Last Updated: Monday November 10, 2008
The Limitation Act, 1908
Act No. IX of 1908
An Act to consolidate and amend the law for the limitation of Suits and for other purposes.
Whereas it is expedient to consolidate and amend the law relating to the limitation of suits, appeals and certain application to Courts and whereas it is also expedient to provide rules for acquiring by possession the ownership of easements and other property, it is hereby enacted as follows:---
1. SHORT TITLE, EXTENT AND COMMENCEMENT.-(1) This Act may be called the 2*Limitation Act, 1908.
3[(2) It extends to the whole of
(3) This section and section 31 shall come into force at once. The rest of this Act shall come into force on the first day of January, 1909.
2. DEFINITIONS. In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,-
(1) "applicant" includes any person from or through whom an applicant derives has right to apply :
(2) "bill of exchange" includes a hundi and a cheque:---
(3) "bond" includes any instrument whereby a person obliges himself to pay money to another, on condition that the obligation shall be void if a specified act is performed, or is not performed, as the case may be :
(4) "defendant" includes any person from or through whom a defendant derives his liability to be used :
(5) "easement" includes a right not
arising from contract, by which one person is entitled to remove and appropriate
for his own profit any part of the soil belonging to another or anything
growing in, or attached to or subsisting upon, the land of
(6) "foreign country" means any
country other than 3[
(7) "good faith" nothing shall be deemed to be done in good faith which is not done with due care and attention :
(8) "plaintiff" includes any person from or through whom a plaintiff derives his right to use;
(9) "promissory note" means any instrument whereby the maker engages absolutely to pay a specified sum of money to another at a time therein limited, or on demand, or at sight :
(10) "suit" does not include an appeal or an application : and
(11) "trustee" does not include a benamdar, a mortagagee remaining in possession after the mortgage has been satisfied or a wrong doer in possession without title.
LIMITATION OF SUITS, APPEALS AND APPLICATION
3. DISMISSAL OF SUITS, ETC., INSTITUTED, ETC., AFTER PERIOD OF LIMITATION -Subject to the provisions contained in section 4 to 25 inclusive), every suit instituted, appeal preferred, and application made, after the period of limitation prescribed thereof by the first schedule shall be dismissed, although limitation has not been set up as a defence.
Explanation.-A suit is instituted, in ordinary cases, when the plaint is presented to the proper officer; in the case of a pauper, when his application for leave to sue as a pauper is made; and, in the case of a claim against a company which is being wound up by the court, when the claimant first sends in his claim to the official liquidator.
4. WHERE COURT IS CLOSED WHEN PERIOD EXPIRES. - Where the period of limitation prescribed for any suit, appeal or application expires on a day when the court is closed, the suit, appeal or application may be instituted, preferred or made on the day that the court re-opens.
5. EXTENSION OF PERIOD IN CERTAIN CASES - Any appeal or application for 4[a revision or] a review of
judgment or for leave to appeal or any other application to which this may be
made applicable 5[by or under any enactment] for the time being in force may be
admitted after the period of limitation prescribed thereof, when the appellant
or applicant satisfies the Court that he had sufficient cause for not
preferring the appeal or making the application within such period.
Explanation.- The fact that the appellant or applicant was misled by any order, practice or judgment of the High Court 6[Division] in ascertaining or computing the prescribed period of limitation may be sufficient cause within the meaning of this section.
6. LEGAL DISABILITY.- (1) Where a person entitled to institute a suit 9[or proceeding] or make an application for the execurtive of a decree is, at the time from which the period of limitation is to be reckoned a minor, or insane, or an idiot, he may institute the suit 9[or proceeding] or make the application within the same period after the disability, as would otherwise have been allowed from the time prescribed thereof in the third column of the first schedule 10[or in section 48 of the code of Civil Procedure, 1 08 (Act V of 1908)].
(2)Where such person is, at the time from which the period of limitation is to be reckoned, affected by two such disabilities, or where, before his disability has ceased, he is affected by another disability, he may institute the suit or make the application within the same period, after both disability have ceased, as would otherwise have been allowed from the time so prescribed.
(3)Where the disability continues to to the death of such person his legal representative may institute the suit or make the application within the same period after the death as would otherwise have been allowed from the time so prescribed.
(4) where such representative is at the date of the death affected by any such disability, the rules contained in sub-sections (1) and (2) shall apply.
