Limitation Act, 1963 – Jurisprudence, Interpretation & General Laws Important Questions

Limitation Act, 1963 – Jurisprudence, Interpretation & General Laws Important Questions

Question 1.
Explain the ‘doctrine of sufficient cause for condonation of delay as provided in section 5 of the Limitation Act, 1963. [June 2012 (5 Marks)]
Answer:
Section 5 of the Limitation Act, 1963 allows the extension of the prescribed period in certain cases on sufficient cause being shown for the delay. This is known as the doctrine of “sufficient cause”.

Section 5 provides that any appeal or application (not plant or suit) 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.

Section 5 applies only to appeals or applications. The reason for the non-applicability of the Section to suits is that the period of limitation allowed in most of the suits extends from 3 to 12 years whereas in appeals and application it does not exceed 6 months.

Examples of sufficient cause: What is sufficient cause and what is not may be explained by the following judicial observations:

  1. Wrong practice of High Court which misled the appellant or his counsel in not filing the appeal should be regarded as sufficient cause under Section 5.
  2. In certain cases, the mistake of counsel may be taken into consideration in condensation of delay, but such mistake must be bona fide.
  3. Wrong advice given by advocates can give rise to sufficient cause in certain cases.
  4. Mistakes of law in establishing or exercising the right given by law may be considered as sufficient cause. However, ignorance of the law is no excuse, not the negligence of the party or the legal adviser constitutes a sufficient cause.
  5. Imprisonment of the party or serious illness of the party may be considered for condonation of delay.
  6. Time taken for obtaining certified copies of the decree of the judgment necessary to accompany the appeal or application was considered for condoning the delay.
  7. Non-availability of the file of the case to the State Counselor Panel Lawyer is no ground for condonation of inordinate delay.
  8. The ailment of the father during which period the defendant was looking after him has been held to be a sufficient and genuine cause.

Question 2.
“Law of limitation bars the remedy in a court of law only when the period of limitation has expired, but it does not extinguish the right that it cannot be enforced by judicial process.” Elaborate. [June 2014 (4 Marks)]
Answer:
The Law of limitation is based on the equitable principle that equity helps the diligent and not the indolent It induces the claimants to be prompt in claiming the relief.

The law of limitation bars the remedy only after the limitation period has expired, but it does not extinguish a right on which the suit has to be based. In all personal actions, the right subsists although the remedy is no longer available If therefore, a creditor, whose debt becomes statute-barred, has any means of realizing and enforcing claim by any method except by a suit, the Limitation Act does not prevent him from recovering his debt by such means.

Thus, if S a time-barred debt is settled outside the Court, it is not illegal. If the debtor without being aware of a bar of time pays the debt, he cannot sue the creditor to refund the money paid to him on the ground of recovery being time-barred.

Example: Ram owes Shyam a sum of ₹ 12,00,000. The debt is barred because of the law of limitation. The Court shall dismiss the suit if filed by Shyam for the recovery of the debt after the period of limitation (Le. after 3 years). However, if Ram pays Shyam the amount even after the same has become time-barred, the payment would be a valid one.

Question 3.
“Law of limitation bars the remedy, but does not extinguish the right.” Explain the statement with its exceptions. [Dec. 2011 (4 Marks)]
Answer:
The Law of limitation is based on the equitable principle that equity helps the diligent and not the indolent It induces the claimants to be prompt in claiming the relief.

The law of limitation bars the remedy only after the limitation period has expired, but it does not extinguish a right on which the suit has to be based. In all personal actions, the right subsists although the remedy is no longer available, If therefore, a creditor, whose debt becomes statute-barred, has any means of realizing and enforcing claim by any method except by a suit, the Limitation S Act does not prevent him from recovering his debt by such means.

Thus, if S a time-barred debt is settled outside the Court, it is not illegal. If the debtor without being aware of the bar of time pays the debt, he cannot sue the creditor to refund the money paid to him on the ground of recovery being time-barred.

Example: Ram owes Shyam a sum of 12,00,000. The debt is barred because of the law of limitation. The Court shall dismiss the suit if filed by Shyam for the recovery of the debt after the period of limitation (Le. after 3 years). However, if Ram pays Shyam the amount even after the same has become time-barred, the payment would be a valid one.
1. The Limitation Act, 1963 makes specific provisions for exclusion of certain time in some cases for computation of the prescribed period of limitation.

2. These provisions are as under:

  • Exclusion of time in legal proceedings (section 12).
  • Exclusion of time during which leave to sue or appeal as a pauper is applied for (section 13).
  • Exclusion of time bona fide taken in a court without jurisdiction (section 14).
  • Exclusion of time in certain other cases (sections 15, 16 & 17).

Question 4.
The Law of Limitation under the Limitation Act, 1963 bars the remedy but it does not extinguish the right. Explain in brief. [June 2019 (4 Marks)]
Answer:
The Law of limitation is based on the equitable principle that equity helps the diligent and not the indolent It induces the claimants to be prompt in claiming the relief.

