25 May 2023 5:15 AM GMT
The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has stressed that timely filing of appeals under the Motor Vehicles Act is crucial and should not be overlooked, even if the applicant believes their substantial rights are at stake.Justice Javed Iqbal Wani made a pronouncement while hearing a plea in terms of which the applicant was seeking a condonation of 1538 days delay in preferring appeal...
The Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has stressed that timely filing of appeals under the Motor Vehicles Act is crucial and should not be overlooked, even if the applicant believes their substantial rights are at stake.
Justice Javed Iqbal Wani made a pronouncement while hearing a plea in terms of which the applicant was seeking a condonation of 1538 days delay in preferring appeal against award granted by Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal to the injured.
The bench reiterated that the purpose of filing an appeal in such cases is to ensure a swift resolution, fair compensation, and discourage casual and negligent behaviour from opposing parties.
"The ground urged in the application that the delay in filing the appeal is required to be condoned as the applicant has substantial right involved in the matter cannot be accepted in view of the fact that in filing of an appeal under the provisions of Motor Vehicles Act against an award in law is aimed at or providing a cheap and speedy remedy and justice by way of compensation to a claimant."
The applicant had contended that he was not informed by his counsel about the progress of the case and that it was only upon receipt of a notice from the execution court, that he came to know about the passing of ex-parte award.
The Court however reviewed the tribunal's record and noted that the counsel engaged by the applicant before the tribunal had been appearing in the matter and contested the claim petition.
"It is nowhere coming forth from the instant application as to whether the applicant herein made any efforts or attempts to contact his counsel engaged in the tribunal, as the negligence attributed to the counsel for the applicant cannot be taken to be as gospel truth unless, the applicant would have shown that he made any serious efforts to have some information from the counsel contesting the case on his behalf before the tribunal and that no such information was furnished to him by the counsel", the bench said.
The applicant had also contended that delay in filing the appeal is required to be condoned as a substantial right of the applicant to pay compensation to the claimant is involved.
However, the bench emphasised that appeals under the Motor Vehicles Act aim to provide a cheap and speedy remedy for claimants seeking compensation and recorded,
"A justice-oriented approach thus, is such matters is possible if the courts lean against the casual and non-diligent approach and unbecoming conduct of the applicants seeking condonation of delay in filing the appeals against such awards, unless, a sufficient cause is shown n tune and line with the principles and propositions laid down by the Apex Court"
In view of the said legal position the bench dismissed the application.
Case Title: Suraj Chand Vs Bajaj Allianz Insurance Co. Ltd.
Citation : 2023 LiveLaw (JKL) 128
Click Here To Read/Download Judgment