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LIMITATION ACT CIVIL COURT AND QUASI JUDICIAL AUTHORITIES


Supreme Court of India
Ganesan Rep By Its Power Agent G. ... vs The Commissioner The Tamil Nadu ... on 3 May, 2019

Bench: JUSTICE K Joseph,  JUSTICE A Bhushan

The definition of the Court refers to the Civil Court constituted by Legislature in the State for administration of justice. The conventional definition of the Court as mentioned in Advanced Law Lexicon by P. Ramanatha Aiyer, Third Edition is: “A Court is defined in Coke on Littleton as a place wherein justice is judicially administered. “In every Court, there must be at least three constituent parts­ the actor, reus and judex: the actor, or plaintiff, who complains or an injury done; the reus, or defendant, who is called upon to make satisfaction for it; and the judex, or judicial power, which is to examine the truth of the fact, and to determine the law arising upon that fact, and if any injury appears to have been done, to ascertain, and b its officers to apply, the remedy,”  Court is a body in the government to which the public administration of justice is delegated; an organised body, with defined powers, meeting at certain times, and places, for the hearing and decision of causes and other matters brought before it, and aided in this, its proper business, by its proper officers, viz., attorneys and counsels, to present and manage the business, clerks to record and attest its acts and decisions, and ministerial officers to execute its commands and secure order in its proceedings.”

The Limitation Act, 1963 is an Act to consolidate and amend the law for the limitation of suits and other proceedings and for purposes connected therewith. The law of Limitation before enactment of Act, 1963 was governing by the law of limitation under Indian Limitation Act, 1908. The different provisions of Limitation Act, 1963 refers to ‘Court’. Section 4 provides where the prescribed period for any suit, appeal or application expires on a day when the court is closed, the suit, appeal or application may be instituted, preferred or made on the day when the court reopens. Similarly, Section 5 provides that any appeal or any application, other than an application under any of the provisions of Order XXI of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 may be admitted after the prescribed period, if the appellant or the applicant satisfies the court that he has sufficient cause for not preferring the appeal or making the application within such period. Section 6 refers to institution of a suit or making of application for the execution of a decree by a minor or insane, or an idiot who may institute the suit or make the application within the same period after the disability has ceased.

Sections 9,10 and 11 refer to suit. Section 12 deals with computation of period of limitation. The section refers to computation of period of limitation for an appeal or an application for leave to appeal or for revision or for review of a judgment, obviously was meant for judgment of a court. Section 13 again refers to Court. Section 14 specifically refers to the Court. Subsequent Sections 16 and 17 refer to suits. Sections 18 to 21 again contain different provisions pertaining to computation of limitation. Thereafter comes Section 29, which is a saving provision. The Schedule of the Act provides for “Periods of Limitation”. First Division deals with different kinds of suits. Second Division deals with appeals and Third Division deals with applications. The suits, appeals and applications which have been referred to in the Schedule obviously mean suits, appeals and applications to be filed in Court...

Section 29(2) provides that where any special or local law prescribes for any suit, appeal or application a period of limitation different from the period prescribed by the Schedule, the provisions of Section 3 shall apply as if such period were the period prescribed by the Schedule and for the purpose of determining any period of limitation and the provisions contained in Sections 4 to 21 (inclusive) shall apply only in so far as, and to the extent to which, they are not expressly excluded by such special or local law. Whether prescription of appeal of limitation of any suit or application in any special or local law relates to suit, application or appeal to be filed in Court or it may refer to statutory authorities and tribunals also, is the question to be answered. Different special or local laws have been enacted by Legislature covering different subjects, different rights and liabilities, methodology of establishing, determining rights and liabilities and remedies provided therein. Special or local law may also provide remedy by institution of suits, appeals and applications in the Courts, i.e., civil court and to its normal hierarchy and also create special forum for determining rights and liabilities and provide remedies. Most common example of creating statutory authorities for determining rights, liabilities and remedies are taxing statutes where assessing authorities have been provided for with hierarchy of authorities. The remedy of appeal and revision is also provided in the taxing statutes which authorities are different from normal civil courts. Section 29(2) in reference to different special or local laws came for consideration before this Court in large number of cases. This Court had occasion to consider the provisions of the Limitation Act, 1963, in reference to different statutes which contain provisions of suits, appeals or applications to the courts/authorities/tribunals. There are series of judgments of this Court holding that provisions of the Limitation Act are directed only when suit, appeal or application are to be filed in a Court unless there are express provisions in a special or local law.

Section 29(2) also came for consideration before this Court in several cases. There is another set of cases where it was held that the provisions of the Limitation Act, 1963 is to be applied even for suit, appeal or application under special/local law is to be filed before statutory authorities and the tribunal.

Town Municipal Council, Athani vs. The Presiding Officer, Labour Courts, Hubli,(1969) 1 SCC 873. In the above case applications under Section 33(c)(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 were filed by various workmen of the appellant. The question which was considered by this Court in the above was as to whether Article 137 of the Schedule of the Limitation Act, 1963 governs applications under Section 33(c)(2) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. Referring to various articles of Limitation Act, 1963, this Court laid down following: “12…………The scope of the various articles in this division cannot be held to have been so enlarged as to include within them applications to bodies other than courts, such as a quasi judicial tribunal, or even an executive authority. An Industrial Tribunal or a Labour Court dealing with applications or references under the Act are not courts and they are in no way governed either by the Code of Civil Procedure or the Code of Criminal Procedure. We cannot, therefore, accept the submission made that this article will apply even to applications made to an Industrial Tribunal or a Labour Court…………”

A three­Judge Bench of this Court in Nityananda, M. Joshi and others. vs. Life Insurance Corporation of India and others, (1965) 2 SCC 199, had occasion to consider the applicability of Article 137 of the Limitation Act to an application filed under Section 33(c)(1) and (2) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 before the Labour Court. Three­Jude bench categorically held that the scheme of the Limitation Act is that it only deals with application to Courts, and the Labour Court is not a Court within Limitation Act, 1963. “3. In our view Article 137 only contemplates applications to Courts. In the Third Division of the Schedule to the Limitation Act, 1963 all the other applications mentioned in the various articles are applications filed in a court. Further Section 4 of the Limitation Act, 1963, provides for the contingency when the prescribed period for any application expires on a holiday and the only contingency contemplated is “when the court is closed.” Again under Section 5 it is only a court which is enabled to admit an application after the prescribed period has expired if the court is satisfied that the applicant had sufficient cause for not preferring the application. It seems to us that the scheme of the Indian Limitation Act is that it only deals with applications to courts, and that the Labour Court is not a court within the Indian Limitation Act, 1963.”

