I.D. Dua, J.
(1) A preliminary objection has been raised on behalf of the respondents in this case that the revision is barred by time. Reliance has been placed on Article 131 of the Limitation Act No. 36 of 1983. This Article prescribes a period of 90 days for presenting a revision under the Code of Civil Procedure or the Code of Criminal Procedure, the terminus a quo being the date of the decree or order or sentence sought to be revised. In the case in hand, the order sought to be revised is dated 18th September, 1965 and the revision was presented in this Court on 9th March, 1968. An application for a copy of the order was made on 24th December, 1965, and the same was attested on 25th January, 1966 and perhaps delivered on the same day. Calculating on the basis of these dates the period requisite for obtaining the copy and deducting the same from the time- taken by the petitioner in filing this revision petition, it is nto denied that it is barred by time. The only ground on which the learned counsel for the petitioner seeks to bring it within limitation is that on 18th September, 1965, the learned Additional Sessions Jadge did nto announce orders immediately after hearing the arguments but reserved them to be announced later of which no intimation was ever given to the petitioner. In face of the clear order of the learned Additional Sessions Judge that orders were announced soon after hearing the arguments, I find it difficult to accept this contention.
(2) It is, however, urged that along with this revision, an application tinder section 5 of the Limitation Act was also presented in this Court seeking extention of time and it is submitted that R.P.Khosla, J. of the Punjab High Court, when issuing ntoice on the revision, expressly recorded condensation of the delay. This, according to Bawa Shiv Charan Singh, is conclusive and, according .to him, the respondents have no right now to re-agitate or re-open this question. I am wholly unable to accept this submission.
(3) It is well settled on high authority that an ex parts order of this type has inherent in It the order that it is subject to all just exceptions and the respondents are entitled at the time of bearing or at any early stage, if they so choose, to approach this Court to raise the question of limitation. As a matter of fact, the better view seems to me to be that in a case of this type the question of limitation can be decided even prior to the admission of the cause but after hearing btoh sides. Be that as it may, it is nto possible on the basis of the ex parte order condoning the delay in the present case to estop the respondents from raisirg the question of limitation at this stage. This question is allowed to be raised and prima facie the revision is clearly barred by time.
(4) Bawa Shiv Charan Singh has, however, submitted that since the respondents have nto filed a counter affidavit controverting the aver- ments made by the petitioner in his application supported by an affidavit that orders were reserved and nto announced on 18th September, 1965 by the learned Additional Sessions Judge, this Court should uphold the plea in support of the condensation of delay. Here again, I am afraid, the submission cannto be accepted. The affidavit, is by a clerk of the counsel and on the basis of this affidavit, I am nto inclined to hold that the Presiding Officer of the Court below had wrongly written in the order that it was announced whereas he had actually reserved the orders. Bat this apart, it is the duty of this Court to see whether a cause barred by time deserves to be heard on the merits after condoning the delay. Even an agreement between two contesting parties, particularly in criminal cases where the administration of justice is, normally speaking, the prerogative of the State cannto be held to be a conclusive ground for the Court to ignore section 3 of the Limitation Act and to proceed to dispose of the case on the merits. Mere failure on the part of the respon' dents to swear a coanter-affidavit would certainly nto bind this Court to ignore the law of Limitation. But this apart where a serious assertion is made which reflects on the integrity of a judicial officer, this Court has to be more careful in seeing that no discreditable aspersion is cast at the back of a judicial officer which he has nto had an opportu' nity of meeting. The matter being nearly three years old, it can serve no usefull purpose now to hold an cnqairy into this allegation. The petitioner should have teken appropriate st'ps to have this matter decided within a reasonable time.
(5) When all is said and done, the fact remains that this is after all a revision petition by a private complainant, which normally is nto encouraged by this Court. And then, the occurrence is of April, 1963, and this long delay is also nto wholly irrelevant, particularly when the two Courts below have gone against the petitioner.
(6) For all the foregoing reasons, this revision fails and is dismissed.