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Sai Ashray Developers Vs. Pragnya Shetty - (Real Estate Appellate Tribunal) (22 Apr 2022)

Word "sufficient cause" should receive a liberal consideration, when delay is not on account of any dilatory tactics



Applicant, who is a promoter, has moved present application for condonation of delay of 36 days in filing appeal on the ground that due to surge of second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, staff of office of advocate of applicant got infected, as a result office of advocate was not accessible. Therefore, the applicant was unable to file appeal within time limit prescribed. The point that arises for consideration is whether the applicant has established that applicant had sufficient cause for not preferring an appeal within limitation.

The impugned order was passed on 3rd June, 2021. Period of limitation of 60 days would start running from the date of order. The period of limitation to file appeal has expired on 1st August, 2021. It is not in dispute that there was outbreak of pandemic Covid 19 in the State. A complete lockdown was announced by the Government. On 23rd March, 2020 the Supreme Court passed an order in Suo Motu Writ Petition whereby the Supreme Court has extended period of limitation for filing petitions/applications/suits/appeals/all other proceedings in Courts/Tribunals across India with effect from 15th March, 2020 till further order. The Supreme Court, by order, has extended the period of limitation from time to time.

It is well settled principle of law that, word "sufficient cause" should receive a liberal consideration so as to advance substantial justice, when delay is not on account of any dilatory tactics, want of bonafides, deliberate or negligence on the part of Applicant/Appellant.

There were no dilatory tactics on the part of the applicant. The delay is not intentional one. Moreover, there is no material on record to show that applicant has malafidely preferred present appeal after the expiry of period of limitation. It is well settled that lis is to be decided on merits. Therefore, the applicant has established that applicant had sufficient cause for not preferring an appeal within the time limit prescribed. Application allowed.


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