The Delhi High Court has observed that the jurisprudence does not extend to accommodating and condoning all inordinate or unjustifiable delays by the governmental agencies while adding that each case of such delay has to be examined on its individual merits.
A division bench comprising Justice Najmi Waziri and Justice Swarna Kanta Sharma observed thus:
"Although courts would take an accommodative view apropos appeals or reviews filed by Government departments, as there could be administrative delays, for which the Government's interest and the overall public interest should not suffer."
"However, each case of such delay has to be examined on its individual merits and the jurisprudence does not extend to accommodating and condoning all inordinate or unjustifiable delays by the governmental agencies."
The Court dismissed an application seeking condonation of delay of 1494 days in filing the Review Petition against an order for the reason that after examining the matter, the Delhi Government had decided to file an SLP against the same for which a proposal was made in August 2018 which was finally approved by the Additional Chief Secretary in December 2019.
However, till date no SLP was filed and in August 2021, the Assistant Legal Advisor (L&B) proposed to file an application for review.
It was thus submitted that due to COVID and pandemic related lockdown the Review Petition could not be filed within the limitation period.
The Court was of the view that there was no explanation for the delay between the passing of the order till the onset of COVID, except that the filing an SLP was being considered.
"This is not a ground for condonation of delay. In terms of section 5 of the Limitation Act, 1963, delay of each day needs to be justified. There must be sufficient cause for not preferring the appeal or making the application within such period. There is no ground made for condonation of the inordinate delay," the Court said.
Accordingly, observing that Delhi Government could not be granted accommodation, the Court said that the delay could not be condoned.
The application was thus dismissed.
Title: GOVT OF NCT OF DELHI v. SATBIR & ANR
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 442