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Judgments of Supreme Court of India and High Courts

Cement Corporation Of India Ltd vs Shri Kali Ram Dheemar 18 … on 12 July, 2019

AFR

HIGH COURT OF CHHATTISGARH, BILASPUR

WA No. 311 of 2019
(Arising out of order dated 05.03.2019 passed in WP(L) No.45 of 2019 )
Cement Corporation Of India Ltd., (Through General Manager)
Mandhar Cement Factory, District Raipur Chhattisgarh – 493111.
—- Appellant
Versus
1. Shri Kali Ram Dheemar Village At Post Mandhar, District Raipur
Chhattisgarh.
2. Shri G. P. Kashyap Contractor, CCI Mandhar Cement Factory,
Village And Post – Barbanda, District Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
3. SectionAppellate Authority Under The Payment Of Gratuity Act, 1972 And
Deputy Chief Labor Commissioner (Central ) Raipur Chhattisgarh.
4. Controlling Authority Under The Payment Of Gratuity Act, 1972 And
Assistant Labor Commissioner ( Central ) Raipur Chhattisgarh.
—- Respondents

WA No. 318 of 2019
(Arising out of order dated 05.03.2019 passed in WP(L) No.40 of 2019 )
Cement Corporation Of India Ltd. Through General Manager,
Mandhar Cement Factory, District- Raipur, Chhattisgarh.- 493111.
—- Appellant
Versus
1. Shri Gangat Rao Yadav, At Post, Mandhar, District : Raipur,
Chhattisgarh.
2. Shri G.P. Kashyap Contractor, CCI Mandhar Cement Factory,
Village And Post- Barbanda, District- Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
3. Appellant Authority Under The Payment Of Gratuity Act 1972
Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
4. Controlling Authority Under The Payment Of Gratuity Act.1972 And
Assistant Labour Commissioner (Central) Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
—- Respondents

WA No. 312 of 2019
(Arising out of order dated 05.03.2019 passed in WP(L) No.34 of 2019 )
Cement Corporation Of India Ltd. Through General Manager, Mandhar
Cement Factory, District- Raipur, Chhattisgarh.- 493111, District : Raipur,
Chhattisgarh
—- Appellant
Versus
wa 311 of 2019 connected matters
2

1. Shri Jagat Ram R/o Village- Lalpur, Post Office- Chhapora, District-
Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
2. Shri G.P. Kashyap Contractor, CCI Mandhar Cement Factory, Village And
Post- Barbanda, District- Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
3. Appellant Authority Under Payment Of Gratuity Act 1972 And Deputy
Chief Labour Commissioner (Central) Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
4. Controlling Authority Under The Payment Of Gratuity Act.1972 And
Assistant Labour Commissioner (Central) Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
—- Respondents

WA No. 314 of 2019
(Arising out of order dated 05.03.2019 passed in WP(L) No.35 of 2019 )
Cement Corporation Of India Ltd., (Through General Manager),
Mandhar Cement Factory, District Raipur, Chhattisgarh. – 493111.
—- Appellant
Versus
1. Smt.Hira Bai At And Post Mandhar, District Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
2. Shri G. P. Kashyap Contractor, CCI Mandhar Cement Factory,
Village And Post – Barbanda, District Raipur – Chhattisgarh.
3. SectionAppellate Authority Under The Payment Of Gratuity Act, 1972 And
Deputy Chief Labor Commissioner ( Central ) Raipur Chhattisgarh.
4. Controlling Authority Under The Payment Of Gratuity Act, 1972 And
Assistant Labor Commissioner ( Central ) Raipur Chhattisgarh.
—- Respondents

WA No. 315 of 2019
(Arising out of order dated 05.03.2019 passed in WP(L) No.53 of 2019 )
Cement Corporation Of India Ltd. Through General Manager,
Mandhar Cement Factory, District- Raipur, Chhattisgarh.- 493111.
—- Appellant
Versus
1. Shri Sonsai Sahu Village Tanda, Via- CCI Mandhar, Post Office-
Akoli, District- Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
2. Shri G.P. Kashyap Contractor, CCI Mandhar Cement Factory,
Village And Post Barbanda, District- Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
3. SectionAppellate Authority Under The Payment Of Gratuity Act. 1972 And
Deputy Chief Labor Commissioner (Central), Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
4. Controlling Authority Under The Payment Of Gratuity Act, 1972 And
Assistant Labor Commissioner (Central), Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
—- Respondents
wa 311 of 2019 connected matters
3

