Law protects the diligent, not the indolent, says HC, Legal News, ET LegalWorld – Legal Firms

BENGALURU: “Law protects the diligent and not the indolent,” the high court has observed while rejecting a petition filed by a civil contractor.

Justice M Nagaprasanna has pointed out that in respect of the work completed during 2009-11, the petitioner, K Ramachandra Raju, approached the court only in April 2021 and also did not participate in the measurement proceedings conducted by the authorities on August 27, 2012, to determine the work he had completed. The contractor had also taken back his earnest money deposit (EMD) without demur, the judge has said. “After about 9 years of the incident having happened i.e., on January 21, 2021, (the petitioner) wakes up from deep slumber and issues a legal notice to the 2nd respondent (KREIS) seeking payment at their hands,” the judge said.

The judge noted that in Hameed Joharan Vs Abdul Salam case (2001), the Supreme Court had held that law courts never tolerate an indolent litigant since delay defeats equity.

Raju had approached the court claiming that the authorities have not paid him over Rs 1 crore in relation to the works completed by him vis-a-vis the construction of a Morarji Desai residential school at Hangala village, Gundlupet taluk of Chamarajanagar district, in terms of the tender invited in October 2009. According to him, he had completed the work awarded to him as per the agreement. The explanation for the delay offered by him was that he was knocking on the doors of the respondents every now and then and they were assuring him that the payment would be made. Hoping that the respondents would pay him, he did not agitate before any authority or even before the HC, Raju had said. However, the Karnataka Residential Educational Institutions Society (KREIS ), which had awarded the tender, argued that on May 27, 2011 itself, a communication was addressed to the petitioner to show proof of the work performed by him, but he failed to participate in the measurement proceedings.

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