written by | June 8, 2022

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Table of content

What is the Condonation of Delay?

This article explores the 1961, 1963 and 2013 versions of this doctrine. We will also look at a few other variations, including the statutory time limit. This article also discusses how these doctrines work and how they affect your case.

This article will help you determine if the doctrine applies to your situation and whether you have a delayed case. If you're still unsure about this doctrine, read on to discover whether it applies to you.

Did You Know?

Suppose an organisation deploys to file any appeal or document within the described time frame. In that case, it must be applied to the Central Government for condonation of delay under Section 460 in order to accept the deployed appeal/document.

Also Read: A Step-by-Step Guide to GST Registration Procedure in India

What Is the Condonation of Delay?

The concept of "condonation of delay" is a legal doctrine with many applications in our country. For example, a delay can occur when you file a lawsuit or appeal but don't approach the court within the time limit. 

In the same way, a delay can prevent a party from taking a lawsuit. Therefore, if you file your suit too late, you may be barred from obtaining a remedy. A court may grant condonation of delay under the Limitation Act, 1963 if you can prove that the delay was due to reasonable cause under the circumstances.

There are several ways this can be done, and each court must determine what grounds are acceptable to grant condonation. The most common grounds are an error in judgement, a misreading of the law, or a lawyer's error.

Condonation of Delay Under Limitation Act, 1963

The Limitation Act of 1963 governs the limitation period for a lawsuit. The act outlines the factors that can be considered in calculating the applicable time limit. Condonation of delay is an exception to the general rule, which means that a court may accept a late application or appeal. Here's the list of a major points on how to file a condonation of delay:

  • A late application can lead to a bar on an appeal in a legal case. 
  • Once the court determines that the delay was caused by sufficient cause, it may proceed to hear the case.
  • A court may grant condonation of delay if it finds that the applicant had reasonable cause for the delay. In such cases, the court must be satisfied that there was a sufficient delay in filing the appeal.
  • Although the law is intended to protect a plaintiff's rights, it cannot grant a waiver to a defendant. 
  • The claimant must meet the time period for the statute's duration before they can file an appeal or file a lawsuit.
  • The limitation period is when a plaintiff can bring suit against a defendant. A 
  • The law also allows for an exception for the condonation of delay under the Limitation Act for appeals.

The Limitation Act of 1963 has a primary purpose. It provides a time limit for the aggrieved to file a suit, an application, or appeal before the court. If legislation is not passed regarding limitations, it will lead to an indefinite and never-ending litigation process. 

As no party would care to refer to timely litigation, the party will file suit to stop a cause of action from being filed that was executed long ago and may no longer be relevant to the present. 

Condonation of Delay Under Income Tax Act, 1961

The Income Tax Act of 1961, Section 119(2)(b), allows for the delay of any application or claim lodged under the Act to be excused. It states that the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) can authorise any income-tax authority to accept an application or claim for a deduction, exemption, refund, or another relief under the Income Tax Act after the Act's time limit has passed.

The CBDT may authorise income tax officers to approve any application or claim if it deems it is necessary to avoid genuine hardship to the party. If the taxpayer's capacity to file the claim by the deadline were truly beyond their control, the income tax authorities would accept a late claim.

Condonation of Delay Under Companies Act, 2013

The Supreme Court recently ruled on the question of the condonation of delay under the Limitation Act. Although the statute does not state a mandatory rule regarding filing an application, the term "sufficient cause" has broad application and should be construed liberally. 

The rule is meant to prevent deliberate tactics and encourage prompt remedies. Moreover, if the delay is due to "sufficient cause," it is permissible to file a lawsuit even though the statute says otherwise.

The court ruled that a party can ask the court for condonation of delay if sufficient cause is to prove that the delay was due to a mistake. In addition, the court must determine whether the mistake was made in good faith or if it was merely a cover-up for ulterior motives.

The Supreme Court held that it is not for the Development Authority to be above the law. The court also found that condonation of delay is not required to be filed but is an independent process. In addition, filing a Form and paying the additional fee is separate from taking a condonation of delay.

While the act does not spell out any rules on compounding, strict interpretation of section 460 requires a condonation for each delay. In the meantime, a defaulting organisation can be put out of business.

The Condonation of Delay: General Principle

In the case Collector Land Acquisition vs Mst. Katiji, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Katiji. Katiji set out some principles that must be adhered to when administering the doctrine on condonation of delay.

  • Normally, the litigant is not entitled to a benefit by filing an appeal late.
  • "Every day's delay should be explained" does not mean that the doctrine must be applied in an unreasonable way. It should be used in a rational manner, not a literal way.
  • The court may refuse to accept the delay, leading to a meritorious case being dismissed or the destruction of the roots of justice. If a delay is allowed, the case can be decided on merits, which is a decision that is based on evidence and not on technical or procedural grounds.
  • The choice between substantial justice and technical considerations is a matter of preference. The other side cannot claim that a bona fide delay caused injustice.
  • It is not possible to presume that delay was intentionally caused. A litigant who resorts to delay has nothing to lose and is at serious risk.

