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Marri Narasayya and ors. Vs. Peruri Krishnamurthi - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1928Mad1255
AppellantMarri Narasayya and ors.
RespondentPeruri Krishnamurthi
Cases ReferredMyrugesa Mudali v. Ramaswami Chettiar
Excerpt:
- - 5. the qualifications of section 3 made by, sections 12 and 16 clearly have a cumulative effect when applicable. i see no good reason why an ex-minor, when the period prescribed by the schedule is three years or more should not get the benefit of three years under sections 6 and 8 and also of the periods to be excluded from computation under sections 12, and 16. there is nothing in section 8 to prevent that......opinion that the words 'period of limitation prescribed' in section 15 (1) of the act means the period prescribed by the schedule and ramesam, j., at p. 795 said that a 'period of limitation' probably does not include a mere period of extension such as that given by sections 6 and 8. in neither of these cases was section 4 particularly considered. in shevdas daulatram v. narayanan asaji : air1914mad668(1) , section 4 was considered in connexion with the special temporary extension of two years given by section 31. it was held in that case that the special period of two years was not a 'period of limitation prescribed' and that to the expiry of that period section 4 did not apply but dissent from that case was expressed by sadasiva aiyar and spencer jj., in murugesa mudali v. ramaswami.....
Judgment:

Reilly, J.

1. Mr. Rama Rao for the defendants, who are the appellants here, has urged three points. He has urged' that Ex. A, which purports to show the contents of an entry in an official birth register and has been used to fix the date of the plaintiff's birth, is inadmissible in evidence as it is a copy of a copy. But the learned Subordinate Judge has found that it was admitted by consent in the trial Court and has therefore rightly refused to reject it. I agree with Mr. Rama Rao that, even if a document is admitted to the record by con sent, that alone will not enable either party to prove by that document anything which under the Evidence Act cannot be proved. But, if the parties consent that for the purposes of the case it shall be treated as showing the contents of some other document, then, although the contents of that other document could not be proved under the Act by the document produced, that is of no consequence. The parties may, if they wish, admit the contents of a document not produced and may admit that those contents are correctly shown by any paper produced even if what is written on it purports to be fifty times a copy. The Subordinate Judge has relied on the decision of Devadoss, J., in Latchayya v. Seetaramayya : AIR1925Mad257 . Assuming that what happened in the original Court in that case was what Davadoss, J., assumed or inferred had happened I respectfully agree with his decision. In the present case I understand from the judgment and records that in the trial Court it was admitted that Ex. A correctly represented the entry in the original birth register; and the Subordinate Judge has found that the entry refers to the plaintiff. The admission having been made, it was unnecessary to prove in accordance with the provisions of the Evidence Act what the entry in the original register was.

2. Mr. Rama Rao's second objection is that Ex. B, the bond on which the plaintiff sues, was executed in favour, not of the plaintiff, but of his adoptive mother. The bond runs in favour of 'Seetamma Garu, adoptive mother and guardian of Peruri Krishnamurthi' (the plaintiff). It is contended that the words following 'Seetamma Garu' are only descriptive of her and do not indicate that she was concerned in the transaction only as the guardian of this plaintiff. There is some ambiguity about the wording of the document, though to give the description of the person in whose favour the document is executed as the adoptive mother and guardian of a minor would be most unusual. However it is not necessary to discuss this point as the defendants admitted in their written statement that the bond was executed in favour of the plaintiff.

