Maniben Devraj Shah &
Vs. Municipal Corporation of Brihan Mumbai
[Civil Appeal Nos.
2970 -2971 of 2012]
J U D G M E N T
G. S. Singhvi, J.
the cause shown by Municipal Corporation of Brihan Mumbai (for short, the Corporation)
for condonation of 7 years and 108 days delay in filing appeals against judgments
and decrees dated 2.5.2003 passed by the City Civil Court (hereinafter referred
to as the trial Court) in L.C. Suit Nos. 2726, 2727, 2728 of 1999 was sufficient
cause within the meaning of Section 5 of the Limitation Act and the learned Single
Judge of the Bombay High Court was justified in condoning the delay is the question
which arises for consideration in these appeals.
the outset, it deserves to be mentioned that the respondent had withdrawn one of
the three appeals filed before the High Court and, as such, the impugned order makes
a reference to the two appeals only.
appellants filed suits for grant of a declaration that notices issued by the Corporation
under Section 314 of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888 (for short, the
Act) for demolition of the properties specified in the plaints are illegal and not
binding on them. They pleaded that the action taken by the Corporation is discriminatory
and liable to be annulled because some persons whose structures were taken for road
widening were allowed to construct mezzanine floor in the remaining portions of
their respective properties and were also allotted alternative accommodation in
the new building but they were not given similar benefit. The appellants further
pleaded that they had entered into development agreements with Shamji D. Shah and
Popatbhai Baghbhai Bharwad for developing the property and they will construct market
for and on behalf of the Corporation. They prayed for issue of a direction to the
respondent to provide shops in the market proposed to be constructed on C.T.S. No.997,
Near Purnapragya High School, Bharucha Marg, Dahisar (E), Bombay.
the written statement filed on behalf of the Corporation, an objection was taken
to the maintainability of the suit on the ground that notice under Section 527 of
the Act had not been given by the appellants. On merits, it was pleaded that the
appellants had raised construction on a portion of the road and it had become necessary
to demolish the same for widening the existing road.
the pleadings of the parties the trial Court framed identical issues in all the
suits. For the sake of reference, the issues framed in LC Suit No. 2726 of 1999
titled Smt. Maniben Devraj Shah v. The Municipal Corporation of Greater Bombay are
the plaintiff prove that notice issued u/s. 314 of BMC Act is illegal, bad in
law, malafides and inexcitable?
the plaintiff prove that she is entitled for alternate accommodation in lieu of
structure affected by road widening?
the plaintiff prove that suit is maintainable for the want of notice u/s. 527
of BMC Act?
the plaintiff is entitled for any relief?
per final order
per final order
considering the pleadings of the parties and evidence produced by them, the trial
Court decreed the suits by separate but identical judgments dated 2.5.2003.
Corporation did not challenge the judgments of the trial Court within the prescribed
period of limitation and filed appeals sometime in September, 2010 along with the
applications for condonation of 7 years and 108 days delay. In support of its prayer
for condonation of delay the Corporation also filed the affidavits of Shri Ranindra
Y. Sirsikar, Junior Law Officer. For the sake of reference, paragraph 3 of the application
for condonation of delay and paragraphs 2, 3 and 5 of the affidavit of Shri Ranindra
Y. Sirsikar filed in First Appeal No. 3691 of 2010 titled Municipal Corporation
of Brihan Mumbai v. Smt. Maniben Devraj Shah are reproduced below: APPLICATION FOR
CONDONATION OF DELAY
3) The applicants herein
have filed the present first appeal against the order dated 2.5.2003 and applied
for certified copy of judgment on 23.8.2010 and same was made available on 6.9.2010
and collected on 6.9.2010. The applicant corporation being the administrative and
statutory body, certain requisitions and formalities for preferring an first appeal
in the Honble High Court has to be complied with. The applicant submit that the
said papers which were required for the preferring the first appeal were misplaced
and not traceable in spite of good efforts.
The applicant submit that
meanwhile concerned advocate who has appeared in the above suit was transferred
from the city civil section to criminal section in the month of June 2004 and therefore
loss the tract of matter and the said first appeal remained to be filed due to oversight
and heavy work load. The applicant submits that concerned advocate was also transferred
from criminal section to high court suit section in the month of October, 2005.
