Provisions of Limitation Act are applicable to applications filed u/s 378(4) & (5) of Crpc. in NI cases: Karnataka High Court

 An appeal for condonation of delay in filing Special Leave Application held that the provisions of Limitation Act, 1963 particularly S. 4 to s. 24 are applicable to the applications filed u/s 378 (4) & (5) of Crpc. and allowed special leave to prefer an appeal by condoning the delay held by Justice K.N. Phaneendra in Saroja Narasimhan Vs. Vijay Sharma [CRL.A. No. 1355/2012]

The legal question before the Hon’ble High Court was with regards to the application of the Limitation Act, so far as the appeals filed u/s 378(4) of Crpc. On the ground that Section 378(4) & (5) are special provisions provided for preferring the appeal and it is a self-contended enactment which provides separate and independent limitation for preferring the appeal hence provisions of Limitation Act and impliedly excluded from application.

The Hon’ble High Court while examining the question referred to various judgements of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and various other High Court examining the applicability of The Limitation Act with other Special Statues and expounded that “the provisions of the Limitation Act as enunciated u/s 29(2) of the Indian Limitation Act can be very well pressed into service and in turn, it can be unequivocally said that the provisions of Limitation act from Se. 4 to s.24 are very well applicable for the purpose of condoning the delay in filing an application under subsections (4) and (5) of S. 378 of Crpc. for Special Leave to prefer an appeal filed after the period of limitation fixed under that provision if sufficient grounds are made out as contemplated under section 5 of the Limitation Act.”

The law of limitation fixes a life span for legal remedy for the redress of the legal injuries so suffered. Time is very precious and wasted time will not come again. So life span must be fixed for each remedy but such life span can be interpreted in such a manner it would definitely advance substantial justice rather than disturbs the right created under a statute. Rules of limitation is not meant to destroy the rights of the parties. Therefore, sometimes unintentional lapse on the part of the litigant should not normally close the doors of the judicature permanently.

Though there was some delay of 34days it did not happen deliberately and as the appellant being a lady, she was required to travel for her medical check-up, she was also under the impression that the time prescribed for filing an appeal is about 90days. So, the Hon’ble court held that it is just necessary to grant special leave to prefer an appeal by condoning the delay

The Hon’ble High Court also observed that the general principles with regard to the right to appeal recognized under the statute “should be jealously safeguarded by the courts” and that the court should bear in mind when right is recognized that should not be in any manner allowed to be frustrated on the ground of technicalities particularly delay and the court should not become handicapped in order to advance substantial justice and in order to safeguard the rights, liabilities recognized under the statute unless the statute itself prohibits the court doing that exercise.

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Judgement reviewed by-Sarita Kumari

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