Friday, 1 July 2022

LAW OF LIMITATION

 LAW OF LIMITATION

The ‘Law of Limitation’ prescribes the time-limit for different suits within which an aggrieved person can approach the court for redress or justice. The suit, if filed after the exploration of time-limit, is struck by the law of limitation. It’s basically meant to protect the long and established user and to indirectly punish persons who go into a long slumber over their rights.

The statutory law was established in stages. The very first Limitation Act was enacted for all courts in India in 1859. And finally took the form of Limitation Act in 1963.

A citizen is not expected to master the various provisions which provide for limitation in different matters but certain basic knowledge in this regard is necessary. For instance, Section 12 of the Limitation Act lays down certain guidelines regarding computation of limitation period. It says that in computing the period of limitation for any suit, appeal or application, the day from which such period is to be reckoned, shall be excluded.

Section 6 is controlled by section 8 which serves as an exception to sections 6 and 7. The combined effect of section 6 and 8 is that where the ordinary period of limitation expires before the cessation of the disability, for instance before the attainment of the majority, the minor will no doubt be entitled to a fresh starting point of limitation from the attainment of his majority subject to the condition that in no case the period extended by section 6 shall by virtue of section 8 exceed three years from the cessation of disability that is, attainment of majority.

For the computation age the starting age the starting point is the date of birth: but the law nowhere provides the time spend by the child in the womb is not to be regarded as a period of minority. A child in the womb can take advantage of the provisions of section 6 and 8.

Section 27 of the LIMITATION ACT

Extinguishment of right to property

“At the determination of the period hereby limited to any person for instituting a suit for possession of any property, his right to such property shall be extinguished."

Section 27 only applies to persons who are out of possession and seeks to recover possession, but not to the case of a person who is still in possession of the property. Where no period of limitation is provided, then Section 27 does not apply. Section 27 applies only to suits and not to applications. Section 27 is an exception to the general principle that the law of limitation only bars the remedy but does not extinguish the right itself. So far as a suit for possession is concerned, Section 27 states that at the determination of the period thereby limited to any person instituting a suit for possession being out of possession, his right to such property shall be extinguished. Section 27 is not actually related to the law of limitation but to a law of prescription which has to be distinguished from the law of limitation. Section 27 is not merely procedural but substantial. The Section 27 only extinguishes the title of the rightful owner.

The principle of Section 27 also applies in areas where the Limitation Act does not apply. In Kartar Singh v. Khankha, (AIR 1935 Lah. 787), it has been held that even though the Section 27 does not apply in terms to Special or Local Acts, but the principle underlying Section 27 applies to local laws. In Balwantah v. Ganpat, 1975 MVLJ 9), it has been held that failure to sue for possession within the time prescribed by the time prescribed in Bombay Tenancy Act has also the effect of extinguishing the right of that person to entitle to sue under the Act. 

Section 27 of the Limitation Act is limited to suits for possession of the property. So it does not apply to a suit by a mortgagee for recovery of the money due to him by sale of the mortgage property. The mortgagor’s remedy may be barred if he omits to sue within the statutory period, but his right is not extinguished.


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