Another three­Judge Bench of this Court had occasion to consider the provisions of U.P. Sales Tax Act, 1948 and the Limitation Act, 1963, in The Commissioner of Sales Tax Act, 1948, U.P. Lucknow vs. M/s. Parson Tools and Plants, Kanpur, (1975) 4 SCC 22. “1. The common question of law for determination in these appeals by special leave is: Whether Section 14(2) of the Limitation Act, in terms, or, in principle, can be invoked for excluding the time spent in prosecuting an application under Rule 68(6) of the U.P. Sales Tax Rules for setting aside the order of dismissal of appeal in default, under the U.P. Sales Tax Act, 1948 (for short, “the Sales Tax Act”) from computation of the period of limitation for filing a revision under that Act?” Three­Judge Bench held that the appellate authority and the Judge (Revisions) Sales­tax exercising jurisdiction under the Sales­tax Act are not courts and hence, Section 14 of the Limitation Act does not apply. Following was laid down by this Court in paragraphs 9 and 24: “9……………In view of these pronouncements of this Court, there is no room for argument that the Appellate Authority and the Judge (Revisions) Sales tax exercising jurisdiction under the Sales Tax Act, are “courts”. They are merely Administrative Tribunals and “not courts”. Section 14, Limitation Act, therefore, does not, in terms apply to proceedings before such tribunals………” 24. For all the reasons aforesaid, we are of the opinion that the object, the scheme and language of Section 10 of the Sales Tax Act do not permit the invocation of Section 14(2) of the Limitation Act, either in terms, or in principle, for excluding the time spent in prosecuting proceedings for setting aside the dismissal of appeals in default, from computation of the period of limitation prescribed for filing a revision under the Sales Tax Act. Accordingly, we answer the question referred, in the negative.”

In The Kerala State Electricity Board, Trivandrum vs. T.P. Kunhaliumma, (1976) 4 SCC 634, this Court had occasion to consider applicability of Article 137 of Limitation Act, application filed under Section 16 of the Telegraphs Act, 1885. This Court in the above case differing with the view taken by the two­Judge Bench in Athani’s case held that application under Article 137 of Limitation Act is not confined to application contemplated by or under the C.P.C. However, the application contemplated under Telegraphs Act has to be an application to a Court. In paragraphs 18 and 22 following has been laid held: “18. The alteration of the division as well as the change in the collocation of words in Article 137 of the Limitation Act, 1963 compared with Article 181 of the 1908 Limitation Act shows that applications contemplated under Article 137 are not applications confined to the Code of Civil Procedure. In the 1908 Limitation Act there was no division between applications in specified cases and other applications as in the 1963 Limitation Act. The words “any other application” under Article 137 cannot be said on the principle of ejusdem generis to be applications under the Civil Procedure Code other than those mentioned in Part I of the third division. Any other application under Article 137 would be petition or any application under any Act. But it has to be an application to a court for the reason that Sections 4 and 5 of the 1963 Limitation Act speak of expiry of prescribed period when court is closed and extension of prescribed period if applicant or the appellant satisfies the court that he had sufficient cause for not preferring the appeal or making the application during such period.

The conclusion we reach is that Article 137 of the 1963 Limitation Act will apply to any petition or application filed under any Act to a civil court. With respect we differ from the view taken by the two­judge bench of this Court in Athani Municipal Council case and hold that Article 137 of the 1963 Limitation Act is not confined to applications contemplated by or under the Code of Civil Procedure. The petition in the present case was to the District Judge as a court. The petition was one contemplated by the Telegraph Act for judicial decision. The petition is an application falling within the scope of Article 137 of the 1963 Limitation Act.”

In the above case since the application under the Telegraphs Act was filed before the Court, this Court held that Article 137 of the Limitation Act was applicable. It is to be noticed that in the above mentioned cases this Court held that applications contemplated under Limitation Act are applications to a Court but in the above cases the Court did not refer to Section 29(2) of the Limitation Act.

A two­Judge Bench judgment of this Court in Sakuru vs. Tanaji, 1985(3) SCC 590, needs to be noticed. In the above case the question was as to whether delay in filing appeal before Court under Section 19 is condonable under Section 5 of Limitation Act, 1963. This Court held that the provisions of Limitation Act, 1963 apply only to proceedings in ‘courts’ and not to appeals or applications before bodies other than courts such as quasi­judicial tribunals or executive authorities, notwithstanding the fact that such bodies or authorities may be vested with certain specified powers conferred on courts under the Codes of Civil or Criminal Procedure. “3. After hearing both sides we have unhesitatingly come to the conclusion that there is no substance in this appeal and that the view taken by the Division Bench in Venkaiah case1 is perfectly correct and sound. It is well settled by the decisions of this Court in town Municipal Council v. Presiding Officer, Labour Court, Nityananda M. Joshi v. Life Insurance Corporation of India and Sushila Devi v. Ramanandan Prasad that the provisions of the Limitation Act, 1963 apply only to proceedings in “courts” and not to appeals or applications before bodies other than courts such as quasi­judicial tribunals or executive authorities, notwithstanding the fact that such bodies or authorities may be vested with certain specified powers conferred on courts under the Codes of Civil or Criminal Procedure. The Collector before whom the appeal was preferred by the appellant herein under Section 90 of the Act not being a court, the Limitation Act, as such, had no applicability to the proceedings before him…………”.

This Court, however, further held that relevant special statute may contain an express provision conferring on the appellate authority, such as the Collector, to extend the prescribed period of limitation which needs to be examined looking to the scheme of the special statute. Section 93 of the Act was a provision pertaining to the applicability of the Limitation Act. Referring to the said provision this Court held that 1958 Act does not indicate that Section 5 of the Limitation Act is applicable.