7. DISABILITY OF ALONE OF SEVERAL PLAINTIFFS OR APPLICANT.- Where one of several person jointly entitled to institute a suit 12[or proceeding] or make an application for the execution of a decree is under any such disability, and a discharge can be given without the concurrence of such person, time will run against them all : but, where no such discharge can ben given, time will not run as against any of them until one of them becomes capable of giving such discharge without the concurrence of the other or until the disability has ceased.
8. SPECIAL EXCEPTIONS.- Nothing in section 6 or in section 7 applies to suits to enforce rights of pre-emption, or shall be deemed to extend for more than three years from the cessation of the disability or the death of the person affected thereby, the period within which any suit must be instituted or application made.
9. CONTINUOUS RUNNING OF TIME.- Where once time has begun to run no subsequent disability to sue stops it;
Provided that where letters of administration to the estate of a creditor have been granted to his debtor, the running of the time prescribed for a suit to recover the debt shall be suspended while the administration continues.
10. SUITS AGAINST EXPRESS TRUSTEES AND THEIR REPRESENTATIVES.- Notwithstanding anything herein before contained, no suit against a person in whom property has become vested in trust for any specific purpose, or against his legal representatives or assigns (not being assigns for valuable consideration) for the purpose of following in his or their hands such property or the proceeds thereof, or for an account of such property or proceeds, shall be barred by any length of time.
14[For the purpose of this section any property comprised in a Hindu, 15[Muslim] or Buddhist religious or charitable endowment shall be deemed to be property vested in trust for a specific purpose, and the manager of any such property shall be deemed to be the trusted thereof.]
11. SUITS ON FOREIGN CONTRACTS- (1) Suits instituted in 16 [
(2) No foreign rule of limitation shall be a defense
to a suit instituted in 16[
COMPUTATION OF PERIOD OF LIMITATION
12. EXCLUSIVE OF TIME IN LEGAL PROCEEDINGS.-(1) In computing the period of limitation prescribed for any suit, appeal of application, the day from which such period is to be reckoned shall be excluded.
(2) In computing the period of limitation prescribed for an appeal an application for leave to appeal and an application for a review of judgment, the day on which the judgment complained of was pronounced, and the time requisite for obtaining a copy of the decree, sentence or order appealed from or sought to be reviewed, shall be excluded.
(3) Where a decree is appealed from or sought to be reviewed, the time requisite for obtaining a copy of the judgment on which it is founded shall also be excluded.
(4) In computing the period of limitation prescribed for an application to set aside an award, the time requisite for obtaining a copy of the award shall be excluded.
13. EXCLUSION OF TIME OF DEFENDANT'S ABSENCE FROM PAKISTAN AND CERTAIN OTHER TERRITORIES.- In computing the period of limitation prescribed for any suit, the time during which the defendant has been absent from 16[Bangladesh) and from the territories beyond 16[Bangladesh] under the administration of 17 [Government] 16 ** shall be excluded.
14. EXCLUSION OF TIME OF PROCEEDING BONAFIED IN COURT WITHOUT JURISDICTION. - In computing the period of limitation [prescribed for any suit, the time during which the plaintiff has been prosecuting with due diligence another civil proceeding, whether in a Court of first instance the proceeding is founded upon the dame cause of action and is prosecuted in good faith in a Court which, from defect jurisdiction, or other cause of a like nature, is unable to entertain it.
(2) In computing the period of limitation prescribed for any application, the time during which the applicant has been prosecuting with due diligence another civil proceeding, whether in a Court of first instance or in a Court of appeal, against the defendant, shall be excluded, where the proceeding prosecuted in good faith in Court which, from defect of jurisdiction, or other cause of a lime nature, is unable entertain it.
Explanation I- In excluding the time during which a former suit or application was pending, the day on which that suit or application was in-stituted or made, and the day on which the proceedings therein ended, shall both be counted.
Explanation II.- For the purposes of this section, a plaintiff or parties or of causes of section shall be deemed to be prosecuting a proceeding.
Explanation III.- For the purpose of this section misjoinder of parties or of causes of section shall be deemed to be a cause of a like nature with defect of jurisdiction.
15. EXCLUSION OF TIME DURING WHICH PROCEEDINGS ARE SUSPENDED. (1) In computing the period of limitation prescribed for any suit or application for the execution of a decree, the institution or execution of which has been stayed by injunction or order, the time of the continuance of the injunction or order, the day on which it was issued or made, and the day on which it was withdrawn, shall be excluded
(2) In computing the period of limitation prescribed for any suit of which notice has been in accordance with the requirements of any enactment for the time being in force, the period of such notice shall be excluded.