Also Read: Increased GST Registration Threshold Limits

Condonation Is Possible in Certain Situations

These are some instances in which condonation may be granted

  • Subsequent amendments to the law. 
  • Imprisonment: This is not enough to cause the party to be detained. It varies from one case to the next.
  • The party's illness: This includes the severity and nature of the disease, as well as the facts surrounding the failure to act. 
  • Poverty and paupers.  
  • Party belongs to a minor group with insufficient resources.
  • Party is a government servant: The government servant may not be motivated to perform the task. In such cases, there is a certain amount of flexibility.  
  • Party is illiterate. 
  • Delay due to the writ petition's pendency.
  • Other grounds acceptable: Delay getting copies, misled By Rulings, Mistake by Counsel, Mistake in Court, etc.

Rule 3A

The Amendment Act 1976 has added Rule 3A. An application must be filed in case an appeal is made after the specified period. The applicant must state the reason for the delay in filing an appeal. The Privy Council recommended this rule.

Privilege - the council disapproved of the practice of admitting appeals subject to an opinion about limitation and stressed the necessity of adopting a procedure to settle the final question regarding limitation before appeal.

In the case of the State of M.P. vs Pradeep Kul, the Supreme Court observed two objects of this rule.

  • Notify the appellant who is filing a time-barred appeal that his appeal will not be accepted unless it is accompanied by an application substantiating sufficient reason.  
  • Notify the appellant that they may not be available as the condonation for the delay is a condition precedent hearing their appeal.

What is "Sufficient Cause?"

The concept of "sufficient cause" cannot be explicitly defined and will vary from one case to the next. The court can use broad discretion to determine what constitutes sufficient cause depending on the circumstances and facts in each case.

The cause of non-appearance, adjournment, or stay of execution must be just and sufficient. These provisions must be "sufficient". Otherwise, they will only serve to prolong the litigation. While this principle is meant to promote the pursuit of justice, it should not be used to deny justice.

Sufficient cause must be interpreted liberally in order to achieve substantial justice.

Conclusion

The law of limitation and condonation of delay are effective ways to resolve cases and ensure effective litigation quickly. The law of limitation, on the one hand, prevents cases from being pulled and sets a time limit within which the suit may be filed and the time within which the individual can seek the remedy. 

Condonation of delay preserves the principle of natural justice. It recognises that different people may have different problems, and the same sentence, or even the same rule, might not be applicable to them all. It is important to listen to them and decide if they are worthy of a second chance or not.

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FAQs

Q: How do I write a condonation delay application?

Ans:

Filing condonation delay is only applicable when you fill in the details as per the Indian Guidelines. You can visit the official page to know the structure of the form that you must fill to successfully file the condonation delay.

Q: How to file condonation of delay in Income Tax Return?

Ans:

You can file the condonation of delay in the income tax return as per the Indian Government’s guidelines. Visit the official page of the Indian Government to file the condonation delay.

Q: What is the condonation of delay under the Limitation Act?

Ans:

It offers that the court is able to accept any application or appeal when filed right after the period of limitation in case the appellant or applicant displays that they had enough cause for not filing the application/appeal within the described period.

Q: What is the condonation of delay under the Limitation Act, 1963?

Ans:

The 1963 Limitation Act is legislation that specifies the time within which a suit must be instituted and lists provisions in the case the suit is not filed within this period. The act does not give the right to delay documents in court, but it extinguishes the remedy to the party.

Section 2(j), which defines "period limit", refers to the period of time required by the Schedule for any suit, appeal, or application to be instituted. It defines "prescribed" as the limitation period determined according to the act.

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Disclaimer :
The information, product and services provided on this website are provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis without any warranty or representation, express or implied. Khatabook Blogs are meant purely for educational discussion of financial products and services. Khatabook does not make a guarantee that the service will meet your requirements, or that it will be uninterrupted, timely and secure, and that errors, if any, will be corrected. The material and information contained herein is for general information purposes only. Consult a professional before relying on the information to make any legal, financial or business decisions. Use this information strictly at your own risk. Khatabook will not be liable for any false, inaccurate or incomplete information present on the website. Although every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this website is updated, relevant and accurate, Khatabook makes no guarantees about the completeness, reliability, accuracy, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, product, services or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Khatabook will not be liable for the website being temporarily unavailable, due to any technical issues or otherwise, beyond its control and for any loss or damage suffered as a result of the use of or access to, or inability to use or access to this website whatsoever.