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N.A.S.T. Chidambaram Chettiar Vs. Venkatasubba Naik - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLimitation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1937Mad367; (1937)1MLJ262
AppellantN.A.S.T. Chidambaram Chettiar
RespondentVenkatasubba Naik
Cases ReferredMaqbul Ahmad v. Pratap Narain Singh
Excerpt:
- - 3. if that is so, the prescribed period as i have already said, clearly expired by the 22nd june, 1926, and the endorsement which was made only on the 27th june, 1926, cannot possibly come within the provisions of section 19. 4. in the result, the appeal fails and is dismissed with costs......of the sections concerned. section 4 runs thus: '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'. section 19 reads as follows, omitting unnecessary words: where, before the expiration of the period prescribed for a suit or application in respect of any property or right, an acknowledgment of liability has been made in writing, a fresh period of limitation shall be computed from the time when the acknowledgment was so signed. it will be clear from section 19 that it is necessary that the acknowledgment should be signed before the expiration of the period prescribed. it is equally clear from section 4 that that.....
Judgment:

King, J.

1. The question raised in this second appeal is one of limitation. The suit promissory note was executed on the 12th June, 1923. There was an acknowledgment on the 22nd June, 1923 and a second acknowledgment on the 27th June, 1926. On that date the Court in which the suit should have been filed was closed. It was closed on the 22nd June and re-opened on the 28th June, 1926. The suit was filed on the 6th August, 1929. Both the Courts below have held that the suit was barred by limitation.

2. The argument in appeal is that Section 19 which is the section of the Limitation Act which has to be applied in this case, deals with the period prescribed by the Act as a whole for the filing of a suit and that when the Act as a whole is read, that period will be seen to expire not on the 22nd June, 1926, but only on the 28th June, 1926, when the Court re-opened and therefore three years can be calculated afresh from the 28th June, 1926. In other words, to put the argument very succinctly, it is this, that under Section 19 the period prescribed is to be calculated not only from all the articles and other sections of the Limitation Act but also by including the extension which is given by Section 4., It seems to me that this argument is untenable and obviously appears to be untenable from a mere perusal of the sections concerned. Section 4 runs thus: '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'. Section 19 reads as follows, omitting unnecessary words: Where, before the expiration of the period prescribed for a suit or application in respect of any property or right, an acknowledgment of liability has been made in writing, a fresh period of limitation shall be computed from the time when the acknowledgment was so signed. It will be clear from Section 19 that it is necessary that the acknowledgment should be signed before the expiration of the period prescribed. It is equally clear from Section 4 that that section itself can come into operation only after, the period of limitation prescribed has already expired. In this case therefore the period of limitation prescribed expired on the 22nd June, 1926, but by reason of the provisions of Section 4 a special right was given to the plaintiff to file his suit on a later date when the Court re-opened. It is impossible in my opinion to give a different meaning to the expression 'expiration of the period prescribed' in Section 19 from the meaning which that expression bears in Section 4. True that I have been referred to one case in Allahabad decided by a single Judge in which upon facts similar to the present it has been held that Section 19 can also include the period extended by Section 4 Abdul Ghani v. Chiranji Lal I.L.R. (1927) 49 All. 726, but the weight of authority is decidedly on the other side. There is a Bench decision by the Bombay High Court reported in Bai Hemkore v. Masamalli I.L.R. (1902) 26 Bom. 782; there is a decision of the learned Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court in Debendra Nath Roy v. Kartic Prasad Das I.L.R.(1928) 55 Cal. 1210 and finally there is this very significant sentence in the judgment of the Privy Council reported in Maqbul Ahmad v. Pratap Narain Singh (1935) 68 M.L.J. 665 : L.R. 62 IndAp 80 : I.L.R. 57 All. 242 . Their Lordships of the Privy Council are there discussing the meaning of Section 4 and what they say is this:

What the section provides is that where the period prescribed expires on a day when the Court is closed, notwithstanding that fact an application may be made on the day when the Court re-opens, so that there is nothing in that section which alters the length of a prescribed period.

3. If that is so, the prescribed period as I have already said, clearly expired by the 22nd June, 1926, and the endorsement which was made only on the 27th June, 1926, cannot possibly come within the provisions of Section 19.

4. In the result, the appeal fails and is dismissed with costs.

5. Leave to appeal is refused.


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