Condonation of delay

From Justice Definitions Project

What is Condonation of Delay?

Condonation of delay typically refers to the allowance or forgiveness granted by a court or a legal authority for missing a prescribed deadline or failing to comply with a time-bound requirement in legal proceedings.

Condonation of delay means the act of condoning the delay in filing an appeal or application by the respective courts. Each statute gives a time limit within which any suit, appeal or application is to be filed under them to the courts/respective authorities. The time limit prescribed is known as the limitation period of the suit or appeal.

Instances where condonation can be allowed:

Subsequent changes in the law, Illness of the party, Party being a pardanashin lady, Party belongs to a minority group with insufficient funds, Poverty or paupers, Party is a government servant: A government servant may not have an incentive in fulfilling the task. Therefore, a certain latitude is permissible in such a case, Delay due to the pendency of the writ petition. Party is illiterate, Other adequate grounds: Mistake of court, Mistake of counsel, Delay in getting copies, mislead by rulings, etc

Official definition:

Under The Limitation Act, 1963.

According to section 5 of the Limitation Act,1963. Any appeal or any application, other than an application under any of the provisions of Order XXI of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), may be admitted after the prescribed period if the appellant or the applicant satisfies the court that he had sufficient cause for not preferring the appeal or making the application within such period.

Explanation.—The fact that the appellant or the applicant was missed by any order, practice or judgement of the High Court in ascertaining or computing the prescribed period may be sufficient cause within the meaning of this section.

There’s a specific time limit set forth in Schedule 1 of the Act. Here’s what it mentions:

  • A suit dealing with contracts, accounts, suits related to moveable property, and retrieval of a lawsuit under a contract among others has a 3-year limit.
  • Suits specific to possession of the immovable property are given a 12-year statute of limitations.
  • On the other hand, suits dealing with mortgaged property have a 30-year statute of limitations.
  • With regard to tort suits, there’s a time limit of 1 year (3 years for compensation in some cases). In a scenario of appeals under the Criminal Procedure Code and the Civil Procedure Code, the time limit is 30 to 90 days.

Under The Code of Criminal Procedure(BNSS).

The term condonation of delay is not directly dealt with under the CRPC but there are certain provisions such as section 468 and section 473 which talks about the limitation period and extension of it.

Section 468- Bar to taking cognizance after lapse of the period of limitation.

Subsection (1) says no court can take cognizance in case of expiry of limitation period of any offence as mentioned in subsection (2) which are (a)- 6 months if the offence is punishable with fine only, (b)- one year, if the offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year; (c)- three years, if the offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term exceeding one year but not exceeding three years.

Section 473- Extension of period of limitation in certain cases.

It says any court may take cognizance of an offence after the expiry of the period of limitation, if it is satisfied on the facts and in the circumstances of the case that the delay has been properly explained or that it is necessary to do so in the interests of justice.

Under The Companies Act, 2013.

The section 460 of the companies act, 2013 explains about condonation of delay of application or document to be filed by a company. It has two sub sections,

Section 460(a) states that where any application is required to be made to the central government under any provision of the act, and if it is not filed within the time prescribed, the central government can condone the delay on the reasons recorded in writing.

Section 460(b) states that where any document is required to be filed to the registrar under any provision of the act, and it is not filed within the time prescribed, the central government can condone the delay on the reasons recorded in writing.

Under The Income Tax Act, 1961.

The section 119(2)(b) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 provides for condonation of delay of any application or claims filed under the Act. It states that the central board of direct taxes(CBTD) can authorise any income tax authority to admit an application or claim for the deduction, exemption, refund or any other relief under the Income Tax Act post the expiry of the time limit prescribed under the act. The CBDT will authorise income tax authorities to accept any application or claim if it considers it to be expedient to do so to avoid genuine hardship of the party. The income tax authority will allow the delayed claim, provided, making the claim within the prescribed due date was genuinely out of control of the taxpayer.

As defined in case laws:

Chintels India v. Bhayana Builders:

The case comment critically examines the case of Chintels India Limited v. Bhayana Builders, specifically concerning the condonation of delay under Section 34(3) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act (ACA), involves a petition filed beyond the three-month limit but within the discretionary 30-day period. Chintels India sought condonation of a 28-day delay, attributing it to a change of counsel and the complexity of the arbitral record. The court, however, rejected this argument, citing that the reasons provided were insufficient to establish "sufficient cause." The case comment argues that the court's decision lacks proper reasoning, emphasising that the exercise of discretion to condone delay must be supported by reasons and that a change of counsel, under appropriate circumstances, can be considered a sufficient cause. The authors contend that the court should have evaluated the specifics of the case, including when the original counsel withdrew and when the new counsel was engaged. They also stress the need for a liberal approach in condoning delays within the 30-day limit and assert that the belated filing of a condonation application should not be the sole basis for refusal. Overall, the authors criticise the court's conclusory decision, suggesting that it may lack value as a precedent.

Anish Lawrence & Anr vs Renahan Vamakesan:

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) recently rejected an application seeking condonation of a 15-day delay in filing an appeal against an order of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). The appellant received the order on 26.06.2023, filed the appeal on the last day of the limitation period (11.08.2023), and claimed the delay was due to seeking legal opinion and engaging counsel. The NCLAT, citing the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, stated that any delay beyond 15 days cannot be condoned. The tribunal rejected the application, deeming the reasons provided insufficient for condonation of the delay, as the appellant could have approached the tribunal within the initial 30-day period.


The article discusses a recent ruling by the Chennai Bench of Income-tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) regarding time barring provisions under section 144C of the Income-tax Act, 1961. The case involved Aalaya Jewel Industry Private Limited and their assessment proceedings for the Assessment Year 2013-14. The Dispute Resolution Panel (DRP) rejected the assessee's objections to the draft assessment order, citing a delay of 3 days in filing the application. The ITAT upheld the DRP's decision regarding objections filed beyond the 30-day limit but set aside the final assessment order passed beyond the time prescribed under section 144C(4) of the Act. The ITAT clarified the importance of adhering to timelines and emphasised that delayed filing of objections gives rise to the same consequences as non-filing. The article suggests that filing an appeal with the Commissioner of Income-tax (Appeals) (CIT(A)) could be an option as the CIT(A) has the power to condone the delay in filing an appeal based on sufficient cause.

Appearances in official databases.

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There are various kinds of condonation of delay which are mentioned in the supreme court website and they are:

Condonation of delay is also a ‘case type’

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Condonation of delay as a case type .png

used in the ecourts website as a type of case in the High Courts of Gauhati and Meghalaya as “CONDONATION PETITION ''.


  • The limitation Act, 1963.
  • The Companies Act, 2013.
  • The Income Tax Act, 1961.
  • Chintels India v. Bhayana Builders.
  • Anish Lawrence & Anr vs Renahan Vamakesan.
  • Article relating to delay in filing objections before the DRP.
  • Condonation of delay by Clear tax.
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