Condonation of Delay Under Limitation Act, 1963
Understanding the Act:
Before Understanding the Objective of Limitation Act 1963, the Word Condonation means “accepting a behavior which might be considered wrong or offensive in Nature”. It amounts to pardon for an offence of ignoring the Law of period that has been prescribed under the Limitation Act 1963.
In India, Legislation which governs and regulates the time period/frame of Constituting an application or appeal by an aggrieved party, is known as Limitation Act 1963. This legislation extinguishes the remedy to the party and not the right to file delayed documents in court which substantially prevents the legal right from getting defeated. The legal representatives of the Party pray and humbly request to the Hon’ble Court to pardon their offense for ignoring the law of limitation and proceed with the Adjudication.
The Section 5 of Limitation Act 1963, defines the Doctrine of Condonation of Delay,
Any appeal or any application, other than an application under any of the provisions of Order XXI of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), may be admitted after the prescribed period, if the appellant or the applicant satisfies the court that he had sufficient cause for not preferring the appeal or making the application within such period.
The Requirements for Condonation of Delay:
1. Subsequent change in Law
2. Illness of the party
3. Party being a Pardanashin Lady
4. Imprisonment of a Party
5. Party belongs to Minority group who have Insufficient funds
6. Poverty or Paupers
7. Party is a Government servant
8. The delay is caused due to pendency of Writ Petition
9. The Party is Illiterate
Section 5 applies to all Applications except under 21 of Civil Code Procedure. The order 21 of Civil Code Procedure deals with the law relating to the Execution of decrees or orders. To obtain, an extension of time by Invoking the section 5 of Limitation Act 1963, the party must satisfy the Court that they had sufficient cause for not filing the Suit, Appeal, Revision or Objectives within the prescribed period.
In the Case of Ram Lal Vs Rewa Coalfields Ltd, here the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, held two very Important consideration, while considering the Condonation of Delay.
1. Expiration of the period of limitation gives rise to the Legal rights in favour of the Decree-holder to treat the decree passed in their favour as binding between the parties. The legal right which is accrued to the decree holder by lapse of time should not be lightly disturbed.
2. If sufficient cause for the execution of delay is shown, then the distcretion is given to the Court to condone the delay and admit the appeal. Even if sufficient cause has been show, the party is not entitled to the condonation of delay in question as a matter of right. Proof of sufficient cause is a condition precedent in the exercise of the discretionary Jurisdiction.
Therefore, it clearly concludes that there is no Exhaustive list of Grounds on which delay can be Condoned. It has to be decided on the Facts and Circumstances of each case.
Discretion of Court
It a crystal-clear principle that in our jurisprudence, the condonation of delay is a matter of Discretion of Court and Section 5 of the Limitation Act does not mention that such Discretion can be exercised only if the delay is within a certain or even a reasonable limit. The length of delay is not significant, but what is most vital is the acceptability of the explanation and such criteria on which Condonation of delay should be Judged.
In the case of G.Haribabu Vs. Lagula Krishnaiah Goud, the Hon’ble High Court of Andhra Pradesh, the Petitioner was seeking Condonation of delay but the Hon’ble Court rejected the Condonation on the grounds that the Petitioner was trying to suppress the material facts.
Condonation of delay is a process by which parties can avail remedy, if they have failed to approach the Hon’ble Court in the prescribed time frame/period, under the respective laws. But such a remedy doesn’t assure that a party can always avail Condonation of delay. The party must be able to convince the Hon’ble Court that they had genuine reason for delay, and the delay was without any intention and occurred the to the reasons which were beyond the control or the party seeking condonation and on the other hand, Hon’ble Court keeps a check that such Remedy is not misused.
By: Siddhant Singh
M/s Aura & Company