The applicant submit that
the concerned advocate who has appeared in the suit came to know that plaintiff
has fraudulently obtained alternate accommodation under order passed by Honble City
Civil Court on 2.5.2003 even when respondent was given permission for constructing
the mezzanine floor to the extent of structure affected by road widening. The applicant
say and submit that the concerned development and thereafter immediate steps were
taken to reconstruct the brief and preferred the first appeal immediately.
The applicant therefore
say and submit that there is delay of days in preferring the present first appeal.
The applicant submit that delay in preferring the appeal is not deliberate and intentional.
The same is caused due to circumstances narrated herein above. Therefore delay be
condoned. AFFIDAVIT OF SHRI RANINDRA Y. SIRSIKAR 2. I say that the present suits
bearing No. (1) 2726 of 1999, 2727 of 1999 and 2728 of 1999 was decreed on 02.05.2003
by Honble City Civil Court. I say that I was on leave from 30.4.2003 till 11.5.2003.
I resumed my office by 12.5.2003.
A copy of leave application
is annexed herewith and marked as Exhibit-A. I say that as per the office procedure,
the necessary intimation was also forwarded to the concerned department and informed
them about the court orders dated 2.5.2003. A copy of dispatch extract regarding
intimation to the concerned ward on 12.5.2003 is annexed herewith and marked as
Exhibit B. I say that thereafter, from the record it seems that concerned department
misplaced the papers and were not traceable so nobody followed up on the matter.
I say that from 2.1.2004, I was transferred to Miscellaneous Court. A copy of the
office order regarding transfer is annexed and marked as Exhibit C. I say that I
was again transferred from Miscellaneous Court to Criminal Court from 5.6.2004.
A copy of the office order
regarding transfer is annexed herewith and marked as Exhibit D. I was with the Criminal
Section from 5.6.2004 to 28.9.2005. I was again transferred from Criminal Court
to High Court Original Side w.e.f. 28.9.2005 till date. A copy of the office order
regarding transfer is annexed herewith and market as Exhibit E. I say that in view
of the facts, I was transferred from City Civil Court, and various courts, I could
not follow up with the matter. 3. I say that in the instant case, the Local Councillor
Shri Prakash Karkar wrote a letter on 20.7.2010 to the concerned Additional Municipal
Commissioner requesting for joint meeting regarding widening of road and expediting
the development and construction of Municipal Market, i.e., property under reference.
A copy of letter dt. 20.7.2010
of Local Councillor Shri Prakash Karkar is annexed herewith and marked as Exhibit
F. I say that accordingly joint meeting was held in the Chamber of Addl. M.C. on
2.8.2010, when all concerned officers along with Jt. Law Officer (City Civil Court
Section) of Legal Department of the appellant was also present in the said meeting.
In the course of said meeting, it came to the notice that the respondents are claiming
the right of alternative accommodation pursuant to impugned order in view of that
matter, respective Addl. Municipal Commissioner directed Jt. Law Officer (City Civil
Court Section) of Legal Department to study entire matters and also ascertain above
appeal and its stage against the judgment and order dated 2.5.2003 passed by City
A copy of minutes dated
2.8.2010 is annexed herewith and marked as Exhibit G. 5. I say that though papers
were misplaced and not traceable, I personally inquired with the staff of High Court
(Appellate Side High Court Section of the Legal Department) on 17.8.2010, whether
any appeal has been filed against the order and judgment dated 2.5.2003.
I came to know on 19.8.2010,
that appeal has not been filed as neither the said proceedings nor copy of order
dated 2.5.2003 were put up before undersigned for drafting an appeal. I immediately
directed to the concerned Managing Clerk on 19.8.2010 to file an application for
certified copy of judgment and order dated 2.5.2003. Accordingly, an application
for certified copy was made on 23.8.2010 and same was made available on 6.9.2010
and certified copy of order dated 2.5.2010 was also delivered on 6.9.2010 and accordingly,
appeal has been filed on 16.9.2010.
appellants contested the prayer made by the Corporation for condonation of delay
by asserting that the story of misplacement of the papers is unbelievable and is
liable to be discarded because the applications for condonation of delay do not
mention as to when the misplaced papers were traced out by the concerned department.
