Provisions Of Limitation Act Has No Application When A Statute Extinguishes The Right Itself: Supreme Court

Provisions Of Limitation Act Has No Application When A Statute Extinguishes The Right Itself

Case: Bhagwandas B. Ramchandani vs British Airways

Coram: Justices KM Joseph and PS Narasimha

Case No.: CA 4978 of 2022

Court Observation: “The procedural law governing the institution and adjudication of civil suits in India includes the Civil Procedure Code,1908 as well as the Limitation Act, 1963. The Limitation Act is a branch of adjectival law, and applies to all proceedings which it governs from the date of its enactment. There is however a well-established principle, which states that when the right itself is extinguished, the provisions relating to limitation have no application.”

Section 11 deals with suits filed in India with respect to contracts entered in foreign countries. Following the Principle of lex fori, the Section provides that rules of limitation provided in a foreign jurisdiction are not applicable. However, the exception to this Rule is provided in Section 11 (2)(a), when the Contract i.e., the right itself expires. Similarly, Section 27 also recognizes the principle of extinguishment of Right to Property being an exception to the applicability of the Limitation Act, 1963.

Once the right to damages is extinguished upon the expiry of two years reckoned from the three alternative dates mentioned in the Rule itself, nothing would remain for enforcement. Section 3 of the Limitation Act only bars the remedy, but when the right itself is extinguished, provisions of the Limitation Act have no application. For this reason, in The East and West Steamship Co., this Court held that once the right of liability is extinguished under the clause, there is no scope of acknowledging the liability thereafter.

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