Can the time spent before Court be a good ground for condoning delay? Supreme Court answers

  • Aishwarya Iyer
  • 04:37 PM, 25 Nov 2021

The Supreme Court recently answered in the positive, the question whether the time spent before it can be a ground for condoning the delay.

This question arose before Court after a review application filed after dismissal of the Special Leave Petition (SLP) in limine was rejected by the High Court on the ground that there is no satisfactory ground to condone the delay in filing the review petition.

Senior Advocate CA Sundaram told the Court that the appellants could not be deprived of their right to seek a review of the order of the High Court since the dismissal of the Special Leave Petition is in limine.

He then relied on the judgment in Khoday Distilleries Ltd. (Now Known as Khoday India Ltd.) & Ors. v. Sri Mahadeshwara Sahakare Karkhane Ltd., Kollegal (Under Liquidation) Represented by the Liquidator.

The respondents, on the other hand, submitted that the SLP was not pending for 722 days as there were orders passed to remove objections in the SLP which the appellants failed to cure despite peremptory nature of orders passed.

It was thus argued that this period could not be said to be one where the “Special Leave Petition was pending”. 

A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and MM Sundresh noted that while what the respondents contended on facts was correct, the fact remained that the delay was condoned and the Special Leave Petition was numbered.

"Thus, we are of the view that it cannot be said that the time period spent in prosecuting the Special Leave Petition, albeit some delay on part of the appellants, will preclude the appellants from seeking condonation of delay of this period in filing the review application", held the Bench.

Accordingly, the Court deemed it appropriate to allow the application filed before the Single Judge seeking condonation of delay in filing the review application without commenting one way or the other on the issue of merits of the review application.

Cause Title: Radha Gajapathi Raju & Ors vs P. Maduri Gajapathi Raju & Ors