They also pleaded that the transfer of Shri Ranindra Y. Sirsikar from one section
to the other has no bearing on the issue of condonation of delay because the Corporation
has employed several advocates and no explanation whatsoever has been offered for
not filing the applications for certified copies of the judgment of the trial Court
learned Single Judge of the High Court referred to the judgments of this Court in
Collector, Land Acquisition, Anantnag v. Mst.Katiji (1987) 2 SCC 107 and State of
Nagaland v. Lipok AO (2005) 3 SCC 752 and condoned the delay by recording the following
observations: Having regard to over all facts and circumstances of the case, the
cause shown by the Corporation for condonation of delay, in my opinion, is sufficient
and the delay deserves to be condoned.
I is well settled that
the expression sufficient causeis adequately elastic to enable the courts to apply
the law in a meaningful manner which subserves the ends of justice. The court are
expected to take liberal approach in such matters where refusal to condone delay
is likely to result in a meritorious matter being thrown out at the very threshold.
Taking the law laid down
by the Supreme Court in view and considering over all facts and circumstances of
the case, so also the fact that if the delay is not condoned the meritorious appeal
is likely to be thrown at the very threshold, I am inclined to condone the delay
in filing these appeals. Hence, the Civil Application Nos. 3625 of 2010 and 3691
of 2010 are allowed in terms of prayer clause (a).
A.S. Bhasme, learned counsel for the appellants argued that the reasons assigned
by the learned Single Judge for condoning more than 7 years and 3 months delay in
filing the appeals are legally unsustainable and the impugned order is liable to
be set aside because the explanation given by the Corporation lacked bonafides and
was wholly unsatisfactory.
Learned counsel emphasized
that in the absence of any denial by the Corporation that it has a battery of advocates
to deal with the litigation, the transfer of Shri Ranindra Y. Sirsikar in January,
2004 to Miscellaneous Court and, thereafter, to other Courts has no bearing on the
issue of delay because the suits filed by the appellants had been decided in May,
2003 and no explanation has been given as to why applications for certified copies
could not be filed for 7 years and 5 months.
Shri Bhasme submitted
that even if one advocate / law officer was transferred from one department / division
to another, nothing prevented the Corporation from taking steps to apply for certified
copies of the judgment. Shri Bhasme further submitted that the story of misplacement
of papers was concocted by the Corporation and the same ought to have been rejected
by the High Court because the assertion made in that regard was vague to the core
and no indication was given as to when the papers were traced and by whom. In support
of his argument, Shri Bhasme relied upon the judgments of this Court in Oriental
Aroma Chemical Industries Limited v. Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation
(2010) 5 SCC 459.
Pallav Shishodia, learned senior counsel appearing for the Corporation argued that
the discretion exercised by the learned Single Judge of the High Court to condone
the delay does not suffer from any legal infirmity and the mere possibility that
this Court may, on a fresh analysis of the pleadings of the parties, form a different
opinion does not furnish a valid ground for exercise of power under Article 136
of the Constitution. Shri Shishodia submitted that in last more than two decades
the Courts have time and again emphasized that while considering the question of
condonation of delay, the pleadings of the parties should be construed liberally
and the genuine cause of a party should not be defeated by refusing to condone the
In support of his argument,
Shri Shishodia relied upon the often cited judgments in Collector, Land Acquisition,
Anantnag v. Mst. Katiji (supra) and State of Nagaland v. Lipok AO (supra). Shri
Shishodia also pointed out that the appellants had raised illegal construction and
if the challenge to the decrees passed by the trial Court was aborted by the High
Court by refusing to condone the delay, serious injury would have been caused to
the public interest.
have considered the respective arguments / submissions and carefully scrutinized
the record. The law of limitation is founded on public policy. The Limitation Act,
1963 has not been enacted with the object of destroying the rights of the parties
but to ensure that they approach the Court for vindication of their rights without
unreasonable delay. The idea underlying the concept of limitation is that every
remedy should remain alive only till the expiry of the period fixed by the Legislature.
At the same time, the
Courts are empowered to condone the delay provided that sufficient cause is shown
by the applicant for not availing the remedy within the prescribed period of limitation.
The expression sufficient causeused in Section 5 of the Limitation Act, 1963 and
other statutes is elastic enough to enable the Courts to apply the law in a meaningful
manner which serve the ends of justice.
No hard and fast rule
has been or can be laid down for deciding the applications for condonation of delay
but over the years this Court has advocated that a liberal approach should be adopted
in such matters so that substantive rights of the parties are not defeated merely
because of delay.
