THE LIMITATION ACT, 1963

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The Law of Limitation specifies the cut-off date for different legal actions within which a person aggrieved can advance suit before the court for remedy or righteousness. Where a suit is initiated after the bar of limitation, it will be hit by the law of limitation. The fundamental aim of the law of limitation is to protect the lengthy and recognized user and to penalize persons indirectly. The primary law relating to the Law of Limitation in India is the Limitation Act, 1859 and subsequently Limitation Act, 1963 was enacted on October 5, 1963 and came into force on January 1, 1964 for the purpose of consolidating and amending the legal principles relating to limitation of suits and other legal proceedings.

All litigation initiated, appeals entertained and requests made after the specified term shall be dismissed even though limitation is not raised as a defence, but according to the provisions provided under the Act. A suit is initiated when plaint is instituted to the appropriate officer in the normal case and where the person is a pauper, the suit is initiated when his request for leave to file a suit as a pauper is made and where the case is relating to an allegation against a company that is being wound up by a court, when the applicant initially sends his assertions to the official liquidator. Any assertion made in the form of set off or counter claim, shall be deemed as a separate litigation and in the case of set off, it shall also be considered to have initiated on the date on which the proceedings for set off is pleaded. Further in the case of an additional claim, suit shall be instituted on the same date on which the counter claim is made. A request by notice of motion is made in the High Court when the application is provided to the appropriate officer of that Court.

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Where the Court is closed on the expiry date for filing any suit, appeal or application, such suit, appeal or application may be initiated on the re-opening day of the Court. Any appeal or application shall be admitted by the Court after the specified period, if the litigant convinces the Court that he has adequate cause for failure to prefer appeal or application within the specified period. Besides, the Act provides that where a person having authority to file a suit or make a request for the execution of a decree is a minor or insane or idiot during the specified time to be considered, he may initiate a suit or application which shall be filed within the same time after the disability has come to an end. Where any person is affected by any two such disability or he is affected by another incapacity prior to his disability has come to an end, at the time during the specified term is to be considered, he may initiate legal action or application within the same term after both in-capacities have ended. Where the incapacity continues till the death of that person, the Act vests authority on the legal representative to initiate legal action or make application after his death within the same period.

The legal disability shall not apply to suits filed for the right of pre-emption or the limitation period shall be extended for a period and upon such conditions as provided under the Act. To calculate the limitation period for any litigation, appeal or application, the date from which such period is to be considered, shall be exempted. A suit filed for review or revision or appeal of a judgment, the date shall be calculated from the date on which the judgment is delivered and the time of request for getting duplicate of the decree, or order appealed from or revised or reviewed shall be exempted. The Act provides for other computation of limitation for suits against trustee, execution of a decree, effect of fraud or mistake etc. The Act states acquisition of easement by prescription for the enjoyment of the use of land without interruption for twenty years.

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The Limitation Act, 1963 does not affect the provisions provided under The Indian Contract Act, 1872. The Act is effective for the reason that it bars the jurisdiction of courts to entertain actions that are frivolous and to avoid long pending actions by the complainants.