“3…………But even in such a situation the relevant special statute may contain an express provision conferring on the Appellate Authority, such as the Collector, the power to extend the prescribed period of limitation on sufficient cause being shown by laying down that the provisions of Section 5 of the Limitation Act shall be applicable to such proceedings. Hence it becomes necessary to examine whether the Act contains any such provision entitling the Collector to invoke the provisions of Section 5 of the Limitation Act for condonation of the delay in the filing of the appeal. The only provision relied on by the appellant in this connection is Section 93 of the Act which, as it stood at the relevant time, was in the following terms:
93. Limitations.—Every appeal and every application for revision under this Act shall be filed within sixty days from the date of the order against which the appeal or application is filed and the provisions of the Indian Limitation Act, 1908 shall apply for the purpose of the computation of the said period.
On a plain reading of the section it is absolutely clear that its effect is only to render applicable to the proceedings before the Collector, the provisions of the Limitation Act relating to “computation of the period of limitation”. The provisions relating to computation of the period of limitation are contained in Sections 12 to 24 included in Part III of the Limitation Act, 1963. Section 5 is not a provision dealing with “computation of the period of limitation”. It is only after the process of computation is completed and it is found that an appeal or application has been filed after the expiry of the prescribed period that the question of extension of the period under Section 5 can arise. We are, therefore, in complete agreement with the view expressed by the Division Bench of the High Court in Venkaiah case1 that Section 93 of the Act did not have the effect of rendering the provisions of Section 5 of the Limitation Act, 1963 applicable to the proceedings before the Collector.”

This Court in Officer on Special Duty (Land Acquisition) and another vs. Shah Manilal Chandulal and others, (1996) 9 SCC 414, the Land Acquisition Officer has rejected the application for reference under Section 18 on the ground that it was barred by limitation. A writ petition was filed contending that provision of Section 5 of the Limitation Act applies to the proceedings before the Collector. The High Court accepted the argument and condoned the delay against which judgment appeal was filed before this Court. This Court held that Section 5 of the Limitation Act cannot be applied for extension of the period of limitation prescribed under proviso to sub­ section (2) of Section 18. “18. Though hard it may be, in view of the specific limitation provided under proviso to Section 18(2) of the Act, we are of the considered view that sub­section (2) of Section 29 cannot be applied to the proviso to sub­ section (2) of Section 18. The Collector/LAO, therefore, is not a court when he acts as a statutory authority under Section 18(1). Therefore, Section 5 of the Limitation Act cannot be applied for extension of the period of limitation prescribed under proviso to sub­ section (2) of Section 18. The High Court, therefore, was not right in its finding that the Collector is a court under Section 5 of the Limitation Act.”

Another judgment which needs to be noticed is Consolidated Engineering Enterprises vs. Principal Secretary, Irrigation Department and others, (2008) 7 SCC 169. The question which was posed, in the above case, for consideration before this Court has been mentioned in paragraph 18 which is to the following effect: “18. The question posed for consideration before the Court is whether the provision of Section 14 of the Limitation Act would be applicable to an application submitted under Section 34 of the Act of 1996 for setting aside the award made by the arbitrator………” 35. The provision of sub­section (3) of Section 34 has been noticed in paragraph 19 which is to the following effect: “19. A bare reading of sub­section (3) of Section 34 read with the proviso makes it abundantly clear that the application for setting aside the award on the grounds mentioned in sub­section (2) of Section 34 will have to be made within three months. The period can further be extended, on sufficient cause being shown, by another period of 30 days but not thereafter. It means that as far as application for setting aside the award is concerned, the period of limitation prescribed is three months which can be extended by another period of 30 days, on sufficient cause being shown to the satisfaction of the court.”

Section 29(2) of the Limitation Act as well as Section 34 of the Arbitration Act was referred to. This Court after noticing the provisions of Section 34 opined that Section 5 of the Limitation Act is excluded. “20. Section 29(2) of the Limitation Act inter alia provides that where any special or local law prescribes for any suit, appeal or application a period of limitation different from the period of limitation prescribed by the Schedule, the provisions of Section 3 shall apply as if such period was the period prescribed by the Schedule and for the purpose of determining any period of limitation prescribed for any suit, appeal or application by any special or local law, the provisions contained in Sections 4 to 24 shall apply only insofar as, and to the extent, they are not expressly excluded by such special or local law. When any special statute prescribes certain period of limitation as well as provision for extension up to specified time­ limit, on sufficient cause being shown, then the period of limitation prescribed under the special law shall prevail and to that extent the provisions of the Limitation Act shall stand excluded. As the intention of the legislature in enacting sub­section (3) of Section 34 of the Act is that the application for setting aside the award should be made within three months and the period can be further extended on sufficient cause being shown by another period of 30 days but not thereafter, this Court is of the opinion that the provisions of Section 5 of the Limitation Act would not be applicable because the applicability of Section 5 of the Limitation Act stands excluded because of the provisions of Section 29(2) of the Limitation Act. However, merely because it is held that Section 5 of the Limitation Act is not applicable to an application filed under Section 34 of the Act for setting aside an award, one need not conclude that provisions of Section 14 of the Limitation Act would also not be applicable to an application submitted under Section 34 of the Act of 1996.”

The three­Judge Bench noticed earlier judgment of this Court in CST v. Parson Tools and Plants. The three­ Judge Bench held that proceedings initiated for setting aside the arbitral award are not “courts” and three­Judge Bench held that in CST v. Parson Tools and Plants the appellate authority and the revisional court were not the courts hence this case was distinguished. “26. From the judgment of the Supreme Court in CST, (1975) 2 SCC 22, it is evident that essentially what weighed with the Court in holding that Section 14 of the Limitation Act was not applicable, was that the appellate authority and the revisional authority were not “courts”. The stark features of the revisional powers pointed out by the Court, showed that the legislature had deliberately excluded the application of the principles underlying Sections 5 and 14 of the Limitation Act. Here in this case, the Court is not called upon to examine scope of revisional powers. The Court in this case is dealing with Section 34 of the Act which confers powers on the court of the first instance to set aside an award rendered by an arbitrator on specified grounds. It is not the case of the contractor that the forums before which the Government of India undertaking had initiated proceedings for setting aside the arbitral award are not “courts”. In view of these glaring distinguishing features, this Court is of the opinion that the decision rendered in CST did not decide the issue which falls for consideration of this Court and, therefore, the said decision cannot be construed to mean that the provisions of Section 14 of the Limitation Act are not applicable to an application submitted under Section 34 of the Act of 1996.”  Three­Judge Bench held that Section 14 of the Limitation Act was applicable to application filed under Section 34 of the Arbitration Act, 1996. R.V. Raveendran, J. in his concurring opinion has held that Sections 3 and 29(2) of the Limitation Act will not apply to proceedings before the tribunal, to appeals or applications before the tribunals, unless expressly provided. “44. It may be noticed at this juncture that the Schedule to the Limitation Act prescribes the period of limitation only to proceedings in courts and not to any proceeding before a tribunal or quasi­judicial authority. Consequently Sections 3 and 29(2) of the Limitation Act will not apply to proceedings before the tribunal. This means that the Limitation Act will not apply to appeals or applications before the tribunals, unless expressly provided.”

