The rule of limitation has its origins in the maxims “Interest Reipublicae Ut Sit Finis Litium” which implies that there will be a cap on lawsuits and “Vigilantibus Non Dormientibus Jura Subveniunt” in the benefit of the state as a whole, which implies that the statute should support only those who are diligent for their interests and not those who sleep thereon. The law of limitation sets out the statutory period under which a person can initiate a legal proceeding or bring a legal action. If a claim is filed after the specified period has expired, the Limitation shall preclude it.This ensures that, following the expiry of the period during which a legal action would have been instituted, a claim brought before the Court is limited.


  • Limitation Act
  • Retrospective Functioning
  • Plea of Limitation
  • Condonation of Delay
  • Sufficient cause


The limitation law came in the form of the Limitation Act of 1958 and was eventually established in phases. Every statute of limitation applicable to the entire of India had prevailed before 1859. Also, in 1859 was a limitation law passed (regulation XIV of 1859) applied to any case. In 1871, 1877 and 1908 the Limitation Act was promptly abrogated. The 1908 Limitation Law was revoked and the 1963 Limitation Act entered into force. The Act of 1908 only referred to international transactions while the Act of 1963 dealt with arrangements in or beyond Jammu and Kashmir.

The statute of limitation allows for a duration cap during which a privilege can be exercised by a court of law. The duration for specific suits is provided for in the Act ‘s feasibility. The key objective of this Act is to guarantee that proceedings that lead to efficient prosecution are avoided for a long period and that proceedings are disposed of promptly. According to the 2019 Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Act, the restriction rule now extends to the entire region. The 1963 Limitation Act provides clauses on time determination for exclusion times, delay waiver etc. The Limitation Act contains 32 sections and 137 articles and 10 parts.


In BK Education Services Private Limited v/s Parag Gupta and Associates[1], the Supreme Court addressed that, because the limitation rule is statutory in essence, it should be enforced retroactively. The Supreme Court in Thirumalai Chemicals Ltd v/s Union of India[2] noted that the limitation laws extend retrospectively to all the judicial cases filed during its compliance operations.

Section 3 outlines the general principle that if an action, appeal or request is taken beyond the maturity date of a specified amount of time before the Trial, the action, appeal or demand is rejected by a trial as time-barred. The exclusion statute merely forbids the judicial recourse and does not revoke the privilege. It is not restricted to these acts at any period to build defense. The right to suit is also not exempt. Section 27 is, nevertheless, an exception.

The Punjab National Bank and Ors v/s Surendra Prasad Sinha[3] Supreme Court ruled that limitation laws are not intended to violate parties’ freedoms. In Section 3 the remedy is only barred, although the right of the remedy is not destroyed. The rule of limitations merely extends the penalty, not extinguishing the claim, in Bombay Dyeing and Manufacturing v/s State of Bombay[4].

The statute will not bind the convict because, given the time bind, he approaches a valid plea in his defense. The barrier of limitation did not hinder the process of protection in Rullia Ram Hakim Rai v/s Fateh Singh[5]. The only element that prevents intervention is its restoration. There is no clause stopping or restricting a debtor from reaching his time cap.

The court shall reject a lawsuit if it is filed after the period limitation Act has been imposed. Section 3 clauses are obligatory and if it is prohibited by time, the Court shall not continue with the complaint. It is evident from Section 3 of the Act that any move, appeal prefer the former and the proposal submitted beyond the specified time period are denied. Even if limitations were not established as a defense.

The case took place at Craft Center v/s Koncherry Coir Factories[6], and the claimant is obligated to persuade the court that his complaint has been presented in due course. Unless the claimant has little time yet requires any recognitions in order to maintain the conditions then he will argue or justify them, unless refused; when the claimant seems to have little time. The Court also held that Section 3 is absolute and obligatory and even since the court had no power to refuse a suit except in the appeal process, the restriction question could not have been addressed, it will not be an obligation to refuse this suit

The duration from which the limitation period begins depends on the context and the timeframe of the legislation provides widely a precise point of departure. The appeal or warning must usually begin on or on the day the decision or judgment is given or it may take effect on or on the day on which the incident establishing the basis for the litigation takes place. The Supreme Court in Port Bombay v/s The Premier Automobile[7] has ruled that the accrual of the cause of action is the point of departure.

Condonation of delay implies that in several situations, the duration of time given that the delay is sufficiently necessary. In the case of State of Kerala v/s K. T. Shaduli Yussuff[8], the court ruled that the issue of reality relies on the situation of a specific case that there is adequate ground for condonation of delay.

In Ram Kali Kuer v/s Indradeo Chaudhary[9]section 5 was held not to specify that an appeal could not be made in written until relief could be provided under that clause.In Ashok v/s Rajendra Bhausaheb Mulak[10]it was stated that a bona fide error on the part of the council in seeking a solution is a sufficient excuse to accept the pause in reaching the correct place in the appropriate form of proceedings.

In IOCL v/s Subrata Borah Chowlek[11]it was observed that although section 5 allows for an clarification of delay to the gratification of the court and does not discriminate between the state and the people, the implementation of a strict standard of evidence in the case of a government which is reliant on the actions of its official, who often have no genuine interest in its operations, may contribute to a severe travesty of justice.

Abrogation of Right:

General Principle that the statute of limitation forbids only the solution but does not infringe the privilege itself. Section 27 provides an exception to the law. It is all of ownership which is adverse. Adverse possession implies anyone who, for a prolonged period of time, is in possession of another’s land may hold legal rights to it. Under several terms, the ownership to the property would be retained for a long time with the person who lives or is in possession of the land or properties.If the legal owner sleeps over his right, the owner’s right will disappear and the owner of the property will give him a good title. Section 27 does not only include physical property, but also de jure property. According to the terms of this Article, it just includes the title of the land.


