I have to file SLP in SC on the point of Limitation as my suit was rejected as time barred, though all other issues on merit decided in my favour. My case comes under Article 113 of Schedule to Limitation Act but Trial court wrongly applied ratio of judgement of SS Rathore (of Artilce 58) to my suit for recovery of amount as per bond which had a condition to serve for 3 years even when I was allowed Voluntary retirement by a public sector co. There was a decision of lower authority to deduct the amount, I represented to Competent Authority who took a decision to reject my representation. My suit is time barred from the date of deduction but within time limit from the date of decision of Chairman, the Competent Authority under the Retirement Scheme. Main ground of my SLP is stated below.
Looking forward to guidance. Am prepared to take legal consultation on a fee from some competent Advocate who is fully aware of Article 7, 58 and 113 and the relevant judgements. Pl email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Because the Trial Court having decided all the issues in favour of the Petitioner with regard to merits of his claim, and having dismissed the suit solely on the ground of limitation, the High Court has grossly erred in passing the impugned judgment, dismissing the statutory first appeal and that too summarily. The High Court failed to appreciate that the Trial court wrongly applied to this case the law laid down in S.S. Rathore Vs. State of M.P. 1989 (4) SCC582 which pertained to the suit for declaration under Article 58 of the Limitation Act 1963 where the period of limitation starts from the date on which the cause of action arises first, whereas the case of the Petitioner falls under Article 113 of the Limitation Act where period of limitation would be differently computed depending upon the last day when the cause of action therefor arose as per law laid down by the Apex Court in citations Union Of India And Ors Vs West Coast Paper Mills Ltd. & Anr 2004 (2) SCC 747 and Bhag Mal (alias) Ram Bux & Ors Vs. Munshi 2007(1) SCR 1114.
Because the ratio of the ruling in S S Rathore supra in respect of first cause of action under Article 58 can only be applied to either Article 58 or at most to those Article of the Limitation Act 1963 which have the word “first” under the expressions / heading “time from which period begins to run” and cannot be taken to apply to the whole of the Limitation Act and particularly not to Article 113 where the last day of cause of action (and not the first one) is required to be considered as per Apex Court’s ruling in West Coast Paper Mills Ltd supra.
Because the trial court failed to appreciate the striking difference between ‘first day’ stated for Article 58 and ‘last day’ stated for Article 113. If a suit falls under Article 58, then there has to be a statutory provision for appeal or representation to higher authority to extend the time limit to last day of the decision of higher authority. However, for suits under Article 113, when the law already provides for time limit to reckon from last day, there is no need of any such extension as required for Article 58 and therefore there need not be any statutory provision for appeal / representation to the higher authority.
Because even if the ratio S.S. Rathore supra were to be followed, the Trial Court failed to observe that in Para 20 of the citation, the rule of law for extension of the time limit from first cause of action on the basis of Statutory provision of appeal was made mandatory by use of word “shall” whereas for cases which did not have such statutory provisions for appeal, the Apex Court left the matter to discretion based on merits of individual cases by use of word “may”. The difference between word “shall” in first sentence for time extension and word “may” in the second last sentence limiting the time extension only in case of Statutory Appeal provides discretion even where Article 58 of Limitation Act is applicable and there is no provision for Statutory appeal. It is a very fair and justified approach to first exhaust the channels of review available with the Respondent Co. and obtain decision of the Competent Authority before initiating legal proceeding. It is a settled law that the court while considering application of the Limitation Act will consider the facts and circumstances not for taking too strict and pedantic stand which will cause injustice but to consider it from the point of taking a view which will advance the cause of justice. Besides, going by the spirit of the doctrine of merger, decision of the lower Authority would merge into the decision of the Chairman. Therefore, this case is a fit case to merit exercise of the discretion as stated above in the interest of natural justice.