The most elaborate judgment holding that the Limitation Act applies only to courts and not to the tribunals is the judgment of this Court in M.P. Steel Corporation vs. Commissioner of Central Excise, 2015(7) SCC 58, Rohinton Fali Nariman, J. speaking for the Court reviewed all earlier judgments of two­Judge and three­ Judge Benches of this Court. In paragraphs 11 to 35 all earlier judgments have been considered. In the above case Commissioner of Customs(Appeals) dismissed the appeal filed by the appellant on the ground that appeal is barred by time and the Commissioner(Appeals) had no power to condone delay beyond the period specified in Section 128 of the Customs Act. In the above case, benefit of Section 14 of the Limitation Act was sought. It was contended before this Court that while Section 2 of the Limitation Act, Section 14 of the Limitation Act was also applied to criminal, special or local law. This Court noticed the ingredients of applicability of Section 14. Two­Judge Bench has held that relying on earlier judgments of this Court that provisions of the Limitation Act are applicable only to suits, appeals and applications filed in Courts.

Mukri Gopalan vs. Cheppilat Puthanpurayil Aboobacker, (1995) 5 SCC 5. In the above case, question for consideration was as to whether the appellate authority under Section 18 of Kerala Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1965 has power to condone the delay in filing appeal.  “1. In this appeal by special leave a short but an interesting question falls for determination. It is to the effect “whether the appellate authority constituted under Section 18 of the Kerala Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act, 1965 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Rent Act’) has power to condone the delay in the filing of appeal before it under the said section”. Majority of the Kerala High Court in the case of Jokkim Fernandez v. Amina Kunhi Umma, AIR 1974 Ker 162, has taken the view that the appellate authority has no such power. Following the said decision a Division Bench of the Kerala High Court by its judgment and order under appeal has dismissed the revision application moved by the appellant herein whose appeal before the appellate authority was dismissed as time barred and the application for condonation of delay was treated to be not maintainable before the appellate authority.” This Court in the above case held that appellate authority was not “persona designata”. This Court in paragraph 8 held that the appellate authority who was District Judge would be court and not persona designata.  “11. It is also obvious that once the aforesaid two conditions are satisfied Section 29(2) on its own force will get attracted to appeals filed before appellate authority under Section 18 of the Rent Act. When Section 29(2) applies to appeals under Section 18 of the Rent Act, for computing the period of limitation prescribed for appeals under that Section, all the provisions of Sections 4 to 24 of the Limitation Act would apply. Section 5 being one of them would therefore get attracted. It is also obvious that there is no express exclusion anywhere in the Rent Act taking out the applicability of Section 5 of the Limitation Act to appeals filed before appellate authority under Section 18 of the Act. Consequently, all the legal requirements for applicability of Section 5 of the Limitation Act to such appeals in the light of Section 29(2) of Limitation Act can be said to have been satisfied. That was the view taken by the minority decision of the learned Single Judge of Kerala High Court in Jokkim Fernandez v. Amina Kunhi Umma. The majority did not agree on account of its wrong supposition that appellate authority functioning under Section 18 of the Rent Act is a persona designata. Once that presumption is found to be erroneous as discussed by us earlier, it becomes at once clear that minority view in the said decision was the correct view and the majority view was an erroneous view.” 15. After repealing of Indian Limitation Act, 1908 and its replacement by the present Limitation Act of 1963 a fundamental change was made in Section 29(2). The present Section 29(2) as already extracted earlier clearly indicates that once the requisite conditions for its applicability to given proceedings under special or local law are attracted, the provisions contained in Sections 4 to 24 both inclusive would get attracted which obviously would bring in Section 5 which also shall apply to such proceedings unless applicability of any of the aforesaid sections of the Limitation Act is expressly excluded by such special or local law. By this change it is not necessary to expressly state in a special law that the provisions contained in Section 5 of the Limitation Act shall apply to the determination of the periods under it. By the general provision contained in Section 29(2) this provision is made applicable to the periods prescribed under the special laws. An express mention in the special law is necessary only for any exclusion. It is on this basis that when the new Rent Act was passed in 1965 the provision contained in old Section 31 was omitted. It becomes therefore apparent that on a conjoint reading of Section 29(2) of Limitation Act of 1963 and Section 18 of the Rent Act of 1965, provisions of Section 5 would automatically get attracted to those proceedings, as there is nothing in the Rent Act of 1965 expressly excluding the applicability of Section 5 of the Limitation Act to appeals under Section 18 of the Rent Act.”

M.P. Steel Corporation (supra), Mukri Gopalan has been referred to and has been held to be no longer good law in view of the earlier three­Judge judgments of this Court. Dealing with Mukri Gopalan’s case two­Judge Bench in M.P. Steel Corporation had held following in paragraph 29 : “29. Quite apart from Mukri Gopalan case being out of step with at least five earlier binding judgments of this Court, it does not square also with the subsequent judgment in Consolidated Engg. Enterprises v. Irrigation Deptt. A three­Judge Bench of this Court was asked to decide whether Section 14 of the Limitation Act would apply to Section 34(3) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. After discussing the various provisions of the Arbitration Act and the Limitation Act, this Court held:…………” 32. Obviously, the ratio of Mukri Gopalan does not square with the observations of the three­Judge Bench in Consolidated Engg. Enterprises. In the latter case, this Court has unequivocally held that Parson Tools is an authority for the proposition that the Limitation Act will not apply to quasi­judicial bodies or tribunals. To the extent that Mukri Gopalan is in conflict with the judgment in Consolidated Engg. Enterprises case, it is no longer good law.”

