State of Kerala &
Ors. Vs. V.S.Raveendran  INSC 193 (30 January 2009)
JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5692 OF 2008 STATE OF KERALA & ORS.
respondent filed an application dated 30.9.2001 for grant of a FL3 licence for
his restaurant. In 2006, he was informed by the Excise authorities that his
application could not be considered and granted as per the then existing law.
Feeling aggrieved, the appellant approached the High Court by filing a writ
petition. Learned single Judge disposed of the writ petition by order dated
6.12.2006 with a direction to the Excise Commissioner to consider the
eligibility of the respondent with reference to the qualifications required as
on the date of the application. That was challenged by the State by filing a
writ appeal. The writ appeal was dismissed by the Division Bench on the ground
of delay. The said order is challenged in this appeal by special leave.
examining the reasons assigned by the appellant State for condonation of delay
in filing the appeal before the High Court, we are of the view that the delay
ought to have been condoned by the High Court. The appellant should have an
opportunity to challenge the order of the learned single Judge on merits as
there is an important question relating to applicability of the relevant rules.
therefore, allow this appeal, set aside the order of the High Court and condone
the delay in filing the appeal before the High Court. Consequently, we request
the High Court to dispose of the State's appeal which has stood restored to its
file on merits expeditiously.
are informed that after the dismissal of the appeal by the High Court, the State
has granted temporary licence to the respondent in December as there was no
stay in this appeal. It is stated the respondent has paid the licence fee for
the period upto 31.3.2009. In the peculiar circumstances, the licence granted
shall continue till the disposal of the appeal or till 31.3.2009 whichever is
( R.V. RAVEENDRAN )