- Trending Categories
- Data Structure
- Operating System
- MS Excel
- C Programming
- Social Studies
- Fashion Studies
- Legal Studies
- Selected Reading
- UPSC IAS Exams Notes
- Developer's Best Practices
- Questions and Answers
- Effective Resume Writing
- HR Interview Questions
- Computer Glossary
- Who is Who
The Limitation Act: Meaning and Application
The Limitation Act, 1963, is a crucial piece of legislation in India that establishes the time limit within which a legal action must be initiated. This act provides a legal framework for determining the period within which a lawsuit must be filed, ensuring that justice is not unduly delayed. This article provides an overview of the meaning, application, history, and conclusion of the Limitation Act, along with some frequently asked questions.
Meaning of the Limitation Act
The Limitation Act, 1963, is a law that prescribes the time limit for filing a legal action or suit. These time limits, known as limitation periods, are designed to promote legal certainty, prevent the use of stale claims, and encourage prompt resolution of disputes. However, there are some limitations of suits under the Limitation Act that can affect the rights of parties seeking to enforce their legal claims.
The Act specifies the maximum time within which a case can be filed. If the case is not filed within the prescribed time, it will be considered barred by law, and the plaintiff will lose the right to sue. The purpose of this Act is to prevent the undue delay in justice and ensure the speedy resolution of disputes.
It provides a general limitation period of three years for most civil suits. This means that any legal action seeking to enforce a civil right must be initiated within three years from the date on which the right accrued. However, there are exceptions to this general rule, and some types of claims have different limitation periods.
For example, suits for breach of contract must be initiated within three years from the date on which the breach occurred, whereas suits for recovery of possession of immovable property must be initiated within 12 years from the date on which the possession was lost. Similarly, suits for declaration of title to immovable property must be initiated within 12 years from the date on which the right to sue first accrued.
Application of the Limitation Act
The Limitation Act applies to all civil and commercial lawsuits, including breach of contract, recovery of debts, damages for negligence, etc. The Act prescribes different time limits for different types of lawsuits.
For instance, the time limit for filing a suit for breach of contract is three years from the date on which the breach occurred. The time limit for filing a suit for recovery of money is three years from the date on which the money became due. In certain cases, the time limit may be extended if the plaintiff can show that he was prevented from filing the suit due to reasons beyond his control.
In such cases, the limitation period may start only when the plaintiff becomes aware of their right to sue. This is known as the "discovery rule". However, this rule is subject to certain limitations and exceptions.
For example, the discovery rule does not apply to cases of fraud, where the plaintiff is deemed to have discovered their right to sue when the fraud is discovered. Similarly, the discovery rule does not apply to cases of breach of trust, where the plaintiff is deemed to have discovered their right to sue when the breach of trust occurred.
History of the Limitation Act
The Limitation Act, 1963, replaced the Limitation Act, 1908, which was based on the English Limitation Act, 1623.
The 1908 Act was applicable to the entire British India and continued to be in force even after India gained independence in 1947. However, several amendments were made to the Act, resulting in confusion and inconsistencies in the law.
To address these issues, the Indian Parliament enacted the Limitation Act, 1963, which replaced the 1908 Act.
The new Act consolidated the law on limitation and provided a uniform framework for the entire country.
The Limitation Act, 1963, is an essential piece of legislation that provides a legal framework for determining the time limit for filing a lawsuit. It ensures that justice is not unduly delayed and that disputes are resolved quickly. The Act prescribes different time limits for different types of lawsuits and can be extended in certain circumstances. The Act replaced the Limitation Act, 1908, and provided a uniform framework for the entire country.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What is the meaning of Limitation Act, 1963?
Ans. The Limitation Act 1963 (c. 47), an act of the British Parliament, changed the statute of limitations to permit lawsuits in some circumstances when the aggrieved party did not learn of the injury until after the usual deadline for filing one.
Q2. What is the limitation period for civil cases?
Ans. Typically, the period of limitation for instituting civil suits (as per the Limitation Act, 1963) is three years from the date on which the cause of action arose; however, it depends upon the subject matter, if subject matter varies, limitation period also varies.
Q3. What is limitation period delay?
Ans. If it can be demonstrated that the delay resulted from a valid reason under unavoidable circumstances, a court may grant forgiveness of the delay in accordance with the Limitation Act, 1963.
Q4. Where is Limitation Act applicable?
Ans. The Act extends to the whole of India. It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.
Kickstart Your Career
Get certified by completing the courseGet Started