The ratio which can be culled from above noted judgments, especially judgment of three­ Judge Benches, as noted above, is as follows:

(1) The suits, appeals and applications referred to in the Limitation Act, 1963 are suits, appeals and applications which are to be filed in a Court.
(2) The suits, appeals and applications referred to in the Limitation Act are not the suits, appeals and applications which are to be filed before a statutory authority like Commissioner under Act, 1959.
(3) Operation of Section 29(2) of the Limitation Act is confined to the suits, appeals and applications referred to in a special or local law to be filed in Court and not before statutory authorities like Commissioner under Act, 1959.
(4) However, special or local law vide statutory scheme can make applicable any provision of the Limitation Act or exclude applicability of any provision of Limitation Act which can be decided only after looking into the scheme of particular, special or local law.

55. We, thus, answer question Nos.2 and 3 in the following manner:

(i) The applicability of Section 29(2) of the Limitation Act is with regard to different limitations prescribed for any suit, appeal or application when to be filed in a Court.
(ii) Section 29(2) cannot be pressed in service with regard to filing of suits, appeals and applications before the statutory authorities and tribunals provided in a special or local law. The Commissioner while hearing of the appeal under Section 69 of the Act, 1959 is not entitled to condone the delay in filing appeal, since, provision of Section 5 shall not be attracted by strength of Section 29(2) of the Act.

A special or local law can very well provide for applicability of any provision of Limitation Act or exclude applicability of any provision of Limitation Act. The provisions of Limitation Act including Section 5 can very well be applied in deciding an appeal by statutory authority which is not a Court by the statutory scheme of special or local law. We, thus, need to notice the provisions of Act, 1959 as to whether the scheme under Act, 1959 shows that enactment intended to apply Section 5 of the Limitation Act.

57. Section 110 provides for procedure and powers at inquiries under Chapters V and VI. The Commissioner hears appeals under Section 69 which is under Chapter V of the Act. Section 110 of the Act is as follows:

“Section 110. Procedure and powers at inquiries under Chapters V and VI.­ (1) Where a Commissioner or a Joint Commissioner or a Deputy Commissioner makes an inquiry or hears an appeal under Chapter V or Chapter VI, the inquiry shall be made and the appeal shall be heard, as nearly as may be, in accordance with the procedure applicable under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (Central Act V of 1908) to the trial of suits or the hearing of appeals, as the case may be.
(2) The provisions of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872(Central Act I of 1872) and the Indian Oaths Act, 1873 (Central Act X of 1873), shall apply to such inquiries and appeals.
(3) The Commissioner [or a Joint Commissioner or a Deputy Commissioner] holding such inquiry or hearing such an appeal shall be deemed to be a person acting judicially within the meaning of the Judicial Officers Protection Act, 1850 (Central Act XVIII of 1850).”
58. The mere fact that a statutory authority is empowered to follow the procedure as nearly may be in accordance with procedure under C.P.C. to the trial of suits or hearing of appeals, the statutory authority shall not become a Court. There is nothing under Section 110 which indicates that Limitation Act is also made applicable in hearing of the appeal.

59. Section 115 deals with limitation. It only provides that in computing the period of limitation prescribed under Act, 1959 for any proceeding, suit, appeal or application for revision against any order or decree passed under this Act, the time requisite for obtaining a certified copy of such order or decree shall be excluded.

60. The provision of Section 69 of Act, 1959 also indicates that Legislature never contemplated applicability of Section 5 of the Limitation Act in proceedings before Commissioner. Section 69(2) noted above provides that any order passed by the Joint Commissioner or the Deputy Commissioner, as the case may, in respect of which no appeal has been preferred within the period specified in sub­section (1) may be revised by the Commissioner suo motu and the Commissioner may call for and examine the records of the proceedings to satisfy himself as to the regularity of such proceedings or the correctness, legality or propriety of any decision or order passed by the Joint Commissioner or the Deputy Commissioner, as the case may be.

61. Thus, Section 69(2) gives suo motu power to the Commissioner to call for and examine the records of the proceedings of Joint Commissioner or the Deputy Commissioner in respect of which no appeal has been preferred within the period specified in sub­section (1). Thus, in a case appeal is not filed within 60 days against the order of Joint Commissioner or the Deputy Commissioner, the Commissioner is vested with suo motu power to call for and examine the records. The suo motu power has been given to the Commissioner to correct the orders of Joint Commissioner or the Deputy Commissioner even if no appeal has been filed within 60 days. Giving of suo motu power to the Commissioner is with object to ensure that an order passed by the Joint Commissioner or the Deputy Commissioner may be corrected when appeal is not filed within time under Section 69(1). The scheme of Section 69 especially sub­section (2) also re­enforces our conclusion that Legislature never contemplated applicability of Section 5 in Section 69(1) for condoning the delay in filing an appeal by applying Section 5 of the Limitation Act.

63. The above provision clearly indicates that provision for only computation of limitation has been made applicable to the proceedings under Act, 1959. Section 115 cannot be read in a manner as to providing applicability of Section 5. There is no other provision in the scheme from which it can be inferred that Act, 1959 intended applicability of Section 5 of the Limitation Act to proceedings of appeal before the Commission. We, thus, conclude that Section 5 of the Limitation Act is not applicable as per the scheme of Act, 1959. (Hindu Religious endowment charitable Act, 1959)

Court in S. Parthy vs. State of Bank of India, (2000) 5 SCC 355. It will be noticed that Section 14 of the Limitation Act does not speak of a “civil court” but speaks only of a “court”. It is not necessary that the court spoken of in Section 14 should be a “civil court”. Any authority or tribunal having the trappings of a court would be a “court” within the meaning of this section. - Deputy Commissioner of Labour (Appeals), which was an authority constituted under Section 41(2) of the Tamil Nadu Shops and Establishments Act, 1947 to hear and decide appeals, was a “court” within the meaning of Section 14 of the Limitation Act and the proceedings pending before him were civil proceedings. - In this view of the matter, the entire period of time from the date of institution of the departmental appeal as also the period from the date of institution of the appeal under Section 41(2) before the Deputy Commissioner of Labour (Appeals) till it was dismissed will, therefore, have to be excluded for computing the period of limitation for filing the suit in question. If the entire period is excluded, the suit, it is not disputed, would be within time.” - Court was considering applicability of Section 14 of Limitation Act for excluding time (civil proceeding).

