L&T FINANCE LTD. - Complainant(s)




27 Dec 2023


(Against the Order dated 16/06/2016 in Appeal No. 184/2016 of the State Commission Maharashtra)



Dated : 27 December 2023

1.      This Revision Petition No.3051 of 2016 challenging the order of the learned Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Mumbai, C/B at Aurangabad (‘State Commission’) dated 16.06.2016 wherein the MA No.82/2016 seeking condonation of delay in filing the First Appeal No.184 of 2016 was dismissed on the ground that the Petitioner had not sufficiently demonstrated the reasons for delay of 131 days as bonafide.


2.      As per report of the Registry, there is a delay of 13 days in filing the Revision Petition. However, as per I.A. No.11290 of 2016 seeking condonation of delay, there was 11 days delay. For the reasons stated in the Application, the delay in filing of the present Revision Petition is condoned.


3.      As regards delay before the State Commission, the learned Counsel for petitioner contended that the State Commission had erred while dismissing the Appeal on account of delay of 131 days in filing the same. This delay of 131 days was neither intentional nor malafide, rather bonafide due to the reasons as given in the Application seeking condonation of delay and the same ought to have been condoned and the First Appeal ought to have been decided on merits as the Petitioner has a good case on merits. He has relied on the following judgments in support of the arguments:

(i)      G. Ramegowda and Ors. Vs. Spl. Land Acquisition Officer,

1988 (2) SCC 142;

(ii)      New India Insurance Co Ltd V Shanti Misra 1975 (2) SCC 840;

(iii)     O.P. Kathpalia V. Lakhmir Singh, 1984 (4) SCC 66;

(iv)    State of Bihar Vs. Kameshwar Prasad Singh, (2000) 9SCC 94;

(v)     N. Balakrishnan Vs. M. Krishnamurthy, (1998) 7 SCC 123;

(vi)    Collector Land Acquisition Vs. Mst. Katiji, 1987 (2) SCC 107;

(vii)    Shriram Transport Finance Co. Ltd. vs. Chaman Lal, IV (2012) CPJ 93 (NC);

(ix)     Ram Pal Singh vs. General Manager, Shri Transport Finance Co. Ltd., RP 187 of 2012 decided on 24.01.2013;

(x)     Managing Director, Maharashtra State Financial Corporation Vs. Sanjay Shankarsa Mamarde, AIR 2010 SC 3534;

(xi)     The Managing Director, Orix Auto Finance (India) Ltd. Vs. Shri Jagminder Singh, (2006) 2 SCC 598;

(xii)    Suryapal Singh Vs Siddha Vinayak Motors III(2012)CPJ 4 (SC);

(xiii)   Shantilata Das Vs. ICICI Bank Ltd., RP No.3544 of 2013, decided on 29.10.2013;

(xiv)   Axis Bank Ltd. Vs. Shri S. Venugopal Naidu, RP No.742 of 2014, decided on 15.12.2014;

(xv)   Director, Berar Finance Ltd. Vs. Satishkumar Prabhakarrao, R.P. No.3856 of 2012 decided on 8.12.2014;

(xvi)   Sri Jasobanta Narayan Ram Vs. The Branch Manager, L&T Finance, FA No.888 of 2013 decided on 4.3.2014;

(xvii)  Hanuman Prasad Vs. The New India Assurance Co. Ltd. I (1994) CPJ 1 (NC);

(xviii) Installment Supply Ltd. Vs. Kangra Ex-serviceman Transport, I (200&) CPJ 34 NC.


4.      None appeared on behalf of the Respondent despite service by way of publication.


5.      In the Application seeking condonation of delay being I.A. No. M.A. No.82/2016 in F.A. No.184/2016, the Petitioner has stated:

“1. This application is preferred for condonation of delay of 120 days occurred in filing present appeal. The applicant submits that, the impugned order is passed on 15/7/2015, received by the Appellant on 24/7/2015. Thus, the appeal ought to have been filed on or before 23/8/2015. As such, there is delay of 120 days as on 23/12/2015.


