Salient Features of Limitation Act, 1963 – The Limitation Act, 1963 is a comprehensive legislation that governs the time within which a person can file a suit or claim in a court of law. It was enacted to ensure that legal disputes are resolved in a timely manner and to prevent undue delay in the administration of justice. The Act lays down the various time limits within which a person must bring a suit or claim, failing which the right to claim becomes barred.
The Act is applicable to civil suits and claims and has been designed to strike a balance between the interests of the parties involved in a dispute. Here are some salient features of the Limitation Act, 1963:
Salient Features of Limitation Act, 1963
Prescribed time limits: The Act prescribes specific time limits for different types of suits and claims. These time limits vary depending on the nature of the suit or claim, and range from a few months to several years.
For instance, the time limit for filing a suit for recovery of immovable property is 12 years, while the time limit for filing a suit for breach of contract is 3 years.
Calculation of limitation period: The Act provides for the calculation of the limitation period. The period begins to run from the date when the right to file the suit or claim accrues. In case of continuous wrongs or breaches, the limitation period starts from the date of the last breach or wrong.
Extension of limitation period: In certain circumstances, the Act allows for the extension of the limitation period. These include cases where the plaintiff was under a legal disability, such as being a minor or of unsound mind, during the time the cause of action arose. In such cases, the limitation period starts running once the disability ceases.
Effect of limitation: If a suit or claim is filed after the expiry of the prescribed limitation period, it is considered time-barred and the court may dismiss the case. The defendant can raise the plea of limitation as a defense against the suit.
Application of the Act to appeals and applications: The Act also applies to appeals and applications filed in court. For instance, an appeal against a decree can also be time-barred if not filed within the prescribed period.
Computation of time: The Act provides for the computation of time in a specific manner. The day from which the period begins to run is excluded and the day on which the period ends is included.
Ignorance of law: The Act specifically provides that ignorance of the law is not a valid ground for extension of the limitation period. It emphasizes the need for parties to be vigilant and aware of their rights.
Adverse possession: The Act also deals with adverse possession, where a person who has been in possession of immovable property for a continuous period acquires the right to claim ownership of the property. The limitation period for acquiring ownership through adverse possession is 12 years.
The Limitation Act, 1963 plays a crucial role in ensuring that disputes are resolved in a timely manner and prevents parties from filing claims or suits after a considerable period of time has passed. It strikes a balance between the interests of both parties and promotes the efficient administration of justice. It is important for individuals to be aware of the time limits prescribed under the Act to protect their rights and interests.