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  • Insight on the concept of Condonation of Delay as an exception to The Limitation Act, 1963.
  • Section 5 The Limitation Act, 1963
  • Essential features, conditions and exceptions and principles of the Condonation of Delay


The Limitation Act, 1963, of which the conception of Condonation of Delay is an element, was legislated on 5th October, 1963, which came into force on, 1st January, 1964. The Act provides the limitation period for a suit. It explains what's to be included and what's to be barred while calculating the limitation period for a suit or appeal. Section 5 of the Limitation Act talks about the condonation of detention. It provides that the court can accept any appeal or operation when filed after the limitation period if the complainant or aspirant shows that he'd a sufficient cause for not filing the appeal or operation within the prescribed period.


The term ‘ condonation ’ refers to that the offence (of avoiding the law of period as suggested by the Act) is impliedly rejected, and the case will continue to do, as no offence has passed.

Period As specified In Schedule 1 To The Act

The period has been specified in Schedule 1 to the Act, Generally, it's as follows:

  • Time period of 3 years for a suit relating to accounts, contracts, suits relating to portable property, recovery of a action under a contract etc.
  • Time period of 12 years for suits relating to possession of the irremovable property, and 30 times time- period for suits relating to the mortgaged property.
  • Time period of an year of relating to torts (3 times for compensation in certain cases). 30 to 90 days in case of prayers under the Civil Procedure Code and Criminal Procedure Code.


Section 5 The Limitation Act, 1963- Extension of defined period in certain cases-

Any appeal of any exercise, other than an exercise under any of the provisions of order XXI of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908), may be admitted after the prescribed period if the complainant of the aspirant satisfies the court that he'd sufficient cause for not preferring the appeal of making the operation within correspondent period.

Explanation- The fact that the complainant or the aspirant was missed by any order, practice or judgment of the High Court in figuring the prescribed period might be sufficient cause within the essence of the section.

The Courts should not be lenient to the extent that it enables parties to manipulate acquired legal rights. The condonation of detention is a remedy and not a right to the dissatisfied party. truly if the party successfully provides a sufficient cause, the Courts have the elective power to deal with the exercise of condonation of detainment.


The word “sufficient cause ” is an important expression in this section. Since the section isn't a matter of right for the party who pleads the condonation, but it depends on the discretion of the court. The court must be satisfied that the detention is caused due to a genuine reason. It's adequacy of the cause which counts, and not length of detention. The expression sufficient cause must be literarily illustrated by the court.

  • In G. Ramagowda v. Special Land Acquisition, AIR 1987 SC 897 

It was held that the expression “sufficient cause” must admit a liberal construction so as to advance substantial justice and generally detainments in preferring pleadings are inactivity or lack of bona fide is imputable to the party seeking condonation of delay.

  • In Shakuntala Devi Jain v. Kuntal Kumar, 1969(SC) 575

Section 5 gives the court a discretion with respect to authority is to be exercised in the way in which judicial power and stashing ought to be operated upon the principles which are well inferred. The platoon sufficient cause taking a liberal construction so as to advance substantial justice when no negligence nor inactivity or want of bona fides is imputable to the complainant.

  • In State ( NCT of Delhi) v. Ahmed jaan ,( 2008) 14 SCC 582

The expression sufficient cause should be considered with pragmatism is a justice- orientated approach rather than the specialized finding of sufficient cause for explaining every day's detention.


The court holds the choice to forgive the detention, as well as allow the appeal to continue. If the right cause has been presented, the party isn't authorized to delay condonation, as the decision is over to the court and has optional governance.


It has been fitted by the Amendment Act of 1976, refers to a functioning which should be filed in case an appeal is presented after the termination of the given period. The operation has to state sufficient cause for causing a detention in filing an appeal. This regulation was given by the Privy Council.

  • The practice of admitting similar appeal subject to an opinion regarding limitation was disapproved by privy council, and it stressed the need of espousing a procedure for settling the closing decision of the problem as to limitation before concession of appeal.

In State of M.P v. Pradeep Kumar

Supreme court observed two things of this rule which is:

  • To inform the complainant filing a time, barred appeal that his action won’t be entertained     unless it's accompanied by an operation substantiating sufficient cause.
  • To communicate to the complainant that he may not have to be ready as the condonation of detention is a condition precedent to hearing their appeal.


There are some exceptions to the possibility of the notion of condonation of detention

  • Only in the cases where criminal proceedings are included, under the doctrine.
  • Only operations and prayers are covered under the doctrine that excludes “suit ”.

Barring the case of an operation under Order XXI of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, all the operations and prayers are covered by the doctrine


In the Collector Land Acquisition v/ s Mst Katiji case in 1987, the Supreme Court gave a verdict in favor of the ultimate. Mst Katiji recommended some principles that need to be stuck to while administering the doctrine on condonation of detention. 

Generally, the complainant isn't entitled to an advantage by filing a late appeal. 