16. EXCLUSION OF TIME DURING WHICH PROCEEDINGS TO SET ASIDE EXECUTION-SALE ARE PENDING.- In computing the period of limitation Prescribed for a suit for possession by a purchase at a sale in execution of a decree, the time during which a proceeding to set aside the sale has been prosecuted shall be excluded.
17. EFFECT OF DEATH BEFORE RIGHT TO SUE ACCRUES.- (1) Where a person, who would, if he were living, have a right to institute a suit or make an application, dies before the right accrues, the period of limitation shall be computed from the time when there is a legal re-presentative of the deceased capable of instituting or making such or application.
(2) Where a person against whom, if he were living, a right to institute a suit or make an application would have accrued dies before the right accrues the period of limitation shall be computed from the time when there is a legal representative of the deceased against whom the plaintiff may institute or make such or application.
(3) Nothing in sub-section (1) and (2) applies to suits to enforce rights of pre-emption or to suit for the possession of immovable property or of an hereditary office.
18. EFFECT OF FRAUD.- Where any person having a right to institute a suit or make an application has, by means of fraud, been kept from the knowledge of such right or of the title on which it is founded, or where any document necessary to establish such right has been fraudulently concealed from him. The time limited for instituting a suit or making an application.-
(a) against the person guilty of the fraud or accessory thereto, or
(b) against any person claming through him other wise than in good faith and for a valuable consideration, shall be computed from the time when the fraud first because know is the person injuriously affected thereby, or, in the case of the concealed document, when he first had the means of producing it or compelling its production.
19. EFFECT OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT IN WRITING.- (1) Where, before the expiration of the period prescribed for a suit or application in respect of any property or right, an acknowledgment of liability in respect of such property or right has been made in writing signed by the party against whom such property or right is claimed or by some person through whom he derives title or liability, a fresh period of limitation shall be computed from the time when the acknowledgment was so signed.
(2) Where the writing containing the acknowledgment is undated, oral evidence may be given of the time when it was signed; but, subject to the provision of the Evidence Act 1872 (1 to 1872), oral evidence or ts contents shall not be received.
Explanation I.- For the purposes of this section an acknowledgment may be sufficient though it omit to specify the exact nature of the property or right, or avers that the time for payment, delivery, performance or enjoyment has not yet come, or is accompanied by a refusal to pay, deliver, perform or permit to enjoy, or is coupled with a claim to a set-off, or is addressed to a person other than the person entitled to the property or right.
Explanation II.- For the purposes of this section, "signed" means signed either personally or by an agent duly authorized in this behalf.
Explanation III.- For the purpose of this section an application for the execution of a decree or order is an application in respect of right.
20. EFFECT OF PAYMENT ON ACCOUNT OF DEBT OR OF INTEREST ON LEGACY.- 19(1) Where payment on account of a debt or of interest on a legacy is made before the expiration of the prescribed period by the person liable to pay the debt or legacy, or by his duly authorized agent, a fresh period of limitation shall be computed from the time when the payment was made:---
20[Provided that, save in the case of a payment of interest made before the 1st day of January, 1928, an acknowledgment of the payment appears in the handwriting of, such land shall be deemed to be a payment for the purpose of sub-section (1).
(2) EFFECT OF RECEIPT OF PRODUCE OF MORTGAGED LAND. Where mortgaged land is in the possession of the mortgaged, the receipt of the rent of produce of such land shall be deemed to be a payment for the purpose of sub-section (1).
Explanation.- Debt includes money payable under a decree or order of Court.
21. AGENT OF PERSON UNDER DISABILITY.-(1) The expression "agent duly authorized in his behalf" in section 19 and 20 shall in the case of a person under disability include his lawful guardian committee or manager or an agent duly authorized by such guardian, committee or manager to sign the acknowledgment or make the payment.
(2) ACKNOWLEDGMENT OR PAYMENT BY ONE OF SEVERAL JOINT CONTRACTORS, ETC. Nothing in the said section renders one of several Joint contractors, partners, executors or mortgagees chargeable by reason only of a written acknowledgment signed or of a payment made by, or by the agent of, any other or other of them
1.[(2)] For the purposes or said sections,---
(a) an acknowledgment signed, or a payment made in respect of any liability, by, or by the duly authorized agent of. any widow or other limited owner of property who is governed by the Hindu law, shall be, as against a reversioner succeeding to such liability; and
(b) Where a liability has been incurred by, or on behalf of, a Hindu undivided family as such, an acknowledgment of payment made by, or by the duly authorized agent of, the manager of the family of the time being shall be deemed to have been made on behalf of the whole family.