WA No. 317 of 2019
(Arising out of order dated 05.03.2019 passed in WP(L) No.46 of 2019)
Cement Corporation of India Ltd., (Through General Manager)
Mandhar Cement Factory, District Raipur, Chhattisgarh – 493111.
—-Appellant
Versus
1. Smt. Dashoda Bai Dhruv At Post Mandhar District Raipur,
Chhattisgarh.
2. Shri G. P. Kashyap Contractor, CCI Mandhar Cement Factory,
Village And Post – Barbanda District Raipur Chhattisgarh.
3. SectionAppellate Authority Under The Payment Of Gratuity Act, 1972 And
Deputy Chief Labor Commissioner ( Central ) Raipur Chhattisgarh.
4. Controlling Authority Under The Payment Of Gratuity Act, 1972 And
Assistant Labor Commissioner ( Central ) Raipur Chhattisgarh.
—- Respondents

WA No. 320 of 2019
(Arising out of order dated 05.03.2019 passed in WP(L) No.50 of 2019)
Cement Corporation of India Ltd., (Through General Manager)
Mandhar Cement Factory, District Raipur, Chhattisgarh – 493111.
—- Appellant
Versus
1. Smt. Manbha Bai, village Kundrapara, Post Mandhar, District :
Raipur, Chhattisgarh
2. Shri G. P. Kashyap, Contractor, C C I Mandhar Cement Factory,
Village And Post – Barbanda, District – Raipur Chhattisgarh.
3. SectionAppellate Authority Under The Payment Of Gratuity Act, 1972 And
Deputy Chief Labor Commissioner ( Central ) Raipur, Chattisgarh.
4. Controlling Authority Under The Payment Of Gratuity Act, 1972 And
Assistant Labor Commissioner ( Central ) Raipur, Chattisgarh.
—- Respondents

WA No. 323 of 2019
(Arising out of order dated 18.03.2019 passed in WP(L) No.72 of 2019)
Cement Corporation Of India Ltd., (Through General Manager)
Mandhar Cement Factory, District Raipur Chhattisgarh – 493111.
—- Appellant
Versus
1. Shri Ganeshu Ram Sahu At Post Mandhar, District Raipur
Chhattisgarh.
wa 311 of 2019 connected matters
4

2. Shri G. P. Kashyap, Contractor, CCI Mandhar Cement Factory,
Village And Post – Barbanda, District Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
3. SectionAppellate Authority Under The Payment Of Gratuity Act, 1972
Deputy Chief Labor Commissioner (Central ) Raipur Chhattisgarh.
4. Controlling Authority Under The Payment Of Gratuity Act, 1972 And
Assistant Labor Commissioner ( Central ) Raipur Chhattisgarh.
—- Respondents
WA No. 324 of 2019
(Arising out of order dated 05.03.2019 passed in WP(L) No.48 of 2019 )
Cement Corporation Of India Ltd. Through General Manager,
Mandhar Cement Factory, District Raipur, Chhattisgarh. 493111.
—- Appellant
Versus
1. Shri Tiharu Ram Verma At And Post Mandhar, District Raipur,
Chhattisgarh.
2. Shri G.P. Kashyap Contractor, CCI Mandhar Cement Factory,
Village And Post Barbanda, District Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
3. SectionAppellate Authority Under The Payment Of Gratuity Act, 1972 And
Deputy Chief Labor Commissioner (Central), Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
4. Controlling Authority Under The Payment Of Gratuity Act, 1972 And
Assistant Labor Commissioner (Central) Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
—- Respondents

WA No. 325 of 2019
(Arising out of order dated 18.03.2019 passed in WP(L) No.75 of 2019)
Cement Corporation Of India Ltd. (Through General Manager),
Mandhar Cement Factory, District- Raipur, Chhattisgarh.- 493111.
—- Appellant
Versus
1. Shri Jaynarayan Dewangan At And Post- Mandhar, District- Raipur,
Chhattisgarh.
2. Shri G.P. Kashyap Contractor, CCI Mandhar Cement Factory,
Village And Post Barbanda, District Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
3. SectionAppellate Authority Under The Payment Of Gratuity Act, 1972 And
Deputy Chief Labor Commissioner (Central), Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
4. Controlling Authority Under The Payment Of Gratuity Act, 1972 And
Assistant Labor Commissioner (Central) Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
—- Respondents
wa 311 of 2019 connected matters
5

