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Report No. 89

IV Local Laws

The Travancore Limitation Act

29.19. Travancore Act.- Another question of a similar character pertains to the Travancore Act. The areas at present comprising the Kanyakumari District and Shencottah Taluk of Tirunelveli District of Tamil Nadu and the southern portion of Kerala together formed erstwhile the Travancore State where the Travancore Limitation Act (IV of 1100 N.E.) was in force. Section 20(1) of the Act read:

"If before the expiration of the period prescribed for redemption of a mortgage, the mortgagee accepts from the mortgagor a puravaippu or purakkadam deed creating a further charge on the mortgaged property and duly registered, the prescribed period of limitation shall be computed from the date of such puravaippu or purakkadam deed."

The Part B States (Laws) Act, 1951 extended the Indian Limitation Act, 1908 (which was the Central Act then) to the erstwhile Travancore-Cochin State, with effect from 1st April, 1951, with the result that the above provisions of the Travancore Limitation Act were repealed.

29.20. Case law on the Travancore Act.- Two judgments of the Madras High Court, however, appear to have created certain difficulties in the matter of computation of limitation in situations envisaged1 by section 20 of the Travancore Act, which relates to puravaippu or purakkadam deeds (deeds of further charge). A provision similar to this was not found in the Indian Limitation Act 1908, and does not appear in the Act of 1963. Briefly, this section provides that if, before the expiration of .the period prescribed for redemption, the mortgagee accepts a deed of further charge then a fresh period starts running.

1. Section 20, Travancore Limitation Act (IV of 100 M.E.).

29.21. The first judgment1 on the subject (delivered by Mohan, J.) held that a mortgagor ought to consolidate both the mortgages and a piecemeal redemption was impossible. Mohan, J. held that in spite of the repeal of Travancore Limitation Act, the suits are not barred by limitation and the period had to be counted from the purakkadam deed (deed of further charge).

1. Thomas v. Victor, AIR 1976 Mad 273: (1976) 2 mq 5.

29.22. A somewhat contrary view1 was expressed by the same High Court (in a judgment by Varadarajan, J.) holding that paravaippu or purakkadam cannot be used to get fresh period of limitation after the extension of the Indian Limitation Act, 1908 to Travancore-Cochin and that the doctrine of consolidation cannot be applied at all. The earlier Madras ruling does not appear to have been cited before him.

1. Parameswaran Thampy v. Kanakama Thankach, (1977) 90 LW 258, quoted Chandran, Advocate, Kuzhithurai Limitation when mortgagee gets purakkadam from mortgagors, (1977) 2 MLJ 78.

29.23. Conclusion as to Travancore Act.- As the period of limitation under the Travancore Act was 50 years, suits based on puravaippu or purakkadam can technically continue till 1st April, 2001 A.D. No doubt, in all probability, in view of the State laws, regarding the liquidation of rural indebtedness, the incidence of such suits would be negligible. All the same, we have made a brief note of this matter and trust that the State Governments of Tamil Nadu and Kerala would examine the points raised in the judgment, with a view to ensuring that no hardship is caused by such an extended period of limitation.1

1. For consideration in connection with the Travancore Limitation Governments of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

The Limitation Act, 1963 Back

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