Jeevan Reddy, J.
1. This appeal is preferred against the order of the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Chittoor condoning the delay in filing a claim petition. The claim petition was filed under S. 110-A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939. Sub-section (3) thereof provides that no application for compensation shall be entertained unless it is made within six months of the occurrence of the accident. At the relevant time the period was only sixty days. Proviso to sub-sec. (3) however empowers the Claims Tribunal to entertain an application after the prescribed period of limitation if it is satisfied that the applicant was prevented by sufficient cause from making the application in time. It is in exercise of this power that the Claims Tribunal has condoned the delay of about 5 years and has entertained the claim petition.
2. This appeal purports to have been filed under S. 110-B, sub-sec. (1). According to the said provision, any person aggrieved by an award of a Claims Tribunal, may within ninety days from the date of the award, prefer an appeal to the High Court. Sub-section (20 says that no appeal shall lie if the amount in dispute in appeal is less than two thousand rupees. The question therefore is whether the order of the Claims Tribunal condoning the delay in preferring the claim petition amounts to an award within the meaning of S. 110-D (1). Section 110-B provides for passing of an award by the Claims Tribunal. It says that on receipt of an application for compensation made under S. 110-A, the Claims Tribunal shall, after giving the parties an opportunity of being heard, hold an inquiry into the claim and may make an award determining the amount of compensation which appears to it to be just and specifying the person or persons to whom compensation shall be paid. Now, there can be no dispute that where the claim petition is dismissed in toto, it would also amount to an award of the Tribunal, and would be appealable. Similarly, if a claim petition is preferred after the prescribed period of limitation accompanied by an application for condoning the delay and the said petition for condoning the delay is dismissed with the result that the main O. P. also stands dismissed, it can be treated as an award appealable under S. 110-D (1) vide Govindarajulu v. Govindaraja, : AIR1966Mad332 and Gopalaswami v. Navalgaria, : AIR1967Mad403 . Extending the same reasoning, if an interlocutory order has the effect of putting an end to the main petition itself, it can also be treated as an award and is appealable. Such a case came up before this court before A. V. Krishna Rao J, where the claimant died pending a claim petition and his legal representatives wanted to come on record to continue the claim petition, it was refused and the learned single Judge of this Court held in appeal that such an order amounts to an award and is appealable. But the same analogy cannot be applied to an interlocutory order which does not put an end to the claim petition. Such an interlocutory order may be of any nature. It may be an order condoning the delay in filing the claim petition impleading the legal representatives or impleading other necessary or proper parties, as the case may be. We find it difficult to say that even such orders amount to an award and can be held to be appealable under Section 110-D (1). Placing the construction canvassed for by appellants would have the effect of prolonging the proceedings, while the Act intends a prompt and speedy disposal of such claims. As we have stated above, only those orders which have the effect of putting an end to the claim petition or which amount to finally disposing of the original petition can be treated as an award and are appealable and not other interlolcutory orders.
3. Sri s. Venkata Reddy, the learned counsel for the petitioners relied upon certain observations in Govindarajulu v. Govindaraja, : AIR1966Mad332 and Gopalaswami v. Navalgaria, : AIR1967Mad403 in support of his contention that each and every decision of the Tribunal must be treated as an award and must be held to be appealable. In Govindarajulu v. Govindaraja, : AIR1966Mad332 the learned Judges after holding that an order which has the effect of total dismissal of the claim petition, is appealable observed that on a proper interpretation of Section 110-B, an award would comprehend every decision of the Tribunal, whether for or against the claimant or the opposing parties. But these observations must be understood in the light of the facts of that particular case and cannot be extended to cover a case where the order itself does not amount to a final decision in the matter or does not terminate the main proceeding. Similar observations are also to be found in Gopalaswami v. Navalgaria, : AIR1967Mad403 but those observations again must be understood in the light of the facts of that case which again was a case where delay in filing the application was refused to be condoned. Both the cases were cases where orders sought to be appealed against had the effect of terminating the claim petition itself and therefore, were held appealable. We are therefore of the opinion that the said observations cannot help the petitioner, and it must be held that the present appeal is not maintainable. Accordingly it is dismissed. No costs.
4. Appeal dismissed.