Ramlal v. Rewa Coalfields Ltd. AIR 1962 SC 361, this Court while interpreting Section
5 of the Limitation Act, laid down the following proposition: In construing Section
5 (of the Limitation Act), it is relevant to bear in mind two important considerations.
The first consideration
is that the expiration of the period of limitation prescribed for making an appeal
gives rise to a right in favour of the decree-holder to treat the decree as binding
between the parties. In other words, when the period of limitation prescribed has
expired, the decree-holder has obtained a benefit under the law of limitation to
treat the decree as beyond challenge, and this legal right which has accrued to
the decree-holder by lapse of time should not be light-heartedly disturbed.
The other consideration
which cannot be ignored is that if sufficient cause for excusing delay is shown,
discretion is given to the court to condone delay and admit the appeal. This discretion
has been deliberately conferred on the court in order that judicial power and discretion
in that behalf should be exercised to advance substantial justice.
Collector, Land Acquisition, Anantnag v. Mst. Katiji (supra), this Court made a
significant departure from the earlier judgments and observed: The legislature has
conferred the power to condone delay by enacting Section 5 of the Indian Limitation
Act of 1963 in order to enable the courts to do substantial justice to parties by
disposing of matters on merits. The expression sufficient cause employed by the
legislature is adequately elastic to enable the courts to apply the law in a meaningful
manner which sub serves the ends of justice that being the life-purpose for the
existence of the institution of courts.
It is common knowledge
that this Court has been making a justifiably liberal approach in matters instituted
in this Court. But the message does not appear to have percolated down to all the
other courts in the hierarchy. And such a liberal approach is adopted on principle
as it is realized that:
1. Ordinarily a litigant
does not stand to benefit by lodging an appeal late.
2. Refusing to condone delay
can result in a meritorious matter being thrown out at the very threshold and cause
of justice being defeated. As against this when delay is condoned the highest that
can happen is that a cause would be decided on merits after hearing the parties.
3. Every day's delay must
be explained does not mean that a pedantic approach should be made. Why not every
hour's delay, every second's delay? The doctrine must be applied in a rational common
sense pragmatic manner.
4. When substantial justice
and technical considerations are pitted against each other, cause of substantial
justice deserves to be preferred for the other side cannot claim to have vested
right in injustice being done because of a non-deliberate delay.
5. There is no presumption
that delay is occasioned deliberately, or on account of culpable negligence, or
on account of mala fides. A litigant does not stand to benefit by resorting to delay.
In fact he runs a serious risk.
6. It must be grasped that
judiciary is respected not on account of its power to legalize injustice on technical
grounds but because it is capable of removing injustice and is expected to do so.
Making a justice-oriented
approach from this perspective, there was sufficient cause for condoning the delay
in the institution of the appeal. The fact that it was the State which was seeking
condonation and not a private party was altogether irrelevant.
The doctrine of equality
before law demands that all litigants, including the State as a litigant, are accorded
the same treatment and the law is administered in an even-handed manner. There is
no warrant for according a step-motherly treatment when the State is the applicant
praying for condonation of delay. In fact experience shows that on account of an
impersonal machinery (no one in charge of the matter is directly hit or hurt by
the judgment sought to be subjected to appeal) and the inherited bureaucratic methodology
imbued with the note-making, file-pushing and passing-on-the-buck ethos, delay on
its part is less difficult to understand though more difficult to approve.
In any event, the State
which represents the collective cause of the community, does not deserve a litigant-non-grata
status. The courts therefore have to be informed with the spirit and philosophy
of the provision in the course of the interpretation of the expression sufficient
cause. So also the same approach has to be evidenced in its application to matters
at hand with the end in view to do even-handed justice on merits in preference to
the approach which scuttles a decision on merits.
N. Balakrishnan v. M. Krishnamurthy, (1998) 7 SCC 123, the Court went a step further
and made the following observations: It is axiomatic that condonation of delay is
a matter of discretion of the court. Section 5 of the Limitation Act does not say
that such discretion can be exercised only if the delay is within a certain limit.
Length of delay is no matter, acceptability of the explanation is the only criterion.
Sometimes delay of the shortest range may be uncondonable due to a want of acceptable
explanation whereas in certain other cases, delay of a very long range can be condoned
as the explanation thereof is satisfactory.