The law of limitation bars the remedy only after the limitation period has expired, but it does not extinguish a right on which the suit has to be based. In all personal actions, the right subsists although the remedy is no longer available, If therefore, a creditor, whose debt becomes statute-barred, has any means of realizing and enforcing claim by any method except by a suit, the Limitation Act does not prevent him from recovering his debt by such means.

Thus, if S a time-barred debt is settled outside the Court, it is not illegal. If the debtor without being aware of the bar of time pays the debt, he cannot sue the creditor to refund the money paid to him on the ground of recovery being time-barred.

Example: Ram owes Shyam a sum of 12,00,000. The debt is barred because of the law of limitation. The Court shall dismiss the suit if filed by Shyam for the recovery of the debt after the period of limitation (Le. after 3 years). However, if Ram pays Shyam the amount even after the same has become time-barred, the payment would be a valid one.

Question 5.
Discuss the provisions relating to persons under legal disability under the Limitation Act, 1963. [Dec. 2019 (4 Marks)]
Answer:
Legal disability [Section 6]: Law of limitation relating to legally disabled persons is explained below:

  1. If a person entitled to institute a suit or make an application is a minor, insane, or idiot at the time of the cause of action, the period of limitation to file a suit or to make an application will start when such disability ceases.
  2. Where one legal disability is followed by another legal disability, the disabilities are successive and the limitation period will run when all the legal disabilities are ceased.
  3. If a legal disability continues up to death, the period of limitation will run for a legal representative (who is not legally disabled) from the date of death.
  4. Where a person under disability dies after the disability ceases but within the period allowed to him under this section, his legal representative may institute the suit or make the application within the same period after the death, as would otherwise have been available to that person had he not died.

Question 6.
“Where once time has begun to run, no subsequent disability or inability to institute a suit or make an application can stop It.” Comment. [Dec 2011, 2014(4 Marks)]
Answer:
Time for limitation runs when the cause of action accrues. However, certain exceptions were provided in Sections 4 to 8. Section 4 provides that if the period prescribed expires on a day when the Court is closed, the application, etc, may be made on the day, the Court reopens. As per Section 5 condonation of delay is allowed on sufficient grounds. Sections 6, 7 & 8 allow extension of time in certain cases of disability.

Continuous running of time [Section 9]: Once a period of limitation starts no subsequent disability or inability can stop it. The applicability Section 9 is limited to suits and applications only and does not apply to appeals unless the case fell within any of the exceptions provided in the Act itself. Section 9 applies when the cause of action or right to move the Court continues to exist on the date of making the application. Thus, the time runs, when the cause of action accrues. Thus, once time has begun to run, no subsequent disability or inability stops it.

Question 7.
Manoj died on 3rd August 2016 before a right to institute a suit accrued, leaving behind a minor son of the age of 15 years. Decide the time from where the period of limitation shall be calculated under the Limitation Act, 1963. : [Dec 2018 (4 Marks)]
Answer:
Section 9 of the Limitation Act, 1963 states that, once time begins to rim no subsequent disability or inability can stop to institute a suit or make an application. For a given case, the period of limitation will run from the date of the loan (Le. cause of action). There is no disability at that time and time has begun to run from the date of the loan itself. Subsequent disability i.e. the son was a minor has no use. The limitation period, in this case, will end after 3 years from the date of the loan (Le. cause of action).

Question 8.
The law of limitation bars the remedy in a court of law when the period of limitation has expired. However, there are certain exclusions in the computation of the period of limitation. Explain. [June 2011 (4 Marks)]
Answer:
The Limitation Act, 1963 makes specific provisions for exclusion of certain time in some cases for computation of the prescribed period. These 2 provisions are as follows:

  1. In case of any suit, appeal, or application, the period of limitation is to be computed exclusive of the day on which the time begins to run. [Section 12(1)]
  2. The day on which the judgment complained of was pronounced and the time requisite for obtaining a copy of the decree, sentence or order appealed from or sought to be revised or reviewed shall be excluded. [Section 12(2)]
  3. Time required for obtaining a copy of the judgment on which the decree or order is founded shall also be excluded. [Section 12(3)]
  4. The time required for obtaining a copy of the award shall be excluded. [Sec¬tion 12(4)]
  5. The time during which the applicant has been prosecuting in good faith, his application for “leave to sue or appeal as a pauper is applied for”, shall be excluded. [Section 13]
  6. A civil proceeding relating to the matter in issue had been initiated in a Court which is unable to entertain it, by lack of jurisdiction or by any other like cause shall be excluded. [Section 14]
  7. Exclusion of time in certain other cases [Sections 15, 16 & 17]:
    (a) If suit or application for the execution of a decree had been stayed by an injunction or order then such period of injunction shall be excluded.
    (b) Time required to obtain the sanction/consent of the Government shall be excluded.
    (c) The time during which the defendant has been absent from India and from the territories outside India but administered by the Central Government, shall be excluded.
    (d) Where the suit or application is based upon the fraud or mistake of the defendant or respondent or his agent or in other cases as mentioned in Section 17, the period of limitation shall not begin to run until the plaintiff or applicant has discovered fraud or mistake subject to certain exceptions.

