for under the statute. The court can condone the
default only when the statute confers such a power on the court and not otherwise.
In that view of the matter we have no other option but to hold that Section 5
of the Limitation
Act, 1963 has no application in the instant case."
23 It was observed that for entertaining
an application within the meaning of the said provision, there should be some
request. Mukri Gopalan (supra) was distinguished stating :- "53. Mr Gupta,
appearing on behalf of the respondent, however, placed reliance upon a decision
of this Court in Mukri Gopalan v. Cheppilat Puthanpurayil Aboobacker. Therein
this Court was concerned with extension of the period of limitation in a case
wherein an appeal was to be preferred before an Appellate Authority under the
Kerala Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1965. As for preferring an
appeal a period of limitation is prescribed, it was held that Section 5 of the
Act was applicable and, therefore, the said decision is of no help to the
It was not dissented from.
32. We, therefore, are prima facie
of the opinion that the Nagar Palika Parishad, Morena (supra) was not correctly
decided and, thus, the matter requires consideration by a Larger Bench. It is
33. Let the records of the case be
placed before the Hon'ble the Chief Justice of India for constituting an
(V.S. SIRPURKAR) New Delhi.
24 May 12, 2008.