2. Applicant submits that, as the order was sent to the office of Applicant at Mumbai the same was received by the Legal Dept. However, due to human error the person who received the order could not communicate the same to the concerned law officer who is responsible for looking after the consumer matter of the Applicant company. The envelope containing the order was thus, remained in the mail box for considerable period. However, in the month of December during the search of some other papers the envelope containing the order under challenge was located. The Applicant immediately obtained the relevant information regarding the present matter and then referred the same to advocate at Aurangabad for filing appeal.


4. The advocate at Aurangabad received the order and immediately prepared draft of appeal and sent to the concerned law officer for vetting and approval. The concerned law officer approved the draft and requested to file the appeal. In this process some time has elapsed and delay is caused.


5. Applicant submits that, considering the point of law involved in this matter, it would be in the interest of justice to condone the delay and quash and set aside the impugned order.


6. The applicant submits that, considering the peculiarity of present case the appeal be heard on merit. The Applicant submits that, the delay is bonafide, un-intentional and is not at all going to benefit the appellant in any way.


7.  Applicant submits that, the law of limitation is not enacted for depriving the parties from availing the statutory and legal rights. Hence, lenient view of the matter is required to be taken, in the facts and circumstances of present case. The delay of 120 days may kindly be condoned in the interest of justice and oblige.”


6.      On consideration of period of limitation, Hon’ble Apex Court in “Ram Lal and Ors. vs. Rewa Coalfields Limited, AIR 1962 Supreme Court 361” has held as follows:

“It is, however, necessary to emphasize that even after sufficient cause has been shown a party is not entitled to the condonation of delay in question as a matter of right. The proof of a sufficient cause is a discretionary jurisdiction vested in the Court by S.5. If sufficient cause is not proved nothing further has to be done; the application for condonation has to be dismissed on that ground alone. If sufficient cause is shown then the Court has to enquire whether in its discretion it should condone the delay. This aspect of the matter naturally introduces the consideration of all relevant facts and it is at this stage that diligence of the party or its bona fides may fall for consideration; but the scope of the enquiry while exercising the discretionary power after sufficient cause is shown would naturally be limited only to such facts as the Court may regard as relevant.”


7.      The test which is to be applied while dealing with such a case is whether the petitioner acted with reasonable diligence. Hon’ble Supreme Court in “RB Ramlingam vs. RB Bhavaneshwari, I (2009) (2) Scale 108” has held:

"We hold that in each and every case the Court has to examine whether delay in filing the special appeal leave petitions stands properly explained. This is the basic test which needs to be applied. The true guide is whether the petitioner has acted with reasonable diligence in the prosecution of his appeal/petition.”


8.      Hon’ble Supreme Court in Anshul Aggarwal vs. New Okhla Industrial Development Authority, (2011) 14 SCC 578” has also observed as under:-

“while deciding the application filed, for condonation of delay, the Court has to keep in mind that the special periods of limitation have been prescribed under the Consumer Protection Act, for filing appeals and revisions in consumer matters and that the object of expeditious adjudication of the consumer disputes will get defeated, if the highly belated appeals and revision petitions are entertained".


9.      To condone such delay in filing, the Petitioner needs to satisfy this Commission that there was sufficient cause for preferring the Revision Petition after the stipulated period. The term ‘sufficient cause’ was explained by the Apex Court in Basawaraj and Ors. Vs. The Spl. Land Acquisition Officer AIR 2014 SC 746 that:-