Question 9.
Computation of period of limitation for an appeal or an application for leave to appeal. Comment. [Dec 2012 (4 Marks)]
Answer:
The Limitation Act, 1963 makes specific provisions for exclusion of certain time in some cases for computation of the prescribed period. These 2 provisions are as follows:

  1. In case of any suit, appeal, or application, the period of limitation is to be computed exclusive of the day on which the time begins to run. [Section 12(1)]
  2. The day on which the judgment complained of was pronounced and the time requisite for obtaining a copy of the decree, sentence or order appealed from or sought to be revised or reviewed shall be excluded. [Section 12(2)]
  3. Time required for obtaining a copy of the judgment on which the decree or order is founded shall also be excluded. [Section 12(3)]
  4. The time required for obtaining a copy of the award shall be excluded. [Sec¬tion 12(4)]
  5. The time during which the applicant has been prosecuting in good faith, his application for “leave to sue or appeal as a pauper is applied for”, shall be excluded. [Section 13]
  6. A civil proceeding relating to the matter in issue had been initiated in a Court which is unable to entertain it, by lack of jurisdiction or by any other like cause shall be excluded. [Section 14]
  7. Exclusion of time in certain other cases [Sections 15, 16 & 17]:
    (a) If suit or application for the execution of a decree had been stayed by an injunction or order then such period of injunction shall be excluded.
    (b) Time required to obtain the sanction/consent of the Government shall be excluded.
    (c) The time during which the defendant has been absent from India and from the territories outside India but administered by the Central Government, shall be excluded.
    (d) Where the suit or application is based upon the fraud or mistake of the defendant or respondent or his agent or in other cases as mentioned in Section 17, the period of limitation shall not begin to run until the plaintiff or applicant has discovered fraud or mistake subject to certain exceptions.

Question 10.
Explain Valid acknowledgment and its effect on the limitation period. [Dec 2009 (4 Marks)]
Answer:
As per Section 18 of the Limitation Act, 1963, the following are the requirements for a valid acknowledgment:

  • There must be admission or acknowledgment.
  • Such acknowledgment must be of an existing liability in respect of a property or right.
  • It must be made in writing and signed by the party against whom such property or right is claimed, and
  • It must be made before the expiry of the period of limitation.

If all the above conditions are satisfied, a fresh period of limitation shall be computed from the time when the acknowledgment was signed.

Question 11.
What is the effect of acknowledgment on the period of limitation? Discuss. [June 2019 (4 Marks)]
Answer:
As per Section 18 of the Limitation Act, 1963, the following are the requirements for a valid acknowledgment:

  • There must be admission or acknowledgment.
  • Such acknowledgment must be of an existing liability in respect of a property or right.
  • It must be made in writing and signed by the party against whom such property or right is claimed, and
  • It must be made before the expiry of the period of limitation.

If all the above conditions are satisfied, a fresh period of limitation shall be computed from the time when the acknowledgment was signed.

Question 12.
State the effects of ‘acknowledgment’ and ‘payment against debt’ on the period of limitation. [Dec 2011 (4 Marks)]
Answer:
Valid acknowledgment: As per Section 18 of the Limitation Act, 1963, the following are the requirements for a valid acknowledgment:

  • There must be admission or acknowledgment.
  • Such acknowledgment must be of an existing liability in respect of a property or right.
  • It must be made in writing and signed by the party against whom such property or right is claimed, and
  • It must be made before the expiry of the period of limitation.

If all the above conditions are satisfied, a fresh period of limitation shall be computed from the time when the acknowledgment was signed.

Effect of payment of debt or interest: As per Section 19 of the Limitation Act, 1963, where payment on account of a debtor of interest on a legacy is made before the expiration of the prescribed period by the person liable to pay the debt or legacy or by his agent duly authorized in this behalf, a fresh period of limitation shall be computed from the time when the payment was made.

Thus, according to this Section, a fresh period of limitation becomes available to the creditor when part-payment of debt is made by the debtor before the expiration of the period of limitation.

Question 13.
On 30th November 2008, Mohan took a loan of ₹ 20,000 from Sohan. He paid ₹ 5,000 to him on 31st August 2011, towards part payment. After that, Sohan did not receive any amount from Mohan. Subsequently, Sohan instituted a suit for recovery of the dues from Mohan after the expiry of 2 years from the date of the last part payment. Advise, whether
(i) the suit is maintainable; and
(ii) the part payment is an acknowledgment of payment. [June 2014 (6 Marks)]
Answer:
The limitation period for the present case is 3 years from the date of the loan. Thus limitation period will start from 1.12.2008 and will end on 30.11.2011.

According to Section 19 of the Limitation Act, 1963 a fresh period of limitation becomes available to the creditor when part-payment of debt is made by the debtor before the expiration of the period of limitation.

As per facts given in the case, Mohan has made a part payment on 31.8.2011 Le. before the expiry of the original limitation period hence a fresh period of limitation of 3 years will start from 31.8.2011. Since Mohan has made an application after 2 years from the date of 31.8.2011, the suit is maintainable as the limitation period will end at 3 years from the date of 31.8.2011.

Jurisprudence, Interpretation & General Laws Questions and Answers

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