MARRIAGE AND CRUELTY - JUSTICE Shashi Kant Gupta, JUSTICE Pradeep Kumar Srivastava


Cruelty has not been defined in the Hindu Marriage Act. In Mayadevi vs. Jagdish Prasad, AIR 2007 SC 1426, the Supreme Court has remarked that the expression 'cruelty' in Section 13 has been used in relation to human conduct or human behaviour in respect of matrimonial duties and obligations. Cruelty is a course or conduct of one, which is adversely affecting the other. The cruelty may be mental or physical, intentional or unintentional. If it is physical, the Court will have no problem in determining it. It is a question of fact and degree. If it is mental, the problem presents difficulties. First, the inquiry must begin as to the nature of cruel treatment, second the impact of such treatment in the mind of the spouse, whether it caused reasonable apprehension that it would be harmful or injurious to live with the other. Ultimately, it is a matter of inference to be drawn by taking into account the nature of the conduct and its effect on the complaining spouse. However, there may be a case where the conduct complained of itself is bad enough and per-se unlawful or illegal. Then the impact or injurious effect on the other spouse need not be inquired into or considered. In such cases, the cruelty will be established if the conduct itself is proved or admitted.

In Anjula Verma vs. Sudhir Verma, AIR 2002 SC 1447, the Supreme Court has remarked that the foundation of a sound marriage is tolerance, adjustment and respecting one another. Tolerance to each other's fault to a certain bearable extent has to be inherent in every marriage.

In Ravi Kumar vs Julmidevi, (2010) 4 SCC 476, cruelty was interpreted to mean absence of mutual respect and understanding between spouses which embitters relationship.

As held in Vishwanath Agrwal vs Sarla Vishwanath Agrwal, (2012) 7 SCC 288, it always depends on social strata or milieu to which parties belong, their ways of life, relationship, temperaments and emotions that are conditioned by their social status.

It was pointed out in K S Sriniwas Rao vs D. A. Deepa, (2013) 5 SCC 226, that it is evident where one spouse so treats other and manifests such feeling which causes reasonable apprehension in the mind of other that it would be harmful or injurious to reside with other spouse.

In Gurubux Singh vs Harminder Kaur, AIR 2011 SC 114, it was opined that isolated frictions on some occasion does not amount to cruelty. All quarrels must be weighed in determining cruelty in each particular case, keeping in view the physical and mental conditions of the parties, their character and social status. A too technical and hyper-sensitive approach would be counter-productive to the institution of marriage. The Courts do not have to deal with ideal husbands and ideal wives. It has to deal with particular man and woman before it. The ideal couple or a mere ideals one will probably have no occasion to go to Matrimonial Court.

In U Sree vs U sriniwas, (2013) 2 SCC 114, it was held that it is not open for the learned court below to grant divorce on a ground which was not taken in the petition. Where there is no pleading or prayer made for divorce on ground of desertion but conclusion as to desertion arrived at by court below and granting divorce is erroneous. On the same analogy, we are of the view that where divorce has been sought on the ground of desertion only, the court cannot grant divorce on the ground of cruelty. Moreover, from the side of appellant, a copy of the petition under Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act seeking relief of Restitution of Conjugal Rights was also filed but the same has been ignored by the court below.

In Balvinder Kaur vs Hardeep Singh, (1997) 11 SCC 701 and Jagraj Singh vs Birpal Kaur, (2007) 2 Scc 564, it has been held that a decree without undergoing re-conciliation process is not sustainable in law. We find that the learned court below has omitted to make any effort for re-conciliation process, and as such the impugned judgment is illegal on account of non-observance of mandatory procedure.

SOURCE Allahabad High Court
Smt. Nisha Soni vs Mukesh Soni on 5 April, 2019
Bench: JUSTICE Shashi Kant Gupta, JUSTICE Pradeep Kumar Srivastava

CONCEPT OF PARTITION UNDER HINDU LAW


In M.N.ARYAMURTHI V. M.L. SUBBARAYA , AIR 1972 SC 1279, (1972) 4 SCC 1, the Apex Court while dealing with the conceptof partition and the Effect of severance in status held thus:"If one of the members remains in possession of the entire properties of the family even after severance in status, there is no presumption that the property, which is acquired by him after severance of the status, must be regarded as acquired for the family. Where rents and profits are received by the member in possession, he would be liable to account for the same. But the funds in the hands of that member do not become impressed with any trust in favour of the other members. Therefore, if such a member acquired some property with the funds in his possession, the other members could claim no share in that property."

In V.N.SARIN V. AJIT KUMAR  1966 AIR 432, 1966 SCR (1) 349while dealing with the concept of partition in a Hindu Joint Family, the following is laid down:
"Having regard to the basic character of joint Hindu family property, each coparcener has an antecedent title to the said property though its extent is not determined until partition takes place. That being so, partition really means that whereas initially all the coparceners had subsisting title to the totality of the property of the family jointly, that joint title is transformed by partition into separate titles of the individual coparceners in respect of several items of properties allotted to them respectively. As this is the true nature of a partition, the contention that partition of an undivided Hindu family property necessarily means transfer of the property to the individual coparceners cannot be accepted."

In GIRIJANANDINI V. BIJENDRA NARAIN 1967 AIR 1124, 1967 SCR (1) 93 while dealing with modes of effecting partition in Hindu Law, the Apex Court observed. - "In a Hindu undivided family governed by the Mitakshara law, no individual member of that family, while it remains undivided, can predicate that he has a certain definite share in the property of the family. The rights of the coparceners are defined when there is partition. Partition consists in defining the shares of the coparceners in the joint property, actual division of the property by metes and bounds is not necessary to constitute partition. Once the shares are defined, whether by agreement between the parties or otherwise, partition is complete. The parties may thereafter choose to divide the property by metes and bounds, or may continue to live together and enjoy the property in common as before. If they live together, the mode of enjoyment alone remains joint, but no the tenure of the property. Partition may ordinarily be effected by institution of a suit, by submitting the dispute as to division of the properties to arbitrators, by a demand for a share in the properties, or by conduct which evinces an intention to sever the joint family: it may also be effected by agreement to divide the property. But in each case the conduct must evidence unequivocally intention to sever the joint family status. Merely because on member of a family severs his relation, there is no presumption that here is severance between the other members: the question whether there is severance between the other members is one of fact to be determined on a review of all the attendant circumstances. Where there is severance between different branches of a joint family, severance between the members of the branches inter se may not in absence of expression of an unequivocal intention be inferred. It is from the intention to sever following by conduct which seeks to effectuate that intention that partition results, mere specification of shares without intention to sever does not result in partition."

