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Land Acquuisition Act and Limitation Act

(Querist) 30 July 2008 This query is : Resolved 
whether a reference U/s 18 of Land Acqusition Act filed after 42 days can be considered and delay can be condoned and the famous judgement of 1996 Maharashtra Law Journal in Officer on Special Duty V/s shaha Manilal Chandulal is still good law or over ruled ?
Guest (Expert) 31 July 2008
On what grounds has the delay happened. There are SC judgements condoning 30 years delay.
some of these to my mind immediately are ;
Land Acquisition v. Mst. Katiji & others, (1987 167 ITR 471)
“1. Ordinarily, a litigant does not stand to benefit by lodging an appeal late.
2. Refusing to condone delay can result in the meritorious matters being thrown out at the very threshold and cause of justice being defeated. As against this, when delay is condoned, the highest that can happen is that a cause would be decided on merits after hearing the parties.
3. “Every day’s delay must be explained” does not mean that a pedantic approach should be made. Why not every hour’s delay, every second’s delay ? The doctrine must be applied in a rational, common sense and pragmatic manner.
4. When substantial justice and technical considerations are pitted against each other, the cause of substantial justice deserves to be preferred, for the other side cannot claim to have vested right in injustice being done because of non-deliberate delay.
5. There is no presumption that delay is occasioned deliberately, or on account of culpable negligence, or on account of mala fides. A litigant does not stand to benefit by resorting to delay. In fact, he runs a serious risk.
6. It must be grasped that the judiciary is respected not on account of its power to legalise injustice on technical grounds but because it is capable of removing injustice and is expected to do so.“ (Emphasis supplied)

What strong power-packed words indeed, from the highest appel-late authority in the country !

arunprakaash.m. (Expert) 31 July 2008
Court has power to condone the delay even after 41 days is justified.

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