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Mere Filing Of Representation Before Authorities Does Not Extend Limitation Period : Supreme Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
2 March 2022 1:00 PM GMT
Mere Filing Of Representation Before Authorities Does Not Extend Limitation Period : Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court observed that mere filing of representation before authorities does not extend the period of limitation.If it is found that the writ petitioner is guilty of delay and latches, the High Court should dismiss it at the threshold and ought not to dispose of the writ petition by relegating the writ petitioner to file a representation and/or directing the authority to decide...

The Supreme Court observed that mere filing of representation before authorities does not extend the period of limitation.

If it is found that the writ petitioner is guilty of delay and latches, the High Court should dismiss it at the threshold and ought not to dispose of the writ petition by relegating the writ petitioner to file a representation and/or directing the authority to decide the representation, the bench comprising Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna observed.

In this case, the writ petitioner entered into a Sale Deed with the NOIDA. After a period of 10 years from the date of execution of the Sale Deed, the petitioner made a representation to NOIDA  requesting to allot a plot as agreed in terms of the Sale Deed. Thereafter, the petitioner approached the Allahabad High Court by filing a writ petition. The High Court directed NOIDA to decide the representation of the petitioner.  NOIDA considered the said representation and rejected it. This was again challenged before the High Court. This time, the High Court dismissed the writ petition.

In appeal, the Apex Court bench noted that the earlier writ petition was filed in the year 2011  was  barred by delay and latches and the High Court ought not to have entertained the same

"We have come across number of such orders passed by the High Courts directing the authorities to decide the representation though the representations are made belatedly and thereafter when a decision is taken on such representation, thereafter it can be said on behalf of the petitioner that the fresh cause of action has arisen on rejection of the representation. Therefore, when such orders are passed by the High Courts either relegating the petitioner to make a representation and/or directing the appropriate authority to decide the representation, the High Courts have to consider whether the writ petition is filed belatedly and/or the same is barred by latches and/or not, so that in future the person who has approached belatedly may not contend that the fresh cause of action has arisen on rejection of the representation. Even in a case where earlier representation is rejected, the High Court shall decide the matter on merits."

The court added that mere representation does not extend the period of limitation and the aggrieved person has to approach the Court expeditiously and within reasonable time.

"If it is found that the writ petitioner is guilty of delay and latches, the High Court should dismiss it at the threshold and ought not to dispose of the writ petition by relegating the writ petitioner to file a representation and/or directing the authority to decide the representation, once it is found that the original writ petitioner is guilty of delay and latches. Such order shall not give an opportunity to the petitioner to thereafter contend that rejection of the representation subsequently has given a fresh cause of action"

Upholding the High Court order, which dismissed the writ petition, the bench observed:

" The High Court has rightly refused to grant any relief which as such was in the form of specific performance of the contract. No writ under Article 226 of the Constitution of India shall be maintainable and/or entertainable for specific performance of the contract and that too after a period of 10 years by which time even the suit for specific performance would have been barred by limitation."

Headnotes

Constitution of India, 1950 - Article 226 - Writ Petitions - Delay and latches - High Courts directing the authorities to decide the representation though the representations are made belatedly - Mere representation does not extend the period of limitation - If it is found that the writ petitioner is guilty of delay and latches, the High Court should dismiss it at the threshold and ought not to dispose of the writ petition by relegating the writ petitioner to file a representation and/or directing the authority to decide the representation - Such order shall not give an opportunity to the petitioner to thereafter contend that rejection of the representation subsequently has given a fresh cause of action. (Para 4,5)

Constitution of India, 1950 - Article 226 - Writ Petitions - No writ under Article 226 of the Constitution of India shall be maintainable and/or entertainable for specific performance of the contract and that too after a period of 10 years by which time even the suit for specific performance would have been barred by limitation. (Para 6)

Summary: After a period of 10 years from the date of execution of the Sale Deed with NOIDA, the petitioner made a representation to it requesting to allot a plot as agreed in terms of the Sale Deed - High Court directed NOIDA to consider the representation - NOIDA rejected it - This was again challenged before High Court by the Petitioner - High Court dismissed writ petition - SLP challenging the said High Court judgment dismissed.

Case: Surjeet Singh Sahni vs State of U.P. | SLP (C) 3008 of 2022 | 28 Feb 2022

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 232

Coram: Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna 

Counsel: Sr. Adv Dhruv Mehta


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