Union of India &
Ors. Vs Nripen Sarma
O R D E R
We have heard learned
Additional Solicitor General and learned counsel for the respondent. This appeal
emanates from the judgment of the Division Bench of the Gauhati High Court (High
Court of Assam, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram & Arunachal Pradesh)
in Misc. Case No.1569 of 2007 in W.A.No.72020 of 2006. The appeal filed by the Union
of India was dismissed by the High Court because of inordinate delay of 239
days. The Division Bench of the High Court, while dismissing the appeal, has
observed as under : "We have gone through the contents of the petition.
The delay occurred because
of the respondents took their own sweet time to reach the conclusion whether the
judgment should be appealed or not. It is not that they were prevented by any reason
which is beyond their control to take such a decision in time. Even otherwise, on
merits of the case also it does not appear to have any tenable ground of
appeal. In the circumstances, we do not see any merits in this petition." We
have also gone through the condonation of delay application which was filed in the
High Court. In our considered view, the High Court was fully justified in
dismissing the appeal on the ground of delay because no sufficient cause was shown
for condoning the delay.
The appellant has
preferred this appeal against the final judgment dated 10.09.2007 before this Court.
This appeal is also barred by limitation of 114 days. There is no satisfactory explanation
for condonation of delay before this Court also. The Union of India ought to
have been careful particularly in filing this Civil Appeal because the Division
Bench, by the impugned order, has dismissed the appeal before it on the ground
of delay. It is a matter of deep anguish and distress that majority of the matters
filed by the Union of India are hopelessly barred by limitation and no satisfactory
explanations exist for condoning inordinate delay in filing those cases. On consideration
of the totality of the facts and circumstances, we are constrained to dismiss this
appeal on the ground of delay. However, in the larger interest, we are keeping the
question of law open.