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Report No. 89

1.11. Scheme of the Act: the Articles in the Schedule.- The Schedule to the Act contains 137 articles, laying down periods of limitation for various kinds of proceedings. Of these, Articles 1 to 113 relate to suits; Articles 114 to 117 relate to appeals and Articles 118 to 137 relate to applications. The general scheme adopted in the Schedule is that, in each category, specific types of proceedings are covered by specific articles dealing with a particular cause of action or head of relief.

This is followed in each category by a residuary article, which is intended to take care of a suit, an appeal or an application (as the case may be), not covered by a specific article. The periods of limitation prescribed for various categories of suits, appeals and applications vary.

1.12. Coming more particularly to suits, it may be stated that the periods prescribed by the relevant articles vary from one year to thirty years; for all suits instituted by the Government, the uniform period (under Article 112) is thirty years, except a suit before the Supreme Court in the exercise of its original jurisdiction. In general, it can be stated that most suits for money or monetary claims (excepting claims in tort) enjoy a period of three years, and most suits relating to tort are governed by periods of one year, two years or three years.

Suits for the recovery of immovable property (and on allied causes of action) enjoy a period of twelve years, with certain exceptions; the most important exception in this context is the period of thirty years, allowed for a suit for redemption or foreclosure of a mortgage under Articles 61(a) and 63(a), respectively. The residuary article for suits (Article 113) allows a period of three years for suits not otherwise specifically provided for.

1.13. The starting point of limitation (subject to certain exceptions) as regards suits, is in general, the date of accrual of the cause of action. However, this concept has not been expressed in any general ter.-such as "accrual of the cause of action": rather, it has been translated into a date linked up with some specific and concrete act or event which is appropriate for the particular type of cause of action to which the suit relates.

In some exceptional cases, the date selected as the starting point is not one corresponding to the accrual of the cause of action, but some other date which is more appropriate for the particular type of claim. For example, in a suit relating to accounts, being a claim for the balance due on what is described as a "mutual, open and current account", where there have been reciprocal demands between the parties, the starting point under Article 1 is the close of the year when the last item admitted or proved is entered in the account.

Similarly, for a suit for the wages of a seaman, the starting point under Article 6 is the end of the voyage during which the wages are earned. Again, under Articles 73 and 74, which are concerned with compensation for false imprisonment and compensation for malicious prosecution respectively, the starting point is termination of the false imprisonment or of the malicious prosecution, as the case may be.

Then, under Article 81, a suit by executors etc. under the Legal Representatives Suits Act, 1855 can be filed within one year of the date of the death of the person wronged. Finally, in several cases, the knowledge of the plaintiff as to the accrual of the cause of action is material for determining the starting point. Examples of such an approach are furnished by Articles 4, 56, 57, 59, 61(b), 68, 71, 84, 92 to 95 and 102.

1.14. In regard to appeals, the period of limitation various from 30 days to 90 days, depending principally on the nature of the order appealed from and the forum to which the appeal is to be taken. There is no residuary article for appeals.

1.15. As regards applications, the prescribed periods vary from 10 days (Article 118) to 12 years (Article 136, which is the general article for an application for the execution of any decree or order of any civil court). The residuary article for applications (Article 137) allows a period of 3 years.



The Limitation Act, 1963 Back




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