Madras HC: Last Opportunity to the Petitioners After a Delay of 2492 Days in the Interest of Justice

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The petitioner filed a civil revision petition in the High court Under Section 115 of CPC to set aside the order of the trial court. On August 6th 2020, the court allowed the petition even after a delay of 2492 days “in the interest of justice”.

Brief Facts of the Case

In the case of Valarmathi vs The Idol of Arulmigu Shri & Ors., the respondents filed a suit for eviction of the tenant/petitioner in the present case and recovery of arrears for a period of 1993 to 1996. The court passed an ex-parte decree and thereafter the tenant filed a petition to set aside the ex parte decree. However, the petition to set aside the ex parte decree got dismissed for default.  The revision petitioners filed an application in 2014 to condone the delay of 2492 days in filing a petition to restore the application of 2004 which was filed to set aside the ex parte decree.

Arguments

  1. The respondent argued mainly on the ground that the inordinate delay of 2492 days in restoring the petition of 2004 was not explained. The learned counsel for the respondents argued that the revision petitioners have no defence in the suit and the physical possession of the property is continuing with the revision petitioners.
  2. They further submitted that the temple had to face a lot of inconvenience and hardship by several tenants and that no indulgence can be shown to anyone of them in the litigation.
  3. The learned Counsel appearing for the first respondent also submitted that the temple has a proposal to regularize the tenants so that the existing tenants can continue their stay on fresh terms without prejudice to the rights of the temple.

Court’s Observation

Justice SS Sundar observed that the temple has filed several suits as against the tenants in cases of ejectment and recovery of huge arrears. He also observed that the temple might also regularize some of the tenants despite valid decree being obtained against such tenants.

Court’s Order

The court allowed the petition even after this inordinate delay “in the interest of justice” and a cost of ₹5,000 on the petitioner which is to be paid to the respondent within two weeks from the date of the receipt of the order.


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