  • If the court denies to blink the detention, it can beget a meritorious matter to be dismissed. still, the case will be heard grounded on graces when a detention is permitted. This means a decision is ruled out as per the substantiation rather of the specialized and procedural ground. 
  • Every day’s detention is demanded to be justified doesn't indicate that the doctrine should be applied irrationally. It must be applied in a reasonable manner, not a nonfictional way. 
  • The option between substantial justice and specialized considerations is a case of preference. The other party cannot claim that injustice is caused due to a bona fide detention. 
  • It isn't possible to presume that the detention was caused designedly. The appellant gains nothing but resorting to delaying and, in fact, possesses serious threat. 


 The following grounds must be considered while granting the condonation of detention 

  • Changes or Amendments in the law. 
  • The party's illness, where the nature and inflexibility of the complaint and the data girding the failure to act must be interpreted. 
  • The party is a minor with inadequate reasons. 
  • Poverty and paupers. 
  • A certain quantum of inflexibility is handed in case of a government menial since they aren't given impulses to fulfil the task. 
  • The party is illiterate. 
  • Delay is caused due to the pendency of a writ solicitation. 
  • Grounds similar as error in court proceedings, detention in costing clones can also be considered. 
  • Balakrishnan v. M.A. Krishnamurty 

 By the means of this judgement, the need for a “rule of limitation” was justified. Rule of limitation has not been incorporated to destroy the right of parties, but to ensure that the parties don’t resort to sluggish tactics and seek their remedy instantly. The Law of limitation fixes a life span for similar legal remedy. everlasting lifetime would’ve led to everlasting query. The Court held that the law of limitation is therefore innovated on public policy. 

  • In Ram Lal v. Rewa Coalfields Ltd, bandy 1962 SC 361 

The Supreme Court held that there are two imperative contemplations which have to be borne in intellect whereas considering the condonation of detainment  

The close of the period of manacle gives rise to the licit rights in favor of the annunciate- holder to treat the annunciate passed in their favor as list between the parties. The legal right which is gathered to the annunciate- holder by pass of time should not be fluently bothered. 

If acceptable cause for the charge of detainment is appeared, too the alert is given to the court to flitter the detainment and concede the request. really if acceptable cause has been appeared, the party is not entitled to the condonation of detainment is address as a matter of right. prove of acceptable cause is a condition point of reference in the work out of the optional administration. 

In this way there is no add up to list of grounds on which the detainment can be squinted. It has to be chosen on the information and circumstances of each case. 

  • Shakuntala Devi Jain v. Kuntal Kumari  

In this case, the address some time lately the Court was whether the detainment in recording offer ought to be flitted under Section 5 of the Limitation Act, As laid down in this case, Section 5 of the Limitation Act gives Court caution, which has to be worked out in a way in which legal control and alert should to be worked out upon well caught on norms. 

The words “Sufficient cause” bear to concede a chivalrous development. The Seat of three Judges held that unless need of bona fides of similar dormancy or neglectfulness as would deny a party of the security of section5 is demonstrated, the operation must not be tossed out or any detainment can't be denied to be squinted. The request was permitted and the detainment was condoned. 

  • Kunwar Rajendra Singh v. Rai Rajeshwar Bali and others 

The legal commission, in this case, directed out that if a party in a specific way due to out-base exhortation given by their legal direct, they can't be held at threat for neglectfulness and can still be allowed to keep up beneath Section 5 of the Limitation Act. The Committee also watched that incorrect exhortation given by a legal companion in a specific case can be held to be acceptable cause. The offer was permitted.  

  • Lala Mata Din v. A. Narayan 

The address some time lately the court is whether a botch was bona fide or was it principally a way to cover the purpose. In this case it was held that the accused was not to be blamed for a detainment in recording request and it was to be credited to counsel of his companion. The arraigned had no underhand to do so. Other than that, the run the show had been misinterpret by the direct, meaning that the botch committed by the counsel was bona fide and not told by any mala fide anticipation. 

The detainment was condoned and the request expelled. 

  • State (NCT of Delhi) v. Ahmed Jaan 

An appeal for the condonation of delay was filed by the petitioner but the file got blended up in the Registry of High Court. The question before the court was whether to permit delay in re-fling and filing of appeals. In this case, it was held that what counts is not the length of the day but the ampleness of a cause i.e. the Court ought to take after a reasonable and rational approach in clarifying each single day’s detainment. 

The detainment was condoned and request latterly rejected. 

  • New India Insurance Co. Ltd. V. Shanti Misra 

What constitutes sufficient cause cannot be laid down by hard and quick rules. In this case, it was held that tactfulness given by Section 5 should not to be characterized or made concrete in such a way that it changes over an optional matter into an inflexible rule of law. 


Condonation of detainment is the cure given to the parties if they come up short to approach the court amid the restrain that the law has given to them. This cure is worked out at the tactfulness of the court. There are cases where the court didn't permit condoning an application for a single day, however there are cases where the court squinted the operation after times. latterly, condonation of detainment is cure where a good case be heeded after provisioning an acceptable cause to the court when the championed period has finished.

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