Once the court accepts
the explanation as sufficient, it is the result of positive exercise of discretion
and normally the superior court should not disturb such finding, much less in revisional
jurisdiction, unless the exercise of discretion was on wholly untenable grounds
or arbitrary or perverse. But it is a different matter when the first court refuses
to condone the delay. In such cases, the superior court would be free to consider
the cause shown for the delay afresh and it is open to such superior court to come
to its own finding even untrammelled by the conclusion of the lower court.
Rules of limitation are
not meant to destroy the rights of parties. They are meant to see that parties do
not resort to dilatory tactics, but seek their remedy promptly. The object of providing
a legal remedy is to repair the damage caused by reason of legal injury. The law
of limitation fixes a lifespan for such legal remedy for the redress of the legal
injury so suffered. Time is precious and wasted time would never revisit. During
the efflux of time, newer causes would sprout up necessitating newer persons to
seek legal remedy by approaching the courts.
So a lifespan must be
fixed for each remedy. Unending period for launching the remedy may lead to unending
uncertainty and consequential anarchy. The law of limitation is thus founded on
public policy. It is enshrined in the maxim interest reipublicae up sit finis litium
(it is for the general welfare that a period be put to litigation). Rules of limitation
are not meant to destroy the rights of the parties. They are meant to see that parties
do not resort to dilatory tactics but seek their remedy promptly. The idea is that
every legal remedy must be kept alive for a legislatively fixed period of time.
It must be remembered
that in every case of delay, there can be some lapse on the part of the litigant
concerned. That alone is not enough to turn down his plea and to shut the door against
him. If the explanation does not smack of mala fides or it is not put forth as part
of a dilatory strategy, the court must show utmost consideration to the suitor.
But when there is reasonable
ground to think that the delay was occasioned by the party deliberately to gain
time, then the court should lean against acceptance of the explanation. While condoning
the delay, the court should not forget the opposite party altogether. It must be
borne in mind that he is a loser and he too would have incurred quite large litigation
expenses. It would be a salutary guideline that when courts condone the delay due
to laches on the part of the applicant, the court shall compensate the opposite
party for his loss.
P.K. Ramachandran v. State of Kerala, (1997) 7 SCC 556, this Court while reversing
the order passed by the High Court which had condoned 565 days delay in filing an
appeal by the State against the decree of the Sub-Court in an arbitration application,
observed that the law of limitation may harshly affect a particular party but it
has to be applied with all its rigour when the statute so prescribes and the Courts
have no power to extend the period of limitation on equitable grounds. In Vedabai
v. Shantaram Baburao Patil, (2001) 9 SCC 106, the Court observed that a distinction
must be made between a case where the delay is inordinate and a case where the delay
is of few days and whereas in the former case the consideration of prejudice to
the other side will be a relevant factor, in the latter case no such consideration
State of Nagaland v. Lipok AO (supra), the Court referred to several precedents
on the subject and observed that the proof of sufficient cause is a condition precedent
for exercise of discretion vested in the Court. What counts is not the length of
the delay but the sufficiency of the cause and shortness of the delay is one of
the circumstances to be taken into account in using the discretion.
The Court also took cognizance
of the usual bureaucratic delays which takes place in the functioning of the State
and its agencies/instrumentalities and observed: Experience shows that on account
of an impersonal machinery (no one in charge of the matter is directly hit or hurt
by the judgment sought to be subjected to appeal) and the inherited bureaucratic
methodology imbued with the note-making, file-pushing, and passing-on-the-buck ethos,
delay on its part is less difficult to understand though more difficult to approve.
The State which represents
collective cause of the community, does not deserve a litigant-non-grata status.
The courts, therefore, have to be informed with the spirit and philosophy of the
provision in the course of the interpretation of the expression of sufficient cause.
Merit is preferred to scuttle a decision on merits in turning down the case on technicalities
of delay in presenting the appeal.
needs to be emphasised is that even though a liberal and justice oriented approach
is required to be adopted in the exercise of power under Section 5 of the Limitation
Act and other similar statutes, the Courts can neither become oblivious of the fact
that the successful litigant has acquired certain rights on the basis of the judgment
under challenge and a lot of time is consumed at various stages of litigation apart
from the cost. What colour the expression sufficient causewould get in the factual
matrix of a given case would largely depend on bona fide nature of the explanation.
