Sunday, 26 July 2015

Whether substantive matter can be decided on merit without deciding application for condonation of delay?

 The next contention raised by the learned counsel for the applicant is to the effect that the merits of the substantive matter, in respect of which the delay is sought to be condoned, must be examined, and where it is found that the substantive matter is good on merits, any and all delay in filing the substantive matter must be condoned, even if the delay is not satisfactorily explained. In substance, therefore, the contention is to the effect that the merits of the substantive matter is the sole criterion, or at the very least a predominant factor, to be borne in mind by the Court while considering the application for condoning delay. To our mind, this submission puts the cart before the horse. The substanlive matter in respect of which delay is sought to be condoned has no existence in law, so far as the Court is concerned, until the delay is condoned. In fact, until the delay is condoned the Court cannot take cognizance of the merits or otherwise of the substantive matter. In this limited context, the application for condonation of delay create a jurisdictional barrier against the consideration of the substantive matter on merits.
Gujarat High Court
Municipal Corporation Of ... vs Voltas Limited And Etc. Etc. on 6 May, 1994
Equivalent citations: AIR 1995 Guj 29, (1994) 2 GLR 1325

Bench: M Shah, Y Bhatt, H Gokhale
Read full judgment here; click here

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