By Manohar Lal :
A 108-YEAR-OLD man did not live to see that the Supreme Court has admitted his appeal in a land dispute case he had been pursuing since 1968 and had remained pending before the Bombay High Court for 27 year before being dismissed. On July 12 this year, the apex court agreed to hear the appeal after Sopan Narsinga Gaikwad’s counsel pleaded that the delay in filing the appeal may be viewed from the perspective that the aged petitioner belonged to a rural area of Maharashtra and learned of the high court verdict much later, and after that he got stuck due to the onset of COVID-19 pandemic.
The petitioner’s counsel Viraj Kadam told PTI, “Unfortunately, the man, who pursued his case right from trial court to Supreme Court was not alive to hear that his matter has been agreed to be heard. “He had expired before the court took up the matter on July 12 but the information about his demise from the rural area came just after the hearing. He will be now represented through legal heirs.” A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Hrishikesh Roy has issued notice on the application for condonation of delay of 1,467 days and 267 days in moving the top court against the high court orders dated October 23, 2015 and February 13, 2019. The top court also sought response from opposite parties in eight weeks.