If the Court finds that
there has been no negligence on the part of the applicant and the cause shown for
the delay does not lack bona fides, then it may condone the delay. If, on the other
hand, the explanation given by the applicant is found to be concocted or he is thoroughly
negligent in prosecuting his cause, then it would be a legitimate exercise of discretion
not to condone the delay. In cases involving the State and its agencies/instrumentalities,
the Court can take note of the fact that sufficient time is taken in the decision
making process but no premium can be given for total lethargy or utter negligence
on the part of the officers of the State and / or its agencies / instrumentalities
and the applications filed by them for condonation of delay cannot be allowed as
a matter of course by accepting the plea that dismissal of the matter on the ground
of bar of limitation will cause injury to the public interest.
the light of the above, it is to be seen whether the explanation given by the respondent
for condonation of more than 7 years and 3 months delay was satisfactory and whether
the learned Single Judge of the High Court had correctly applied the principles
laid down by this Court for the exercise of power under Section 5 of the Limitation
it may appear repetitive, we consider it necessary to notice the following salient
features of the applications filed by the respondent and the affidavit of Shri Ranindra
1. As per the office procedure,
Shri Ranindra Y. Sirsikar had given intimation to the concerned department about
the trial Courts judgment dated 2.5.2003. This statement is supported by copy of
the despatch extract dated 12.5.2003 (Ext. B) filed with his affidavit.
2. According to the Corporation,
the papers required for filing the first appeals were misplaced and not traceable
in spite of good efforts. In this context, Shri Sirsikar has made the following
statement: I say that thereafter, from the record it seems that the concerned department
misplaced the papers and were not traceable. So nobody followed up on the matter
3. As per the averments
contained in the application, Shri Sirsikar was transferred from Civil Section to
Criminal Section in June, 2004 and, therefore, lost tract of the matter and the
first appeals remained to be filed due to oversight and heavy work load. As against
this, Shri Sirsikar states that he was transferred to Miscellaneous Court on 2.1.2004
and from Miscellaneous Court to Criminal Court on 5.6.2004, where he worked up to
28.9.2005. Thereafter, he was transferred to High Court on original side and was
working there on the date of filing the affidavit.
4. As per the averments
contained in the application, the advocate came to know that appellant fraudulently
obtained alternative accommodation under the judgment of the trial Court even though
she was given permission for constructing mezzanine floor to the extent of structure
affected by road widening.
In this context, Shri
Sirsikar has disclosed that the issue relating to the claim made by the appellant
for alternative accommodation was considered in the meeting held on 2.8.2010 in
the chamber of Additional Municipal Commissioner and, on the basis of discussion
held in that meeting, direction was given by him to the Managing Clerk on 19.8.2010
to file application for certified copy of the judgment. According to Shri Sirsikar,
the application was made on 23.8.2010 and the certified copy was made available
applications filed for condonation of delay and the affidavits of Shri Sirsikar
are conspicuously silent on the following important points:
a. The name of the person
who was having custody of the record has not been disclosed.
b. The date, month and year
when the papers required for filing the first appeals are said to have been misplaced
have not been disclosed.
c. The date on which the
papers were traced out or recovered and name of the person who found the same have
not been disclosed.
d. No explanation whatsoever
has been given as to why the applications for certified copies of the judgments
of the trial Court were not filed till 23.8.2010 despite the fact that Shri Sirsikar
had given intimation on 12.5.2003 about the judgments of the trial Court.
e. Even though the Corporation
has engaged battery of lawyers to conduct cases on its behalf, nothing has been
said as to how the transfer of Shri Ranindra Y. Sirsikar operated as an impediment
in the making of applications for certified copies of the judgments sought to be
the learned Single Judge of the High Court altogether ignored the gapping holes
in the story concocted by the Corporation about misplacement of the papers and total
absence of any explanation as to why nobody even bothered to file applications for
issue of certified copies of judgment for more than 7 years. In our considered view,
the cause shown by the Corporation for delayed filing of the appeals was, to say
the least, wholly unsatisfactory and the reasons assigned by the learned Single
Judge for condoning more than 7 years delay cannot but be treated as poor apology
for the exercise of discretion by the Court under Section 5 of the Limitation Act.
the result, the appeals are allowed. The impugned order is set aside and the appeals
filed by the respondent against the judgments of the trial Court are dismissed.
The parties are left to bear their own costs.
[SUDHANSU JYOTI MUKHOPADHAYA]