WA No. 326 of 2019
(Arising out of order dated 05.03.2019 passed in WP(L) No.44 of 2019 )
Cement Corporation Of India Ltd. (Through General Manager), Mandhar
Cement Factory, District- Raipur, Chhattisgarh.- 493111.
—- Appellant
Versus
1. Shri Jatiram Yadav Village Tanda, Via CCI Mandhar, Post Office,
Akoli, Thana Dharseeva, District Raipur, Chhattisgarh
2. Shri G.P. Kashyap Contractor, CCI Mandhar Cement Factory,
Village And Post Barbanda, District Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
3. SectionAppellate Authority Under The Payment Of Gratuity Act, 1972 And
Deputy Chief Labor Commissioner (Central), Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
4. Controlling Authority Under The Payment Of Gratuity Act, 1972 And
Assistant Labor Commissioner (Central) Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
—- Respondents
WA No. 327 of 2019
(Arising out of order dated 05.03.2019 passed in WP(L) No.33 of 2019 )
Cement Corporation Of India Ltd. (Through General Manager), Mandhar
Cement Factory, District- Raipur, Chhattisgarh.- 493111.
—- Appellant
Versus
1. Shri Tika Ram Sahu At And Post Mandhar, District Raipur,
Chhattisgarh.
2. Shri G.P. Kashyap Contractor, CCI Mandhar Cement Factory,
Village And Post Barbanda, District Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
3. SectionAppellate Authority Under The Payment Of Gratuity Act, 1972 And
Deputy Chief Labor Commissioner (Central), Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
4. Controlling Authority Under The Payment Of Gratuity Act, 1972 And
Assistant Labor Commissioner (Central) Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
hhattisgarh
—- Respondents
WA No. 328 of 2019
(Arising out of order dated 05.03.2019 passed in WP(L) No.58 of 2019 )
Cement Corporation Of India Ltd. (Through General Manager), Mandhar
Cement Factory, District- Raipur, Chhattisgarh.- 493111.
—- Appellant
Versus
1. Shri Mahesh Kurre Village – Lalpur, Post Office – Chhapora, District
Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
2. Shri G.P. Kashyap Contractor, CCI Mandhar Cement Factory,
Village And Post Barbanda, District Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
wa 311 of 2019 connected matters
6

3. SectionAppellate Authority Under The Payment Of Gratuity Act, 1972 And
Deputy Chief Labor Commissioner (Central), Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
4. Controlling Authority Under The Payment Of Gratuity Act, 1972 And
Assistant Labor Commissioner (Central) Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
—- Respondents

WA No. 322 of 2019
(Arising out of order dated 05.03.2019 passed in WP(L) No.36 of 2019 )
Cement Corporation Of India Ltd. (Through General Manager),
Mandhar Cement Factory, District Raipur, Chhattisgarh. 493111.
—- Appellant
Versus
1. Shri Radhelal Sahu Village Tanda, Via CCI Mandhar, Post Office
Akoli, District Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
2. Shri G.P. Kashyap Contractor, CCI Mandhar Cement Factory,
Village And Post Barbanda, District Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
3. SectionAppellate Authority Under The Payment Of Gratuity Act, 1972 And
Deputy Chief Labor Commissioner (Central), Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
4. Controlling Authority Under The Payment Of Gratuity Act, 1972 And
Assistant Labor Commissioner (Central) Raipur, Chhattisgarh.
—- Respondents

—————————————————————————————————

For Appellant (in all appeals) : Shri Pankaj Singh, Advocate
For Respondents : None appears

—————————————————————————————————

Hon’ble Shri PR Ramachandra Menon, Chief Justice
Hon’ble Shri Justice Parth Prateem Sahu
Judgment on Board

Per PR Ramachandra Menon,CJ

12.07.2019

1. Heard.

2. These appeals have been preferred by a Public Sector Company

belonging to the Central Government, virtually being aggrieved of the

interference declined by the learned Single Judge in respect of the

challenge against the verdict passed by the Controlling Authority under the
wa 311 of 2019 connected matters
7

SectionPayment of Gratuity Act, 1972 (for short, ‘1972 Act’) and the dismissal of

the statutory appeal preferred on the ground of delay. All the appeals have

been preferred after the stipulated time and hence the delay is sought to be

condoned by filing separate applications.