“9. Sufficient cause is the cause for which Defendant could not be blamed for his absence. The meaning of the word “sufficient” is “adequate” or “enough”,  in as much as may be necessary to answer the purpose intended. Therefore, the word “sufficient” embraces no more than that which provides a platitude, which when the act done suffices to accomplish the purpose intended in the facts and  circumstances existing in a case, duly examined from the view point of a reasonable standard of a cautious man. In this context, “sufficient cause” means that the party should not have acted in a negligent manner or there was a want of bona fide on its part in view of the facts and circumstances of a case or it cannot be alleged that the party has “not acted diligently” or “remained inactive”. However, the facts and circumstances of each case must afford sufficient ground to enable the court concerned to exercise discretion for the reason that whenever the Court exercises discretion, it has to be exercised judiciously. The applicant must satisfy the Court that he was prevented by any “sufficient cause” from prosecuting his case, and unless a satisfactory application is furnished, the court should not allow the application for condonation of delay. The court has to examine whether the mistake is bona fide or was merely a device to cover an ulterior purpose.”


10.    In Anil Kumar Sharma vs. United Indian Insurance Co. Ltd. & Ors reported in IV(2015)CPJ453(NC), the NCDRC held:-

“12……… we are not satisfied with the cause shown to justify the delay of 590/601 days. Day to day delay has not been explained. Hon’ble Supreme Court in a recent judgment of Anshul Aggawal vs. New Okhla Industrial Development Authority, IV (2011) CPJ 63 (SC) has held that while deciding the application filed for condonation of delay, the Court has to keep in mind that special period of limitation has been prescribed under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, for filing appeals and revisions in consumer matters and the object of expeditious adjudication of the consumer disputes, will get defeated if the appeals and revisions, which are highly belated are entertained.


11.    The Hon’ble Supreme Court in Lingeswaran Etc. Vs Thirunagalingam in Special Leave to Appeal(C) Nos. 2054-2055/2022 decided on 25.02.2022 has held that:-

5. We are in complete agreement with the view taken by the High Court. Once it was found even by the learned trial Court that delay has not been properly explained and even there are no merits in the application for  condonation of delay, thereafter, the matter should rest there and the condonation of delay application was required to be dismissed. The approach adopted by the learned trial court that, even after finding that, in absence of any material evidence it cannot be said that the delay has been explained and that there are no merits in the application, still to condone the delay would be giving a premium to a person who fails to explain the delay and who is guilty of delay and laches. At this stage, the decision of this Court in the case of Popat Bahiru Goverdhane vs. Land Acquisition Officer, reported in (2013) 10 SCC 765 is required to be referred to. In the said decision, it is observed and held that the law of limitation may harshly affect a particular party but it has to be applied with all its rigour when the statute so prescribes. The Court has no power to extend the period of limitation on equitable grounds. The statutory provision may cause hardship or inconvenience to a particular party but the Court has no choice but to enforce it giving full effect to the same.”


12.    From the above orders of the Hon’ble Apex Court, it is clear that ‘sufficient cause’ means that the party should not have acted in a negligent manner or there was a want of bona fide on its part and that the applicant must satisfy that he was prevented by any “sufficient cause” from prosecuting its case. Unless a satisfactory explanation is furnished, a Court should not normally allow the application for condonation of delay under this Act.

13.    In the present case, the Petitioner admittedly filed the Appeal before the State Commission with the delay of 131 days. On perusal of the explanation rendered for the delay in filing the Appeal, I do not find any specific dates or necessary details have been mentioned as to when the matter was taken up for seeking opinion of the Petitioner Legal Dept. at Mumbai and when the opinion was receipt by the Counsel at Aurangabad and when took a decision to file the appeal against the impugned order and what was the reasons for not filing the Appeal within time. These details were essential for consideration for condoning the delay and the same were not brought out. Therefore, I am of the considered view that the learned State Commission has rightly not condoned the delay.


14.    In view of the foregoing discussions, I do not find any illegality and irregularity in the impugned Order dated 16.06.2016 passed by the learned State Commission warranting any interference. Therefore, the present Revision Petition No.3051 of 2016 is dismissed. No order as to costs. 


15.    All pending Applications, if any, stand disposed of accordingly.


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