The present article portrays the necessary actions and care to be taken while considering delay condonation pleas by State which was held by the Apex Court in its judgment recently. In the case of The State of Manipur vs Koting Lamkang, appeal was filed before the Supreme Court against judgment and order of the Manipur High Court whereby the High Court had refused the prayer condonation of delay of 312 days in preferring the Regular First Appeal.
The Sc has observed that whole considering the delay in condonation pleas filed by State, the Courts should be conscious of the bureaucratic delays and the slow pace in reaching a government decision and the routine way of deciding whether the State should prefer an appeal against a judgment adverse to it.
The State had submitted that they made a bonafide mistake in preferring the appeal against the order and decree before a wrong forum. So the SC has held that in the present case where the Court while allowing the appeal held that it was necessary for the court to be conscious of the bureaucratic delay and the necessary action should have been taken.
The Supreme Court however allowing the appeal held that while concluding as above, it was necessary for the court to also be conscious of the bureaucratic delay and the slow pace in reaching a Government decision and the routine way of deciding whether the State should prefer an appeal against a judgment adverse to it. Even while observing that the law of limitation would harshly affect the party, the court felt that the delay in the appeal filed by the State, should not be condoned. Regard should be had in similar such circumstances to the impersonal nature of the Government’s functioning where individual officers may fail to act responsibly. This in turn, would result in injustice to the institutional interest of the State. If the appeal filed by State are lost for individual default, those who are at fault, will not usually be individually affected.
The court also distinguished that, as per the impugned order which was appealed against, the State of Manipur, the Director General of Police and the Commandant of 8th battalion of Manipur rifles, are to vacate and handover a property projected to be an area of strategic importance. If consideration of the RFA is not permitted on strategically sensitive case involving security, in the ultimate analysis, the public interest is likely to suffer, the Bench held.
Thus, the Court held that if the Appeal filed by State are lost because of individual default then those who are at fault, will not usually be discretely affected.