Collector (Land Acquisition) v/s Katiji[12]

In this situation, the State of Jammu and Kashmir chose an appeal, posing critical concerns with regard to standards of valuation, against the decision to strengthen payments with respect to land acquisition for general intent. An appeal was made for the withdrawal of delays but the High Court rejected it as time-barred because it was four days late. The State instead challenged by exclusive leave to the Supreme Court.

The Court permitted the appeal and determined that the term ‘sufficient cause’ in Section 5 was expansive enough to require the Court to deliver substantive redress to the parties. The order was set aside by the High Court, dismissing the appeal as time required and returning the issue to the High Court, after giving both sides rational opportunity to observe it. The case was referred to the High Court.

The Supreme Court has set out the Court’s standards when evaluating the case surrounding the condonation of the delay:

  1. A litigant usually does not gain the advantage of a delayed appeal;
  2. Refusal to recognize delays will contribute to the dismissal of a legitimate matter;
  3. In a rational manner, delay should be clarified;
  4. A litigant cannot profit from a pause but is currently at severe risk;

The judiciary must be believed to be resected not for being able to legalize injustice on conceptual basis but for being able to eliminate injustice.

G. Ramagowda v/s Special Land Acquisition Officer[13]

The Court will logically deduce the word sufficient cause. It was held that sufficient interpretation must be given to a freedom to make substantial justice and, probably, the party genuine repentance of postponement is attributable to delays in preferring appeals failure to act or lack of legitimacy.

Shakuntala Devi Jain v/s Kuntal Kumari[14]

In this case, section 5 grants the court the discretion to exercise competence and exercise judicial authority and confidentiality in compliance with understandable standards. The appellant is liable for the phrase reasonable ground to obtain a constitutional arrangement to facilitate substantive fairness where there is neither fault nor breach of good faith.

Ram Lal v/s Rewa Coalfields Ltd[15]

The Supreme Court ruled that two significant factors had to be taken into consideration when taking account of the justification for delaying:The expiry of the limitation period results in the legal rights to treat a decree-holder as binding between the parties, which is passed in its favor. If sufficient reasons are given for carrying out the delay, the court shall have the right to approve the suspension and allow the appeal. And if there is ample justification, the group has no option to withdraw from the time in question. A precedent in the practice of administrative integrity is evidence of probable reason.There is also no detailed set of reasons for condoning the delay. The details and conditions in each situation must be determined.


Union Carbide Corporation. v/s Union of India[16]

The case concerned Union Carbide (India) Ltd (UCIL) which was a Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) affiliate in New York. The catastrophic night of 2 and 3 December 1984 was one of the biggest disasters in the world. The most dangerous product employed in industrial usage in the Union Carbide Company in Bhopal, Methyl Isocyanide Gas, has been found by several thousands of citizens as spilled from containers used in its production.

On 23 March 1985, the Central State passed an Act called Bhopal Gas Leak Catastrophe, 1985, requiring central government to deal efficiently, quickly and to the maximum benefit regarding, and with respect to allegations emerging out regarding or in relation with Bhopal Gas Tragedy. The Union of India has launched an action for the good of victims through the exercise of its jurisdiction under the Act in the United States Supreme Court in Southern New York. Justice Keenan of the Federal District Court rejected the lawsuit as a platform non conveniens on the basis that Union Carbide consents to the Indian court’s authority and waives the protection dependent on the statute of limitations.

Pursuant to Section 8, the Bhopal Act states that if a petition is made under the terms of this Act, then the terms of the Limitation Act are exempt. Section 8 specifies that any term after the date on which the allegation is recorded within and in compliance with the rules of the Procedure shall be exempt in computation, according to the limitation Act , 1963 or some such statute for the time being in effect, the duration of restriction for the purposes of bringing a complaint or other infringement action.

The Bhopal law also has an overriding impact on any other law inconsistent with this Act pursuant to Section 11. Section 11 provides that, given anything contradictory with every other statute than this Act or any legislation that is valid by reason of a rule besides this Rule, the terms of this Law and of any scheme enacted thereunder shall have force. The Union Carbide situation thus forms an exception to the Limitation Act for removal from the application of the Bhopal Act, 1985, under the Limitation Act of 1963.


The limitation law defines the time for a citizen to practice his or her legal right. The legislation tracks trials such that they cannot be carried out for a long period. This Act further states that persons who launch a complaint or prefers an appeal for a valid reason cannot file a claim under the time period imposed by the statute and that in other cases the same conditions cannot be enforced.


  1. Limitation Act,1963

[1] 2018 SCC Online SC 1921

[2] (2011) 6 SCC 739

[3] 1992 AIR 1815, 1992 SCR (2) 528

[4] 1958 AIR 328, 1958 SCR 1122

[5] AIR 1962 P H 256

[6] AIR 1991 Ker 83

[7] 1974 AIR 923, 1974 SCR (3) 397

[8] 1977 AIR 1627, 1977 SCR (3) 233

[9] AIR 1985 Pat 148

[10] 2012 (11) JT 18: 2012 (10) SCALE 430

[11] (2010) 12 SCALE 209: 2010 (262) ELT 3

[12] AIR 1987 SC 1353

[13] AIR 1988 SC 897

[14] AIR 1869 SC 575

[15] AIR 1962 SC 361

[16]1992 AIR 248, 1991 SCR Supl. (1) 251

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s