3. We heard Shri Pankaj Singh, learned counsel appearing for the

appellant at length.

4. The factual matrix shows that the appellant-Company was having

various units at difference places, engaged in the manufacturing of

cement and such other products. It is stated that in the unit at Mandhar,

district Raipur (CG), several employees were engaged through different

contractors and they were working accordingly from 1978 onwards. The

role of the appellant-Company was only to effect the payment of their

wages, as and when bills were raised by the contractors in this regard.

There was no grievance from any corner. While so, because of various

adverse circumstances, the appellant-Company had to close down its unit

at Mandhar. The production had come to a stand still way back in the year

1996. The procedural formalities for closing the unit were completed in

terms of the SectionIndustrial Disputes Act and the unit was closed down in the

year 2008. As a matter of fact, all the employees had left the field way

back in the year 2004 itself and there was no need, necessity or occasion

for the appellant to engage anybody directly or indirectly through

contractors.

5. It is contented that, about 12 years after the cessation of the

operation, some persons styled as employees of the appellant-Company
wa 311 of 2019 connected matters
8

(who were engaged through the contractors) put forth claims for payment

of gratuity in terms of the 1972 Act, by approaching the Controlling

Authority. On receipt of the notice issued by the Controlling Authority, the

appellant appeared and filed detailed statement of objections, mainly

contending that the claimants were never the employees of the appellant-

Company; that they were engaged by the contractors and hence, were

employees of the contractors; that they were not having the minimum

prescribed continuous service of five years under the appellant-Company

and further that no liability was to be enshouldered by the appellant

herein. After considering the rival pleadings, enquiry was finalised by the

controlling authority and based on the available materials brought on

record, a finding was rendered to the effect that the claimants were

entitled to get gratuity to the extent as mentioned therein, which was

directed to be paid with simple interest @ 10% per annum from 2004

onwards, by the appellant herein.

6. The learned counsel for the appellant submits that verdict passed by

the Controlling Authority is not correct or sustainable either on facts or in

law and hence, the same was sought to be challenged by filing statutory

appeals. But it so happened that there occurred some delay in filing the

appeals as some records in the Corporate/Head Office in New Delhi had

to be traced out and verified. By the time the appeals could be filed, there

occurred short delay of few days, which was sought to be condoned by

filing an application. However, to the shock and surprise of the appellant-

Company, the Appellate Authority, who virtually condoned the delay of

nearly 12 years on the part of the workers/claimants, turned Nelson’s eye
wa 311 of 2019 connected matters
9

to the appellant and dismissed the applications as belated, it being beyond

the stipulated period (of 60 + 60 days). This made the appellant to

challenge the proceedings pursued by the Controlling Authority and the

Appellate Authority by filing Writ Petitions before this Court.

7. The matters were heard elaborately by a learned Single Judge. The

finding rendered by the Appellate Authority to the effect that the appeals

were not maintainable, as barred by limitation, was upheld and the Writ

Petitions were dismissed, which forms the subject matter of challenge in

these appeals.

8. The learned counsel for the appellant submits that the course

pursued by the learned Single Judge is not correct or proper. It is stated

that there is no dispute with regard to the limited power of the Appellate

authority to condone the delay. As per the mandate under Section 7(7) of

the 1972 Act, the party who is aggrieved of the order passed by the

Controlling Authority has to prefer appeal within 60 days. The statute also

provides for condonation of delay, by a maximum extent of 60 days. In

other words, once satisfactory explanation is offered, the maximum

leniency which can be aspired by an aggrieved party is only for a total

period of 60+60 i.e. 120 days. Admittedly, the appeals were preferred

after expiry of the maximum extent as above. But according to the

appellant, the short excess of delay involved was liable to be condoned,

in exercise of the power vested upon this Court under SectionArticle 226 of the

Constitution of India. It is stated that the attempt of the appellant was only

to challenge the order passed by the controlling authority and not because
wa 311 of 2019 connected matters
10

the grievance against the order passed by the Appellate Authority with

reference to the statutory mandate as to the delay condoning power.

