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Report No. 89

32.101. No change needed in Article 51.- As a result, no change is needed in Article 51.

32.102. Article 52.- Article 52 reads as unde.-

"For arrears of rent.

Three years.

When the arrears becomes due."

32.103. Article 53.- Article 53 reads as unde.-

"By a vendor of immovable property for personal payment of unpaid purchase money.

Three years.

The time fixed for completing the sale, or (where the title is completing after the time fixed for completion) the date of the acceptance."

It is identical with Article 11 of the Act of 1908.

In the Act of 1877, the corresponding article was Article 111, which read as unde.-

"By a vendor of immovable property to enforce his lien for unpaid purchase money.

Three years.

The time fixed for completing the sale, or (where the title is completing after the time fixed for completion) the date of the acceptance."

This was identical with Article 111 of the Act of 1871.

32.104. History.- The stages through which Article 111 of the Act of 1871 has passed1 show that in 1908 there was a shift from the concept of enforcement of lien for unpaid purchase money to a contract for personal payment of unpaid purchase money. The earlier position about treating the suit as based on the lien gave rise to considerable difficulties, as is apparent from the statement of objects and reasons annexed to the Bill2 which became the Act of 1908:

"The amendment proposed will make it clear that this article is applicable only to suits to enforce the personal liability of the purchaser.

It has been held by the High Courts of Bombay, Madras and Allahabad that a suit by an unpaid vendor to enforce his charge on the land for the unpaid purchase money is governed by Article 132 and not by this article Chunilal v. Bai Fetha, ILR 22 Born 846; Virchand v. Kamaji, ILR 18 Bom 48; Har v. Muhamdi, ILR 21 All 454; Ramakrishna v. Subrahmania, ILR 29 Mad 305 FB, overruling Natesan v. Soundra, ILR 21 Mad 141 and Avuthala v. Dayumma, ILR 24 Mad 233."

1. Para. 32.103, supra.

2. National Archives File, 1908, p. 6.

32.105. The Draft Bill which was circulated for comments evoked two suggestions. The Advocate-General, Madras1 wrot.-

"In Article 110, in the first column, the words 'as a personal claim' may be added to make (the) meaning quite clear."

And the Chief Justice of Bombay2 suggested tha.-

"This amendment is capable of improvement as it stands, it would cover a bit to enforce a lien for unpaid purchase money. I would suggest some such words as these 'for personal payment of unpaid purchase money'."

That is how the present emphasis on "personal payment" came to be incorporated in the article.

1. Mr. P.S. Sivaswamy Aiyer, Acting Advocate-General Madras, letter dated 26th December, 1907, National Archives File, 1908, Paper 5, p. 1.

2. Chief Justice L. Jenkins, Letter No. 2469, dated 18th December, 1907 from Acting Registrar, Bombay, National Archives File, 1908, Paper 6, p. 13.

32.106. The starting point of limitation.- The third column of the article does not specifically refer to the date of registration of the sale deed, probably because the draftsman intended to cover cases of sale of immovable property worth Rs. 100 or less, which can be conveyed by delivery of possession without any writing.

All the same, the tenor of the text of third column points out to the date of registration of the sale deed as the starting point, and the Patna High Court1 has held that a suit for recovery of unpaid consideration would be time-barred if not filed within three years from the date of the accrual of the cause of action, which was the date of compulsory registration of the document.

1. Kazim Sher v. Jaswant Devi, 1969 BLJR 500.

32.107. There is suggestion in a Madras case1 to the effect that time should start running from the date when the vendor suffers some damage by the purchaser's default in not honouring promises to pay a part of the consideration of the transaction to a third party. Such a contingency cannot, however, be generalised and put in the language of the article. Depending on the facts of the case, the vendor may not take recourse to this article at all, but to the agreement to pay a part of the consideration to a third party at a future date incorporated in the deed of conveyance.

1. Navamani Nadar v. Vedamanicka Nadar, AIR 1933 Mad 424.

32.108. No change needed.- In the result, no change is recommended in Article 53.

32.109. Article 54.- Article 54 reads as under:

"For specific performance of a contract.

Three years.

The date fixed for the performance, or, if no such date is fixed, when the plaintiff has notice that performance is refused."

It is identical with Article 113 of the Acts of 1908 and 1877.

Article 113 of the Act of 1871 was as under:

"For specific performance of a contract.

Three years.

When the plaintiff has notice that his right is denied."

32.110. Comment on the Bill of 1877.- The history given above shows that the language in 1871 was different. When the draft Bill of 1877 Act was circulated for comments, the Secretary, Legislative Department commented:1

"No. 1.-Specific performan.-'When the plaintiff has notice that his right is denied'. This is from Angell on Limitation, 5th Edn., p. 73, citing Brown v. Tillson, 25 NY 194, and seems in substance correct. But after 'might' insert to have the contract specifically performed'."

Further, Mr. Charles D. Field2 suggested the following improvements:

"I would add in the last column as to all these articles 'or might with due diligence have become known'."

The expression "right is denied" in third column was replaced in 1877 by words referring to refusal of performance.

1. Note by the Secretary, Legislative Department on Sir Richard Garth's remarks (on the Limitation Act) dated 22-10-1876, National Archives File, 1877, p. 7.

2. Letter dated 19th April, 1877, National Archives File, 1877, p. 9.



The Limitation Act, 1963 Back




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