(1) The Vallam Co-operative Loan and Sales Society was directed to be dissolved by order of the Joint Registrar of Co-operative Societies dated 18-6-1960. The petitioner is the President of the Society, and he filed an appeal to the State Government as provided under S. 44(2) of the Co-operative Societies Act. This appeal was rejected by the Government, as having been filed beyond the period of limitation. The petitioner sought to have a review of that order contending that the order having been served upon him only on 10-12-1960, this appeal was within time. The petition was also rejected. The present petition under Art, 226 of the Constitution has been filed by the petitioner seeking the issue of a writ of certiorari to quash the order impugned. It is contended that, though S. 44(2) specifies that the appeal should be filed within two months from the date of the order sought to be appealed from, the true position in law is that the period of two months has to be computed from the date of knowledge of the order. That, according to the petitioner, is not the construction which has been placed by the State Government in invoking the plea of limitation.
(2) The counter affidavit that has been filed by the State of Madras shows that the order of the Joint Registrar directing dissolution of the Society was communicated to the petitioner by registered post. It could not, however, be delivered as the petitioner was not found, and it was returned undelivered on 18-7-1960. Thereafter, the Department sought to effect personal service. The petitioner refused to receive the copy of the order contending that it was in English and not in Tamil. The order was thereafter served upon him by affixture on 9-11-1960. Subsequently, a Tamil copy of the order was also served upon the petitioner on 10-12-1960.
(3) It is pointed out in the counter affidavit that the period of limitation should he computed from the date of legal service, that is, 9-11-1960. Even assuming that 10-12-1960 is the operative date, the petitioner should have filed the appeal so that it should reach the hands of the appellate authority on or before 10-2-1961. In the present case however, the appeal petition reached the Government only on 16-2-1961. It was for that reason that the appeal was rejected as out of time.
(4) The statement of facts found in the counter-affidavit have not been controverted or any reply affidavit filed by the petitioner.
(5) As I see it, whether the order was in English or Tamil, the date of effective service was on 9-11-1960. If that should be the correct view, then there is no doubt that any appeal petition presented beyond a period of two months from that date is out of time.
(6) Learned counsel for the petitioner argues that the effective date of service upon him of the order impugned is only 10-12-1960 and that he prepared his appeal petition on 7-2-1961, and sent it by post. He claims that, normally, the petition should have reached the appropriate appellate authority on the next day. If that should be the position then his appeal, according to him, is within time.
(7) I do not agree. Even assuming that the period of limitation has to be computed from 10-12-1960, it is the duty of the petitioner to see to it that his appeal petition reaches the appellate authority within the time specified in the Act. If he chooses to entrust the appeal petition to post, and the vagaries of the post office result in delay, and in consequence the appeal petition does not reach the appellate authority within the period of limitation, he has only himself to blame. Looked at from any point of view, there is no doubt that the respondent was right in holding that the appeal petition is out of time. There is no error of law which justifies interference by this Court. The petition is dismissed with costs. Counsel's fee Rs. 100.
(8) Petition dismissed.