A division of Madhya Pradesh High Court has held the High Court has power to condone delay in filing an appeal made under section 23 of the Railway Claims Tribunal Act in exercise of powers under section 5 of the Limitation Act on sufficient cause being shown by an appellant.
The division bench in response to the question referred to it “whether the provision of section 5 of the Limitation Act is attracted to the appeal preferred under Section 23 of the Railway Claims Tribunal Act, 1987 beyond the period of limitation”.
The division bench overruled the single bench order passed in Smt. Kunjmati Vs. Union of India, AIR 2016 MP 37 wherein the single bench of this court held the appellate Court has no power to condone the delay in filing the appeals.
While there was contrary view in case of Smt. Veena Rao Phalke Vs. Union of India 2011 (3) MPHT 68, wherein the appeal filed after the lapse of the period of limitation was entertained by condoning the delay.
Thus, in view of the single bench there was a conflict of opinion on the issue and therefore referred the aforesaid question for adjudication before the division bench.
A division bench of Justice RS Jha and Justice AK Joshi said “we hold that the decision of the learned single bench in the case of Kunjmati (supra) does not lay down the correct proposition of law and is accordingly overruled”.
In answer to the question referred to the division bench, the court said “we state that in view of section 29(2) of the Limitation Act, the provisions of section 5 of the Limitation Act is included in and has to be read into the provisions of the Railway Claims Tribunals Act as it has not been expressly excluded there from either by a specific statutory provision or by necessary intendment or inference”.
“Therefore, the High Court has the power to condone the delay in filing an appeal filed under Section 23 of the Railway Claims Tribunal Act in exercise of powers under Section 5 of the Limitation Act, on sufficient cause being shown by an appellant”, the court held.
Read the Opinion here.