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Surendra Nath Mittal Vs. Dayanand Swarup and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtAllahabad High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. No. 471 of 1982
Judge
Reported inAIR1987All132
ActsProvincial Small Cause Courts Act, 1887 - Sections 17; Limitation Act, 1963 - Sections 5
AppellantSurendra Nath Mittal
RespondentDayanand Swarup and anr.
Appellant AdvocateS.N. Agarwal, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateVinod Swarup, Adv.
DispositionRevision allowed
Excerpt:
civil - condonation of delay - proviso to section 17 of provincial small cause courts act, 1887 - delay in depositing amount in court in suit for arrears of rent and ejectment - application giving cause to delay cannot be rejected just because delay of each day not explained mathematically - person having bona fide deposited amount must get chance to be heard. - - 7. it is well settled that this proviso has to be liberally construed. 7, 1982 and remand the case to the court below for consideration of the application for restoration as well asthe application for condonation of delay in making deposit under the proviso to section 17 of the act in accordance with law in the light of the observations made above......the plaintiff-respondent had filed a suit no. 39 of 1979 for arrears of rent and ejectment. this suit was decreed ex parte on 13th nov., 1979. the revisionist thereafter moved an application for restoration of the suit to its original number. he also made certain deposits as required under the proviso to section 17 of the provincial small cause courts act, hereinafter referred to as the act. the deposit was short and consequently the plaintiff-respondents filed an objection to that effect. thereafter the revisionist made further deposits and also filed an application for condonation of delay in making the said deposits. the 1st additional district judge, bulandshahr by order dt. july 7, 1982 dismissed the restoration application for non-compliance of the provisions of section 17 of the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

S.D. Agarwala, J.

1. This is a revision filed under Section 25 of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act by the tenant. The plaintiff-respondent had filed a suit No. 39 of 1979 for arrears of rent and ejectment. This suit was decreed ex parte on 13th Nov., 1979. The revisionist thereafter moved an application for restoration of the suit to its original number. He also made certain deposits as required under the proviso to Section 17 of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act, hereinafter referred to as the Act. The deposit was short and consequently the plaintiff-respondents filed an objection to that effect. Thereafter the revisionist made further deposits and also filed an application for condonation of delay in making the said deposits. The 1st Additional District Judge, Bulandshahr by order dt. July 7, 1982 dismissed the restoration application for non-compliance of the provisions of Section 17 of the Act within the time prescribed. The application moved by the revisionist for condonation of delay in depositing the amount as required by proviso to Section 17 of the Act was also dismissed. It is this order dt. 7th July, 1982 which is the subject-matter of challenge in this revision.

2. I have heard the learned counsel for the parties. Learned counsel for the revisionist has contended that the Court below has acted illegally and with material irregularity in the exercise of its jurisdiction in dismissing the application for condonation of delay merely on the ground that each and every day's delay has not been explained in the application. He has further contended that in fact the entire amount as required by proviso to Section 17 of the Act has been deposited and consequently the Court below should have condoned the delay in depositing the amount and permitted the revisionist to be heard on merits of the suit.

3. So far as the second question is concerned, in my opinion, it is not necessary for me to go into this question as this is the matter which is to be decided by the Court below on merits. The first submission made by the learned counsel for the revisionist in regard to the application for condonation of delay, in my opinion, has substance.

4. I have examined the judgment of the Court below dt. 7th July, 1982. The application for condonation of delay in making the deposit as required by the proviso to Section 17 of the Act has merely been dismissed by the Court below on the ground that each and every day's delay should have been explained by the revisionist. With this observation the application for condonation of delay has been rejected. The Court below has not considered the overall explanation given by the revisionist for condonation of delay as also the circumstances leading to the subsequent deposit of the amount by the revisionist in compliance of the proviso to Section 17 of the Act.

5. The proviso to Section 17 of the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act is as follows : --

'Provided that an applicant for an order to set aside a decree passed ex parte or for a review of judgment shall, at the time of presenting his application, either deposit in the Court the amount due from him under the decree or in pursuance of the judgment, or give such security for the performance of the decree or compliance with the judgment as the Court may, on a previous application made by him in this behalf, have directed.'

6. The only object behind this proviso is that the unscrupulous tenants against whomrent is due and who do not appear on the date fixed by the Court, may not take advantage of not paying the rent and thereby causing harassment to the landlord. It is often found that the defendants to a suit do not appear with a purpose that an ex parte decree would be passed and then an application for setting aside the ex parte decree would be made, thereby prolonging the litigation. This proviso, consequently, protects the landlord from further harassment and secures the payment of rent.

7. It is well settled that this proviso has to be liberally construed. In the circumstances, the delay in depositing the amount should also be liberally construed in order to enable the person, who has bona fide deposited the amount gets an opportunity of being heard by a Court of law on the merits of the case.

8. In Smt. Pari Bai v. Bhagat Ram, AIR 1977 All 549, the question came up for consideration whether each and every day's delay should be satisfactorily explained in order to entitle a person for condonation of delay. The Bench held that it was not necessary that each and every day's delay be explained. It further observed as follows : --

'It is true that a person coming to the Court after the prescribed period is required to explain the delay and he can succeed in getting the delay condoned only when he satisfactorily explains it. But a Court of law cannot require such a person to explain the delay with mathematical precision.'

9. In view of the principles laid down in the abovementioned case, the Court below has to consider the application for condonation of delay on an overall consideration of the facts on record and not as a matter of mathematical precision. The approach, in my opinion, of the Court below is wholly erroneous. This approach is likely to lead to a grave injustice and does not advance the cause of justice. It is, consequently, necessary that the application for condonation of delay moved by the revisionist should be considered by the Court below in the right perspective.

10. In the result, I allow the revision, set aside the order dt. Jul. 7, 1982 and remand the case to the Court below for consideration of the application for restoration as well asthe application for condonation of delay in making deposit under the proviso to Section 17 of the Act in accordance with law in the light of the observations made above. The parties are, however, directed to bear their own costs.


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