Login : Advocate | Client
Home Post Your Case My Account Law College Law Library

Report No. 89

43.11.High Court cases as to "courts".- The Allahabad High Court had held that the provisions of section 12 of the Limitation Act did not apply to the proceedings before a Registrar, because a Registrar acting under the Registration Act is not a "Court", as no judicial functions are exercised by him. The controversy arose because the sub-Registrar refused to register a sale deed, against which refusal the aggrieved party moved the District Registrar under section 73(1) of the Registration Act, 1908. The District Registrar gave the benefit of section 12, limitation Act, to the vendee. The High Court reversed1 the judgment.

1. Shiv Charan Das v. Rukmani Devi, AIR 1975 All 374.

43.12. The Kerala High Court in U. Chacko v. P. Marakkar, AIR 1978 Ker 161, held that the appellate authority under the Kerala Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act is not a "court", and where an appeal under the Rent Control Act is barred by the Limitation, that authority has no power to condone delay under section 5 of the Limitation Act. The High Court also held that the principle of section 14 of the Act cannot be extended by analogy where, owing to uncertainty in the identity of the forum where the appeal had to be preferred, the appellant flitted between one court and to another.

43.13. Similar view was expressed by the Madras High Court,1 holding that the Rent Controller and Appellate Authority under the Tamil Nadu Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act of 1960 are not courts and therefore sections 5 and 29(2), Limitation Act are not applicable to proceedings before them.

1. S. Ganapathi v. N. Kumaraswami, AIR 1975 Mad 383.

43.14. The Mysore High Court1 has held that a Munsiff before whom an election petition is filed, challenging the elections of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Village Panchayats, is not a "court".

1. Nagreddy v. Khandappa, AIR 1970 Mys 166.

43.15. On the other hand, in some cases it has been held1 that the question whether the provisions of the Limitation Act are confined in their operation to proceedings before courts is no longer res intergra, in view of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Athani's case.2

1. Bando Banaji v. Bhaskar Balaji, AIR 1972 Mys 311.

2. Athani's case, supra.

43.16. In a Delhi case, the argument that the Lt. Governor of Delhi before whom an application was filed under section 91 of the Punjab Land Revenue Act (17 of 1877) as applied to Delhi is not a court, but functions as a persona designata was pressed before a Division Bench1. In that case certain property in Nizamuddin West, New Delhi, had been put to auction by the Collector, Delhi in 1971, in order to realise a certain sum of money due to the Department of Rehabilitation of the Delhi Administration and had been purchased by the appellant in the said auction.

The sale was confirmed by the Lt. Governor of Delhi on 23-12-1971 and the possession of the propert), was given to the appellant/auction purchaser.

Section 91 of the Punjab Land Revenue Act (17 of 1877) as applied to Delhi, provides for making an application to set aside a sale within 30 days from the date of the sale. However, respondent No. 1 filed an application under that section on 19-2-1972 and pleaded condonation of delay under section 5 of the Limitation Act, 1963, on the ground that he (respondent no. 1) came to know of the sale only on.-2-1972.

It was argued before the Delhi High Court that section 5 of the Limitation Act was not applicable because the Lt. Governor before whom the application was filed was not a court but a persona designata. In support of this contention, reliance was placed on a Full Bench judgment of the Kerala High Court.2

Dissenting from the Kerala view, the Delhi High Court held that the Kerala view had been over-ruled by the Supreme Court.3

1. Raj Chopra v. Shanno Devi, AIR 1891 Del 18.

2. Jokkim Fernandes v. Arnim Kuphi Umma, AIR 1974 Ker 162.

3. Kerala State Electricity Board v. T.P. Kunhalinumma, AIR 1977 SC 282, para. 21.

43.17. Summarising the law on the subject after the Kerala State Electricity Board's case, the High Court sai.-

"We feel that the argument based on the contention that the application under a special law must necessarily be to a court, before the provisions of Limitation Act are attracted is not borne out by any precedent or principles of law. This argument does not appreciate the difference between case where there is no period prescribed by a special law and where it is so provided. In the former instance, a party will have to invoke Article 137 of the Schedule to the Limitation Act, 1963, and this can be resorted to for filing an application under any Act, vide AIR 1970 SC 209: AIR 1977 SC 282.

Such an application alone is required to be filed before a civil court. But in case of latter ki.-as in the present ca.-where the period, is prescribed under a special law like the Act, Article 137 of the Schedule to the Limitation Act is not being resorted to at all and the requirement of application being to a court does not necessarily arise."

43.18. Even prior to the Kerala State Electricity Board's case, the Supreme Court had applied the provisions of the Limitation Act in computing the period of limitation under a special law like the U.P. Sales Tax Act.1

1. Commissioner of Sales Tax, Uttar Pradesh v. Madan Lal, AIR 1977 SC 523.

43.19. Considerable difficulties have been experienced in deciding whether a functionary acting under a statute is a 'court' or not, for the purposes of enactments using that expression. The Supreme Court has held1 that the Registrar of Cooperative Societies under the Bihar and Orissa Cooperative Societies Act, 1935 was, to all intents and purposes, a court discharging the same functions and duties in the same manner as a court of law is expected to do. In a Punjab case2, it was held that a Commissioner under the Workmen's Compensation Act is not a 'civil court', within the meaning of section 110F of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939.

1. fugal Kishore v. Sitamarhi Central Co-operative Bank Ltd., AIR 1967 SC 1494.

2. Ram Sarup v. Gurdeb Singh, 1969 Labour and Industries Cases 371 (Punj).

The Limitation Act, 1963 Back

Client Area | Advocate Area | Blogs | About Us | User Agreement | Privacy Policy | Advertise | Media Coverage | Contact Us | Site Map
powered and driven by neosys