9. Learned counsel submits that the verdict passed by the Controlling

Authority is in total violation of the relevant Act/Rule/procedure and hence

it was quite open for this Court to have invoked the power under SectionArticle

226 of Constitution of India, to set things right. In support of the said

proposition, the learned counsel placed reliance on the verdict passed by

the Karnataka High Court at Bengaluru in the matter of Practice Strategic

Communications, India Private Limited Vs The Commissioner of

Service Tax, Bangalore reported in ILR 2016 Karnataka 4493 and a full

Bench decision of the High Court of Gujarat, at Ahmedabad, in the matter

of Panoli Intermediate (India) Pvt Ltd Vs Union of India and others

reported in AIR 2015 GUJ 97. In view of the emphasis given on the

verdict passed by the full Bench of the Gujrat High Court (supra), we find

it appropriate to extract the points considered in Para-1, and the finding

rendered by the Bench in paras- 31 and 32 of the said verdict as

reproduced below:

“1. The Division Bench of this Court has formulated the
following questions and has referred the matter to the
Larger Bench:

(1) Whether the period of limitation provided of 60 days, for
filing an appeal under Section 35 of the Central Excise Act,
1944, could be extended only up to 30 days as provided by
the proviso or the delay beyond the period of 90 days could
also be condoned in filing an appeal?

(2) Where a statutory remedy or appeal is provided under
Section 35 of the Central Excise Act, 1944 and the delay
cannot be condoned under Section 35 beyond the period of
wa 311 of 2019 connected matters
11

90 days, then whether Writ Petition under SectionArticle 226 of the
Constitution of India would lie for the purpose of condoning
the delay in filing the appeal?

(3) When if the statutory remedy or appeal under Section 35
is barred by the law of limitation whether in a Writ Petition
under SectionArticle 226 of the Constitution of India, the order
passed by the original adjudicating authority could be
challenged on merits?”

——–xxx———

——–xxx———

——–xxx———

“31. We may now proceed to answer the question:

(1) Question No.1 is answered in negative by observing that
the limitation provided under Section 35 of the Act cannot
be condoned in filing the appeal beyond the period of 30
days as provided by the proviso nor the appeal can be filed
beyond the period of 90 days.

(2) The second question is answered in negative to the
extent that the petition under SectionArticle 226 of the Constitution
would not lie for the purpose of condonation of delay in filing
the appeal.

(3) On the third question, the answer is in affirmative, but
with the clarification that :

A) The petition under SectionArticle 226 of the Constitution can be
preferred for challenging the order passed by the original
adjudicating authority in following circumstances that,
A.1) The authority has passed the order without jurisdiction
and by assuming jurisdiction which there exist none, or
A.2) Has exercised the power in excess of the jurisdiction
and by overstepping or crossing the limits of jurisdiction, or
wa 311 of 2019 connected matters
12

A.3) Has acted in flagrant disregard to law or rules or
procedure or acted in violation of principles of natural justice
where no procedure is specified.

B) Resultantly, there is failure of justice or it has resulted
into gross injustice.

We may also sum up by saying that the power is there even
in aforesaid circumstances, but the exercise is discretionary
which will be governed solely by the dictates of the judicial
conscience enriched by judicial experience and practical
wisdom of the Judge.

32. All the three questions are answered accordingly.”

10. According to the learned counsel for the appellant, Question-3 under

para-1 alone is relevant and applicable as far as the appellant is

concerned and the same stands answered at Answer-3 in para-31. It is

asserted that, notwithstanding the fact that the remedy of appeal is barred

by the law of limitation, the matter could be examined by the writ court, in

exercise of the power under SectionArticle-226 of the Constitution of India, if the

order under challenge has been passed in flagrant violation of law or rules

or procedure or acted in violation of principles of natural justice, where no

procedure is specified. Coming to the circumstances involving the

violation as referred by the full Bench of Gujarat High court, on asking the

learned counsel appearing for the appellant to substantiate the violation of

law, rules or procedure, if any, the learned counsel submits that provisions

of Section 7(4) of the 1972 Act are violated. We find it appropriate to

extract the said provision as given below:

“(4) (a) If there is any dispute to the amount of gratuity
payable to an employee under this Act or as to the
admissibility of any claim of, or in relation to, an
wa 311 of 2019 connected matters
13

employee for payment of gratuity, or as to the person
entitled to receive the gratuity, the employer shall
deposit with the controlling authority such amount as
he admits to be payable by him as gratuity.

