The Allahabad High Court held that an application for an extension of time in a concluded case is permissible, if bonafide intent is demonstrated, provided the extension does not alter the nature of the final judgment and introduce no new subsequent events.

The State was given a time extension by the Court in a border dispute case involving a time-bound survey. The Petitioner, from Durgaganj, was involved in a survey that was ordered by the Record Maintenance Rule, 1978 (Rule). The survey started in December 2022, and the Petitioner filed a contempt petition when the court-mandated survey period elapsed.

So far as the first question is concerned, this Court is of the considered opinion that the application for extension of time prescribed in a decided writ petition is maintainable provided the reasons are properly and categorically explained and the bona fide of such authorities are shown, subject to condition that the same would not change the nature of the final judgment and order and further no subsequent event is brought for adjudication afresh”, the Bench of Justice Shree Prakash Singh observed.

Advocate Onkar Nath Tiwari appeared for the Petitioner and Chief Standing Counsel Shailendra Kumar Singh with Additional Chief Standing Counsel Praful Kumar Yadav appeared for the State.

The Petitioner, residing in Durgaganj, was involved in a dispute over a time-bound survey under the Rules. Initiated by the Assistant Record Officer of Ayodhya and Gonda in December 2022, after the ripening of the sugar crop in September 2022, the survey faced delays due to border disputes, leading to a lawsuit. The Petitioner filed a contempt petition when the court-mandated period for survey conclusion elapsed, resulting in a Contempt Court order.

The State argued that the initial court granted six months for survey conclusion, as per Section 49 of the U.P. Revenue Code, 2006 (Code), couldn't be met due to compelling circumstances. The State approached the High Court seeking an extension of time, providing reasons, and requesting the court to extend the prescribed time from the order dated September 27, 2022, for a further reasonable period to finalize the survey.

The Court framed the following issues: "Whether the miscellaneous application is maintainable in a finally decided petition?

Whether the reasons mentioned in the application for extension of time are sufficient and proper for extension of time and the bona fide thereof?"

The High Court noted that the State authorities filed an application seeking an extension of time, as prescribed in the order. The Court held that a miscellaneous application cannot be filed to revive proceedings in respect of subsequent events after two years. However, in this case, the application was for an extension of time and did not involve subsequent events. Therefore, the Court held that the application was maintainable.

"The Full Bench while dealing with the issue of extension of time for concluding a disciplinary proceeding that the time prescribed by the Court can be extended on an appropriate application, explaining the reasons for the delay and thus has opened the door for maintainability of the miscellaneous application in the decided petition so far as the extension of time is concerned", the Bench added.

The Bench observed that the application for an extension of time in a decided writ petition is permissible if the reasons are adequately and clearly explained, and the bona fide intentions of the authorities seeking the extension are demonstrated. However, this allowance is subject to the condition that the extension request does not alter the nature of the final judgment and order, and that no new subsequent events are introduced for reconsideration.

The Court noted, “that the test of reasonable period of time, essentially be taken care off in case, the party to the case is approaching the Court for extension of time period”.

Additionally, the Court considered the reasons presented in the affidavit and deemed them satisfactory. Therefore, the Court granted the State authorities one more year to complete the survey bandobast of villages Majha Rath and Majha Durgaganj.

Accordingly, the Court allowed the Petition and granted a time extension to State Authorities.

Cause Title: Shatrughan Yadav v State Of U.P. (Thru. Secy. Revenue Lko) And 2 Others (2023:AHC-LKO:84978)

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