Sub- section (2) of Section 22 of the Hindu Succession Act indicates that a party can enforce a right of pre-emption by making an application to that effect in a Court which has been explained in the Explanation to this Section. If a party intending to take the benefit of the right given under Section 22(1), files an application, the Court has to determine the amount of consideration for the intended transfer and the party is again given an option to get such a transfer from the co-sharer on such consideration or to refuse the same. If the party declines to purchase the property for the same amount, he has to bear the cost of the proceeding. No such application has ever been filed by any of the parties anywhere. This plea was not even raised in the Court below. It was for the first time in this appeal that the appellants have raised this point. Even in this Court no application has been filed for enforcement of such a right. In these circumstances, the plea has to be rejected.

EFFECTS OF ADOPTION UNDER HINDU LAW


In the case of Krishnamurthi, AIR 1962 SC 59, their Lordships of the Supreme Court deduced the following principles on the basis of their earlier decision in the case of Srinivas Krishnarao Kongo v. Narayan Devji Kango, AIR 1954 SC 379 (at page 61 of AIR 1962 SC 1962) :

"(i) An adopted son is held entitled to take in defeasance of the rights acquired prior to his adoption on the ground that in the eye of law his adoption relates back, by a legal fiction, to the date of the death of his adoptive father, he being put in the position of a posthumous son.

(ii) As a preferential heir, an adopted son (a) divests his mother of the estate of his adoptive father ; (b) divests his adoptive mother of the estate she gets as an heir of her son who died after the death of her husband.

(iii) A coparcenary continues to subsist so long as there is in existence a widow of a coparcener capable of bringing a son into existence by adoption; and if the widow made an adoption, the rights of the adopted son are the same as if he had been in existence at the time when his adoptive father died and that his title as coparcener prevails as against the title of any person claiming as heir to the last coparcener.

(iv) The principle of relation back applies only when the claim made by the adopted son relates to the estate of his adoptive father. The estate may be definite and ascertained, as when he is the sole and absolute owner of the properties, or it may be fluctuating as when he is a member of a joint Hindu family in which the interest of the coparceners is liable to increase by death or decrease by birth. In either case, it is the interest of the adoptive father which the adopted son is declared entitled to take as on the date of his death. This principle of relation back cannot be applied when the claim made by the adopted son relates not to the estate of his adoptive father but to that of a collateral. With reference to the claim with respect to the estate of a collateral, the governing principle is that inheritance can never be in abeyance, and that once it devolves on a person who is the nearest heir under the law, it is thereafter not liable to be divested. When succession to the properties of a person other than an adoptive father is involved, the principle applicable is not the rule of relation back but the rule that inheritance once vested could not be divested.

(v) The estate continues to be the estate of the adoptive father in whosoever's hands it may be, that is, whether in the hands of one who is the absolute owner or one who is a limited owner. Any one who inherits the estate of the adoptive father is his heir, irrespective of the inheritance having passed through a number of persons, each being the heir of the previous owner. This court considered the case of Amarendra Man Singh Bhramarbar v. Sanatan Singh [1933] 60 Ind App 242 ; AIR 1933 PC 155, which related to an impartible zamindari. The last of its holders was Raja Bibhudendra. He died on December 10, 1922, unmarried. A collateral, Banamali, succeeded to the estate as the family custom excluded females from succeeding to the Raj. On December 18, 1922, Indumati, mother of Bibhudendra adopted Amarendra to her husband, Brajendra. The question for determination, in that case, was whether Amarendra could divest Banamali of the estate, and it was answered in the positive by the Judicial Committee. This court said at page 19 of SCR (at page 386 of AIR) : "The estate claimed was that of his adoptive father, Brajendra, and if the adoption was at all valid, it related back to the date of Brajendra's death, and enabled Amarendra to divest Banamali.' The last holder of the estate was not Brajendra, the adoptive father, but Bibhudendra, who may be said to be the adoptive brother. The estate in his hands is described as the estate of Brajendra, the adoptive father. This court said about the decision in this case : 'This decision might be taken at the most to be an authority for the position that when an adoption is made to A, the adopted son is entitled to recover the estate of A not merely when it has vested in his widow who makes the adoption but also in any other heir of his. It is no authority for the contention that he is entitled to recover the estate of B which had vested in his heir prior to his adoption to A.' Banamali, heir of Bibhudendra, was considered to be the heir of Brajendra also."

DOCTRINE OF LEGITIMATE EXPECTATION OR PROMISSORY ESTOPPEL


In Motilal Padampat Sugar Mills Co. Ltd. v. State of U.P., (1979) 2 SCC 409, a two-Judge Bench of Court discussed the doctrine of promissory estoppel in great detail and laid down the various propositions including the following: “The true principle of promissory estoppel, therefore, seems to be that where one party has by his words or conduct made to the other a clear and unequivocal promise which is intended to create legal relations or affect a legal relationship to arise in the future, knowing or intending that it would be acted upon by the other party to whom the promise is made and it is in fact so acted upon by the other party, the promise would be binding on the party making it and he would not be entitled to go back upon it, if it would be inequitable to allow him to do so having regard to the dealings which have taken place between the parties, and this would be so irrespective of whether there is any pre-existing relationship between the parties or not.” ……….“The law may, therefore, now be taken to be settled as a result of this decision, that where the Government makes a promise knowing or intending that it would be acted on by the promisee and, in fact, the promisee, acting in reliance on it, alters his position, the Government would be held bound by the promise and the promise would be enforceable against the Government at the instance of the promisee, notwithstanding that there is no consideration for the promise and the promise is not recorded in the form of a formal contract as required by Article 299 of the Constitution.”

