• Litigant need to be vigilant, can't put entire blame on Advocate to get delay condoned

    June 26, 2017

    In the present matter, the Appellant-Company delayed in filing an appeal and thereby filed an application under Section 5 of the Limitation Act, 1963 read with Section 151 of Code of Civil Procedure, seeking condonation of delay of 400 days in filing an appeal against a judgment passed by Additional District Judge on August 2015.

    The applicant Modus Media Private Limited has contended that their Counsel Mr. Pradeep Kumar had stopped attending the proceedings after November 2014. After the lapse of the time limit for filing an appeal, Modus blames their advocate for not obtaining the order in time and for the delay in filing the appeal.

    Delhi High Court condemned the Appellant-Company for its lack of vigilance in conducting a suit for recovery of money and their subsequent conduct of blaming the counsel for the delay in filing the appeal.

    Justice Vinod Goel while adjudicating the matter held that, ““The litigant owes a duty to be vigilant of his rights and is also expected to be equally vigilant about the judicial proceedings pending in the court of law against him or initiated at his instance. The litigant cannot be permitted to cast the entire blame on the Advocate. It appears that the blame is being attributed on the Advocate with a view to get the delay condoned and avoid the decree. After filing the civil suit or written statement, the litigant cannot go off to sleep and wake up from a deep slumber after passing a long time as if the court is storage of the suits filed by such negligent litigants. Putting the entire blame upon the advocate and trying to make it out as if they were totally unaware of the nature or significance of the proceedings is a theory put forth by the appellant/applicant/defendant company, which cannot be accepted and ought not to have been accepted.”

    “The appellant is not a simple or rustic illiterate person but a Private Limited Company managed by educated businessmen, who know very well where their interest lies. The litigant is to be vigilant and pursue his case diligently on all the hearings. If the litigant does not appear in the court and leaves the case at the mercy of his counsel without caring as to what different frivolous pleas/defences being taken by his counsel for adjournments is bound to suffer. If the litigant does not turn up to obtain the copies of judgment and orders of the court so as to find out what orders are passed by the court is liable to bear the consequences.”

    The court rejected to condone the delay on the basis that Modus was not serious about the proceedings at all as he did not consider about engaging another counsel or appearing in person and held that the applicant was negligent and careless.


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