Explained: The Limitation Act, 1963

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The Supreme Court Monday invoked its plenary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to extend the limitation period of appeals from high courts or tribunals on account of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As a result, difficulties may be faced by litigants across the country in filing their petitions/ applications/ suits/ appeals/ all other proceedings within the period of limitation prescribed under the general law of limitation or Special Laws (both Central and/or State), it said.

The top court said that to obviate such difficulties, “it is hereby ordered that a period of limitation in all such proceedings, irrespective of the limitation prescribed under the general law.

Salient features of The Limitation Act, 1963

The Limitation Act contains thirty-two Sections and 137 Articles. The articles are isolated into 10 sections. The initial phase is distinguishing with accounts, the second half is distinguishing with gets, the third half is distinguishing with the statement, the simple fraction is distinguishing with announcements and instrument, the fifth is distinguishing with enduring property, the sixth half is identifying with versatile property, the seventh half is distinguishing with torts, the eighth half is identifying with trusts and trust property, the ninth half is distinguishing with incidental problems and the last half is distinguishing with suits that there’s no supported amount.

There is no uniform of constraint for the suits underneath that the groupings have endeavored. The impediment time-frame is belittled from time of sixty years to thirty years on account of a suit by the mortgager for the reclamation or recovery of possession of the ardent property oversubscribed, or if there ought to be an occasion of home loans for the dispossession or suits by or for the sake of Central Government or any regime together with the State of Jammu and Jammu and Kashmir. While a lot of extended time of twelve years has been counseled for varied varieties of suits identifying with relentless property, trusts, and gifts, a time of three-four years has been supported for the suits distinguishing with records, contracts, and assertions, suits distinguishing with pronouncements and instruments and besides suits distinguishing with the versatile property. An amount shifting from one to three years has been supported for suits distinguishing with torts and various problems and for suits that no time of impediment has been given away in the Schedule to the Act.

The Limitation Act, 1963 with its new law connotes that it does not create any racial or category qualification since each Hindu and Muslim Law area unit presently accessible underneath the law of constraint in keeping with this written record. within the matter of Syndicate Bank v. Prabha D. Naik, (AIR 2001 SC 1968) the Supreme Court has watched that the law of confinement underneath the Limitation Act, 1963 makes any racial or category qualification whereas creating or reveling any law to a particular individual.

Its objectives and purposes

The Law of limitation prescribes a period among that a right is often implemented during a Court of Law. The period for varied suits has been provided within the schedule of the Act. the most purpose of this Act is to stop proceedings from being dragged for an extended time and fast disposal of cases that end up in effective proceedings. As per the Jammu and geographic region shakeup Act, 2019, provisions of the Limitation Act can currently apply to the entire of Asian nation. The Limitation Act, 1963 contains provisions about the computation of your time for the amount of limitation, forgiveness of delay, etc. The Limitation Act contains thirty-two sections and 137 articles and also the articles are divided into ten components.

Important provisions

Retrospective operations

In BK Education Services Private Limited v. Parag Gupta and Associates the Supreme Court processed that since the law of limitation is procedural, it’ll be applied retrospectively. The Supreme Court in Thirumalai Chemicals Ltd v. Union of India determined that statutes of limitation area unit retrospective thus far as they apply to all or any legal proceedings brought when their operations for implementing causes of action accumulated earlier.

Limitation bars remedy

It means the statute of limitations prescribes solely the amount inside that legal proceedings need to be initiated. It doesn’t limit any amount for fitting a defense to such actions. Hence, the initial right to suit isn’t barred. However, Section twenty-seven is an Associate in Nursing exception to the current rule.

The Supreme Court in Punjab national bank and Ors v. Surendra Prasad Sinha control that the principles of limitation don’t seem to be meant to destroy the rights of the parties. Section three solely bars the remedy however doesn’t destroy the correct that the remedy relates to.

The starting point of limitation

The time from that amount of limitation begins to run depends upon the topic matter of the case and a particular start line of such amount is provided extensively by the Schedule within the Act. It usually starts from the date once the summons or notice is served, or the date on that the decree or judgment is passed, or the date on that the event that forms the idea of the suit takes place. The Supreme Court in Trustee’s Port city v. The Premier Automobile command that the start line of limitation is that the accruement of the reason behind action.

Expiry period of limitation

Section four of the Limitation Act provides that once the amount of limitation is prescribed for any suit, charm or application and such amount expires on every day once the Court is closed, such suit, charm or application shall be instituted, most well-liked or created on the day on that the Court reopens.

Condonation of delay

Section 5 of the act talks about the extension of the prescribed period in certain cases. The explanation states that in ascertaining or computing the amount prescribed once the individual or appellant has been misled by any order, follow or judgment of the judicature. it’ll be a sufficient cause inside the which means of this section.

Sufficient cause

Sufficient cause means there ought to be adequate reasons or affordable grounds for the court to believe that the soul was prevented from being continuing with the appliance in a very Court of Law.

In Balwant Singh (Dead) v. Jagdish Singh & Ors, the Supreme Court control that it’s obligatory upon the soul to point out sufficient cause thanks to that he was prevented from continued to prosecute the continuing within the suit. during this case, there was a delay of 778 days in filing the appliance for conveyance of the legal representatives on record.


The law of limitation prescribes the time at intervals that an individual will enforce his right. This Act keeps a check on the cases so they’re not dragged for over a protracted time. This Act conjointly acknowledges the very fact that there are things once persons instituting a suit or preferring associate charm for a real cause are unable to institute a suit within the time prescribed within the Act and therefore the same criteria can’t be applied to each state of affairs.

Author: Mukti Mistry from Navrachana University.

Editor: Tamanna Gupta from RGNUL, Patiala.

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