22. EFFECT OF SUBSTITUTING OR ADDING NEW PLAINTIFF OR DEFENDANT.- (1) Where, after the institute of a suit, a new plaintiff or defendant is substituted or added , the suit shall, as regards him, be deemed to have been instituted when he was so made a party.
(2) Nothing is sub-section (1) Shall apply to a case where a party is added or substituted owing to an assignment or devolution of any interest during the pendency of a suit or where a plaintiff is made a defendant or a defendant is made a plaintiff.
23. CONTINUING BREACHED AND WRONGS.- In the case of a continuing breach of contract and in the case of a continuing wrong independent of contract, a fresh period of limitation begins to run to every moment of the time during which the breach or the wrong, as the case may be continues.
24. SUIT FOR COMPENSATION FOR ACT ACTIONABLE WITHOUT SPECIAL DAMAGE.- In the case of a suit for compensation for an act which does not give rise to a cause of action unless some specific injury actually results therefrom, the period of limitation shall be computed from the time when the injury result.
25. COMPUTATION OF THE MENTIONED IN INSTRUMENTS,- All instruments shall, for the purpose of this Act, be deemed to be made with reference to the Gregorian calendar.
ACQUISITION OF OWNERSHIP BY POSSESSION
26. ACQUISITION OF RIGHT TO BASEMENTS - (1) Where is the access and use of light or air to and for any building have been peaceably enjoyed therewith as an easement, and as of right , without interruption, and for twenty years, and where any way or watercourse, or the use of any water, or any other easement (whether affirmative or negative) has been peaceably and openly enjoyed by any person claiming title thereto as an easement and as of right without interruption, and for twenty years, the right to such assess and use of light or air, way, watercourse, use of water, or other easement shall be absolute and indefeasible.
(2) Each of the said periods of twenty years shall be taken to be a period ending within two year next before the institute of the suit wherein the claim to which such period relates is contested.
(2) Where the property over which a right is claimed under subsection (1) belongs to [the Government], the sub-section shall be read as if for the words "twenty years" the words "sixty years" were substituted.
Explanation:- Nothing is an interruption within the meaning of this section unless where there is an actual discontinuance of the possession or enjoyment by reason of an obstruction by the act of some person other than the claimant, and unless such obstruction is submitted to or acquiesced in for one year after the claimant has notice thereof and of the person making or authorizing the same to be made.
27. EXCLUSION IN FAVOUR OF REVERSIONER OF REVERSIONER- Where any land or water upon, over or from which any easement has been enjoyed or derived has been held under or by virtue of any interest for life or any term of years exceeding there years from the granting thereof, the time of the enjoyment of such easement during the continuance of such interest or term shall be excluded in the computation of the period of twenty years in case the claim is, within three years next after the determination of such interest or term, resisted by the person entitled, on such determination, to the said land or water.
28. EXTINGUISHMENT OF RIGHT TO PROPERTY.-At the determination of the period hereby limited to any person for instituting a suit for Possession of any property, his right to such property shall be extinguished.
29. SAVINGS-1(1) Nothing in this Act shall affect section 25 of the Contract Act, 1872 (IX of 1872.)
(2) Where any special prescribes law for any suit or application a period of limitation different from the period prescribed therefore by the first schedule, the provisions of section 3 shall apply, as if such period were prescribed therefore in that schedule, and for the purpose of determining any period of limitation prescribed for any suit, appeal or application by any special or local law
(a) the provision contained in section 4, sections 9 to 18, and section 22 shall apply only in so far as, and to the extend to which, they are not expressly excluded by such special law; and
(b) the remaining provisions of this Act shall not apply.
[(3)] Nothing in this Act shall apply to suit under the Divorce Act (VI of 1969).
(4) Section 26 and 27 and the definition of "easement" in section 2 shall not apply to cases arising in territories to which the Easements Act, 1882 (V of 1882), may for the time being extend.
Secs. 30 and 31 [Provision for suits for which the period prescribed is shorter than that prescribed by the India Limitation Act, 1877. Provision for suits by certain mortgagees in territories mentioned in the Second Schedule.] Rep. by Repealing and Amending Act, 1930 (VIII of 1930), s. 3 and Second Schedule.