A contrary view was expressed by another two-Judge Bench in Jit Ram v. State of Haryana (1981) 1 SCC 11, but the law laid down in Motilal Padampat Sugar Mills Co. Ltd. v. State of U.P. (supra) was reiterated in Union of India v. Godfrey Philips India Ltd. (1985) 4 SCC 369, which was decided by a three-Judge Bench. Bhagwati, C.J. with whom the other two members of the Bench agreed on the exposition of law relating to the doctrine of promissory estoppel, observed: "Of course we must make it clear, and that is also laid down in Motilal Sugar Mills case that there can be no promissory estoppel against the Legislature in the exercise of its legislative functions nor can the Government or public authority be debarred by promissory estoppel from enforcing a statutory prohibition. It is equally true that promissory estoppel cannot be used to compel the Government or a public authority to carry out a representation or promise which is contrary to law or which was outside the authority or, power of the officer of the Government or of the public authority to make. We may also point out that the doctrine of promissory estoppel being an equitable doctrine, it must yield when the equity so requires; if it can be shown by the Government or public authority that having regard to the facts as they have transpired, it would be inequitable to hold the Government or public authority to the promise or representation made by it, the Court would not raise an equity in favour of the person to whom the promise or representation is made and enforce the promise or representation against the Government or public authority. The doctrine of promissory estoppel would be displaced in such a case, because on the facts, equity would not require that the Government or public authority should be held bound by the promise or representation made by it. This aspect has been dealt with fully in Motilal Sugar Mills case and we find ourselves wholly in agreement with what has been said in that decision on this point.”

In Food Corporation of India v. Kamdhenu Cattle Feed Industries ((1993) 1 Supreme Court Cases 71.), Court considered whether by submitting tender in response to notice issued by the Food Corporation of India for sale of stocks of damaged food grains, the respondent had acquired a right to have its tender accepted and the appellant was not entitled to reject the same. While approving the view expressed by the High Court that rejection of the highest tender of the writ petitioner-respondent was legally correct, this Court observed: "The mere reasonable or legitimate expectation of a citizen, in such a situation, may not by itself be a distinct enforceable right, but failure to consider and give due weight to it may render the decision arbitrary, and this is how the requirement of due consideration of a legitimate expectation forms part of the principle of non-arbitrariness, a necessary concomitant of the rule of law. Every legitimate expectation is a relevant factor requiring due consideration in a fair decision-making process. Whether the expectation of the claimant is reasonable or legitimate in the context is a question of fact in each case. Whenever the question arises, it is to be determined not according to the claimant's perception but in larger public interest wherein other more important considerations may outweigh what would otherwise have been the legitimate expectation of the claimant. A bona fide decision of the public authority reached in this manner would satisfy the requirement of non-arbitrariness and withstand judicial scrutiny. The doctrine of legitimate expectation gets assimilated in the rule of law and operates in our legal system in this manner and to this extent."

In Union of India v. Hindustan Development Corporation (1994 AIR 988, 1993 SCR (3) 128), the doctrine of legitimate expectation was explained in the following words: “. ... For legal purposes, the expectation cannot be the same as anticipation. It is different from a wish, a desire or a hope nor can it amount to a claim or demand on the ground of a right. However earnest and sincere a wish, a desire or a hope may be and however confidently one may look to them to be fulfilled, they by themselves cannot amount to an assertable expectation and a mere disappointment does not attract legal consequences. A pious hope even leading to a moral obligation cannot amount to a legitimate expectation. The legitimacy of an expectation can be inferred only if it is founded on the sanction of law or custom or an established procedure followed in regular and natural sequence. Again it is distinguishable from a genuine expectation. Such expectation should be justifiably legitimate and protectable. Every such legitimate expectation does not by itself fructify into a right and therefore it does not amount to a right in the conventional sense.”

The same principle has been stated and reiterated in Punjab Communications Ltd. v. Union of India (1999) 4 SCC 727, Dr. Chanchal Goyal v. State of Rajasthan (2003) 3 SCC 485, J.P. Bansal v. State of Rajasthan (2003) 5 SCC 134, State of Karnataka v. Uma Devi (2006) 4 SCC 1,Kuldeep Singh v. Government of NCT of Delhi (2006) 5 SCC 702, Ram Pravesh Singh v. State of Bihar (2006) 8 SCC 381 and Sethi Auto Service Station v. DDA (2009) 1 SCC 180. In the last mentioned judgment, the Court referred to various precedents and observed: “..................the golden thread running through all these decisions is that a case for applicability of the doctrine of legitimate expectation, now accepted in the subjective sense as part of our legal jurisprudence, arises when an administrative body by reason of a representation or by past practice or conduct aroused an expectation which it would be within its powers to fulfil unless some overriding public interest comes in the way. However, a person who bases his claim on the doctrine of legitimate expectation, in the first instance, has to satisfy that he has relied on the said representation and the denial of that expectation has worked to his detriment. The Court could interfere only if the decision taken by the authority was found to be arbitrary, unreasonable or in gross abuse of power or in violation of principles of natural justice and not taken in public interest. But a claim based on mere legitimate expectation without anything more cannot ipso facto give a right to invoke these principles.”

In Hira Tikoo v. Union Territory, Chandigarh (2004) 6 SCC 765, Court considered whether the High Court was justified in refusing to invoke the doctrine of promissory estoppel for issuing a mandamus to the respondent-Chandigarh Administration to allot industrial plots to the petitioners, who had applied in response to an advertisement issued in 1981. The Court noted that some of the successful applicants were given possession of the plots but majority of them were not given allotment letters on the ground that the land formed part of the reserved forest and partially approved the decision of the High Court by making the following observations: “Surely, the doctrine of estoppel cannot be applied against public authorities when their mistaken advice or representation is found to be in breach of a statute and therefore, against general public interest. The question, however, is whether the parties or individuals, who had suffered because of the mistake and negligence on the part of the statutory public authorities, would have any remedy of redressal for the loss they have suffered. The "rules of fairness" by which every public authority is bound, require them to compensate loss occasioned to private parties or citizens who were misled in acting on such mistaken or negligent advice of the public authority. There are no allegations and material in these cases to come to a conclusion that the action of the authorities was mala fide. It may be held to be careless or negligent. In some of the English cases, the view taken is that the public authorities cannot be absolved of their liability to provide adequate monetary compensation to the parties who are adversely affected by their erroneous decisions and actions. But in these cases, any directions to the public authorities to pay monetary compensation or damages would also indirectly harm general public interest. The public authorities are entrusted with public fund raised from public money. The funds are in trust with them for utilisation in public interest and strictly for the purposes of the statute under which they are created with specific statutory duties imposed on them. In such a situation when a party or citizen has relied, to his detriment, on an erroneous representation made by public authorities and suffered loss and where the doctrine of "estoppel" will not be invoked to his aid, directing administrative redressal would be a more appropriate remedy than payment of monetary compensation for the loss caused by non-delivery of the possession of the plots and consequent delay caused in setting up industries by the allottees.”





KARNATAKA LAND LAWS

CASE LAW ON LAND LAWS