Section 5 Limitation Act Cannot Be Invoked To Condone Delay Beyond Period Prescribed U/Sec 34(3) Arbitration Act: Supreme Court

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Section 5 Limitation Act Cannot Be Invoked To Condone Delay Beyond Period Prescribed U/Sec 34(3) Arbitration Act

Case: Mahindra and Mahindra Financial Services Ltd. vs Maheshbhai Tinabhai Rathod

Coram: CJI NV Ramana, AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli

Case no.: CA 11477 OF 2014

Court Observation: “The scope available for condonation of delay being self contained in the proviso to Section 34(3) and Section 5 of Limitation Act not being applicable has been taken note by this Court in its earlier decisions, which we may note..”

No ­doubt the delay of 197 days may not seem too inordinate. In appropriate cases the delay is to be condoned so as not to defeat the meritorious case. However, that would arise only when the power under Section 5 of Limitation Act is available to be exercised. The case of Katiji (supra) is one where such power was available to be exercised as it was not excluded. In the instant case where limitation is prescribed, the extent to which it can be condoned is circumscribed and it has been held by this Court that Section 5 of Limitation Act is not applicable to condone the delay beyond the period prescribed under Section 34(3) of Act 1996, the learned Division Bench was not justified in condoning the delay in a casual manner. The order dated 24.09.2012 is not sustainable, the same is therefore set aside and the order of learned Single Judge is restored.

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