Illness is No Ground for Long Delay in Filing an Appeal: HC

Published: 22nd September 2014 06:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd September 2014 06:04 AM   |  A+A-

HYDERABAD: The High Court has held that three main tests have to be applied while considering applications for condonation of delay.

The three tests are i) whether a party has offered explanation which can be termed as reasonable or plausible ii) whether condonation of long delay will result in revival of a stale litigation causing undue hardship to the adversary party and iii) whether third party interests have been involved thereby unsettling their interests.

Justice CV Nagarjuna Reddy made these observations on an application filed by Dr Damarla Savithri for condonation of a delay of 1,808 days in filing an appeal against the judgment and decree of a lower court of November 19, 2007.

Respondent Kande Sreenivasulu filed the suit before I Additional Senior Civil Judge, Nellore for specific performance of agreement of sale dated August 18, 2004. She contested the suit. By judgment and decree, the judge decreed the suit.

Feeling aggrieved by the said decree, she filed an application seeking cancellation of the judgment and decree, and the same was dismissed.     

Applicant Savithri filed the present appeal with the delay of 1,808 days. She also filed an affidavit stating that the lower court had executed a registered sale deed in favour of the respondent.

The respondent filed a counter-affidavit stating that the applicant had not come forward to execute the registered sale deed in pursuance of the judgment and decree, and he was constrained to file the executive petition (EP). The applicant then filed an application for cancellation or revocation of the decree on the ground that the same was obtained by playing fraud and misrepresentation.

He submitted that the registered sale deed was executed by the lower court in his favour on September 15, 2011, and later he sold the property in favour of various individuals, possession was delivered and that the third party rights had come in. Accordingly, he strongly opposed the request for condonation of delay.

On February 2, 2014, the applicant filed an additional affidavit stating that she was suffering from diabetes and hyper-tension for 15 years and her husband was suffering from liver cancer and had been bed-ridden for more than two years and passed away in February 2012. She said that she could not file the appeal in time in view of the above circumstances.

After hearing the case, justice Nagarjuna Reddy said that he did not find any reason to condone the phenomenal delay of 1,808 days in filing the appeal. Even if accepted to be correct about the illnesses of herself and her husband, the applicant is not expected to put the litigation on hold for years.

While dismissing the application, the judge said, “In my opinion, the applicant is not expected to put the litigation on hold for years on the ground of her and her husband’s illnesses. Even on her own showing, the applicant’s husband has been ill for more than three years. This does not mean that the applicant’s entire activities of life must come to a standstill and the respondents must be left guessing when she will overcome her personal problems and resume the litigation. The applicant, being a doctor and well placed in the society, is expected to make her own arrangements for entrustment of the case to a counsel on her behalf. As for her personal illness i.e. diabetes and cardiac treatment, the same will not justify the delay of more than five years in filing the appeal.”

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