(b) Where there is a dispute with regard to any matter
or matters specified in clause (a), the employer or
employee or any other person raising the dispute may
make an application to the controlling authority for
deciding the dispute.

(c) The controlling authority shall, after due inquiry and
after giving the parties to the dispute a reasonable
opportunity of being heard, determine the matter or
matters in dispute and if, as a result of such inquiry any
amount is found to be payable to the employee, the
controlling authority shall direct the employer to pay
such amount or, as the case may be, such amount as
reduced by the amount already deposited by the
employer.

(d) The controlling authority shall pay the amount
deposited, including the excess amount, if any,
deposited by the employer, to the person entitled
thereto.

(e) As soon as may be after a deposit is made under
clause (a), the controlling authority shall pay the
amount of the deposit–

(i) to the applicant where he is the employee; or

(ii) where the applicant is not the employee, to
the nominee or, as the case may be, the
guardian of such nominee or heir of the
employee if the controlling authority is satisfied
that there is no dispute as to the right of the
applicant to receive the amount of gratuity.”

wa 311 of 2019 connected matters
14

11. Going by Section 7(4)(a) of the 1972 Act, it only deals with the

coercive action to be pursued when there is a dispute with regard to the

amount of gratuity payable and the course open to the employer to have

the admitted amount to be deposited. Clause (b) says as to the course

open to the employer or employee or any other person raising the dispute

with regard to payment of gratuity, to make an application to the

Controlling Authority for deciding the dispute. Clause (c) deals with the

course of enquiry to be done, giving a reasonable opportunity of being

heard and if some amount is found as payable to the employee, the power

to direct the employer to deposit the said amount. The Clause (d) deals

with the power of the controlling authority to direct payment of the amount

deposited to the requisite extent to the employee and the excessive, if

any, to be returned to the employer. Clause (e) deals with the course of

action to be pursued after having the deposit under Clause (a).

12. Despite our best efforts by reading the above provisions repeatedly

and inspite of our request to clarify in what manner the alleged violation

has been resulted, the so called violation of the Act / Rules / procedure is

not clarified or substantiated from the part of the appellant. This being the

position, the reliance sought to be placed on the verdict passed by the full

Bench of Gujarat High Court, pointing out the circumstances under which

the power under SectionArticle 226 could be invoked, is quite out of context.

13. With regard to the scope of interference, where a special statute

deals with the period of limitation, the matter had come up for

consideration before the Apex Court as well. It has been held by the Apex

Court that, under such circumstance, the particular statute will govern the
wa 311 of 2019 connected matters
15

field as a special statute and as such, the SectionLimitation Act cannot have any

application at all. This is the crux of the decision in the matter of Oil and

Natural Gas Corporation Limited Vs Gujarat Energy Transmission

Corporation Limited and others reported in 2017 (5) SCC 42. It was a

case where a statutory appeal was preferred before the Apex Court in

terms of Section 125 of the Electricity Act 2003; as per which the appeal

had to be preferred within the specified time before the Supreme Court,

with power for the Court to condone the delay to a specified extent and

never beyond. Admittedly, the appeal was filed beyond time and the

Supreme Court considered whether the said delay could be condoned

under any circumstance. After detailed deliberation, a clear finding was

rendered to the effect that, when the special statute stipulates the manner

in which the matter has to be dealt with, it cannot be widened by the

Supreme Court even by invoking the power under SectionArticle 142 of the

Constitution of India. In other words, when there is no power vested even

with the Supreme Court in exercise of SectionArticle 142 with regard to deal with

the merits involved, including the adequacy of evidence, or otherwise, it

remains a forbidden field as far as this Court is concerned, even in

exercise of the power under SectionArticle 226 of the Constitution of India, unless

it was rendered per incurium or on fraud.

14. We are of the view that, this Court, in view of the law made clear by

the Supreme Court in specific terms, is not in a position to accept the

proposition mooted by the learned counsel for the appellants and interfere

on merit.

wa 311 of 2019 connected matters
16

15. In the said circumstance, we decline interference and dismiss all

these appeals and the petitions seeking to condone the delay.

Sd/- Sd/-
(PR Ramachandra Menon) (Parth Prateem Sahu)
Chief Justice Judge

padma

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