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Mathi Ammal Vs. Ajjan and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLimitation
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1975)2MLJ384
AppellantMathi Ammal
RespondentAjjan and ors.
Excerpt:
- .....appeal against the deceased third appellant, to set aside the abatement and to bring on record the legal representatives of the third appellant in the appeal as appellants 14 to 16. there was a delay of more than two years in filing this petition. the legal representatives now want to come on record are the sons and daughter of the third appellant in a.s. no. 358 of 1969. only in september, 1972 when the appeal was posted for hearing the legal representatives of the third appellant met the advocate and found out that it is necessary to file an application to bring them on record in the place of the third appellant, their father. apart from the third appellant, there are as many as 12 appellants in the main appeal and as such any abatement will be only as against the legal representatives.....
Judgment:
ORDER

P.R. Gokulakrishnan, J.

1. These civil revision petitions arise out of I. A. Nos. 82, 83 and 84 of 1973 in A. S. No. 358 of 1969 on the file of the District Judge, Coimbatore. The said interlocutory applications are for excusing the delay in seeking to set aside the order of abatement of the appeal against the deceased third appellant, to set aside the abatement and to bring on record the legal representatives of the third appellant in the appeal as appellants 14 to 16. There was a delay of more than two years in filing this petition. The legal representatives now want to come on record are the sons and daughter of the third appellant in A.S. No. 358 of 1969. Only in September, 1972 when the appeal was posted for hearing the legal representatives of the third appellant met the Advocate and found out that it is necessary to file an application to bring them on record in the place of the third appellant, their father. Apart from the third appellant, there are as many as 12 appellants in the main appeal and as such any abatement will be only as against the legal representatives of the third appellant in the appeal. Apart from the ignorance of law which is said to be not an excuse for such a petition, the petitioners in the interlocutory applications, even before the hearing of the appeal, made the application. As I have stated already, the other appellants are on record and the appeal as such will be proceeded with even if the respondents herein are not brought on record. ' Sufficient cause ' should receive a liberal construction so as to advance substantial justice where no negligence or inaction or want of bona fide is imputable to the appellant. What constitutes sufficient cause cannot be laid down by hard and fast rules. It must be determined by a reference to the circumstances of each particular case. The discretion given by the Limitation Act should not be defined and crystalised so as to convert a discretionary matter into a rigid rule of law. Apart from this aspect of the case, the appellate Court has used its discretion and has come to the conclusion that the delay has to be excused. When once the Court before which such an application was filed was satisfied that there was sufficient cause for the delay, the decision of that authority in such a discretional matter should not be questioned before this Court.

2. So far as the present case is concerned, Mr. Ramalingam Pillai, the learned Counsel for the petitioner in these civil revision petitions cited a number of decisions wherein it is stated that ignorance of law cannot be an excuse to condone the delay in filing such petitions. Those are all cases where the Court before which such applications were filed rejected them and as such both the appellate Court and the revisional Court in some cases confirmed the order of the Court of the first instance. Thus it is clear that the discretion used by the Court below cannot be interfered with in the revisional jurisdiction.

3. From the facts of the case, I am convinced that the respondents in the civil revision petition cannot be denied the right to agitate the appeal inasmuch as the appeal will not get abated since there are more than 12 appellants in the appeal. Further in the interests of justice and in keeping with the convention, the High Court will not interfere in such discretional matters. The civil revision petitions are dismissed. No costs.


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