3. The important point raised in this appeal is a question of limitation. The ordinary period of limitation for the suit expired long before it was instituted; but, as the plaintiff was a minor at the time from which limitation had to be reckoned, he was entitled to institute the suit within three years from the date on which he became a major by the provisions of Sections 6 and 8, Lim. Act. Those three years expired during the vacation of the trial Court, and the plaint was presented about a month later, on the day on which the Court re-opened. The plaint would be within time if Section 4 of the Act applied to such a case. Mr. Rama Rao contends that Section 4 does not apply and that the plaintiff can get his three years under Sections 6 and 8 but no more. His argument is that 'the period of limitation prescribed' to which Section 4 applies, must be 'the period of limitation prescribed therefor by Schedule 1', as mentioned in Section 3 and that the special extension granted by Section 6 is not a period of limitation prescribed by the schedule. In Narasimha Deo Garu v. Krishna Chandra : (1919)37MLJ256 , Abdur Rahim and Spencer, JJ., agreed that the two months, which must be added to a period of limitation under Section 15 (2) cannot be added on to the extension of three years given by Sections 6 and 8, implying that the three years given by these sections is not a period of limitation; but both learned Judges held that the suit was barred for another reason. In Subbarayan v. Natarajan A.I.R. 1922 Mad. 263, Spencer, J., expressed the opinion that the words 'period of limitation prescribed' in Section 15 (1) of the Act means the period prescribed by the schedule and Ramesam, J., at p. 795 said that a 'period of limitation' probably does not include a mere period of extension such as that given by Sections 6 and 8. In neither of these cases was Section 4 particularly considered. In Shevdas Daulatram v. Narayanan Asaji : AIR1914Mad668(1) , Section 4 was considered in connexion with the special temporary extension of two years given by Section 31. It was held in that case that the special period of two years was not a 'period of limitation prescribed' and that to the expiry of that period Section 4 did not apply But dissent from that case was expressed by Sadasiva Aiyar and Spencer JJ., in Murugesa Mudali v. Ramaswami Mudali : AIR1914Mad668(1) in which it was decided that Section 4 did apply to the special, extension of two years given by Section 31; and the learned Judges spoke of that period: of two years as a 'period of limitation prescribed by Section 31'. They stated also that they ad-opted the reasoning in Hira Singh v. Mt. Amarti [1912] 34 All 375, in which one learned Judge definitely held that Section 4 applies to the period of two years given by Section 31 and dissented from 36 Bom. 268 and the other appears to have agreed with him, though he discussed; mainly another aspect of the case. No decision dealing directly with the application of Section 4 to the period of extension given by Sections 6 and 8 has been brought to my notice.

4. In my opinion, the expression, 'the period of limitation prescribed' in Section 4 of the Act is equivalent to 'this period of limitation prescribed therefor by Schedule 1'' as mentioned in the general Section 3, to which Section 4 and most of the following sections of the Act are in the nature of provisos. The same expression 'period of limitation prescribed' without the addition of any such words, as 'by this Act' or 'by Schedule 1' is to, be found in Sections 5, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16. Considering the relation of those sections to Section 3 the proper construction of the expression 'period of limitation prescribed' appears to me to be 'period of limitation prescribed by Schedule 1' as more fully expressed in Section 3. But does that take us far enough to deprive the plaintiff of the benefit of Section 4, which he claims? In one sense it is quite 'clear that neither the extension of time given by Sections 6 and 8 nor the extensions given by Other sections of the Act are themselves periods of limitation prescribed by Schedule 1. If, however, we go back to Section 3, we find that it directs that every suit instituted after the period of limitation prescribed by Schedule 1 shall be dismissed; but that direction is made subject to the provisions of Sections 4 to 25. The effect of that is that the periods of limitation prescribed by the schedule are to be calculated, not with the aid of the schedule alone, but after excluding from the calculation certain periods in accordance with Sections 12-16 after adding periods in accordance with Sections 6 and 8, and in cases to which Section 10 applies extending the period of limitation for ever Section 4 qualifies the direction to he guided by the periods prescribed by the schedule in another way, namely by extending them to the first Court day it they expire on a day when the Court is, closed. Is there anything to prevent these various qualifications to Section 3, having a cumulative; effect: when more than one of them applies? It is urged that the wording of Section 8 makes three years the utmost time which an ex-minor can be allowed in any circumstances But, apart from the fact that Section 10 when applicable overrides all periods, whether for ex-minors or others, it must be noticed that what; Section 8 says is that nothing in Section 6 or 7 shall be: deemed to extend the extensions of time allowed to an ex-minor for more than three years. There is nothing in Section 8 to prevent a provision of a section other than Section 6 or 7: from extending the additional time allowed to an examinor still: further. It is true that in Narasimha. Deo Garu v. Krishna Chandra : (1919)37MLJ256 the learned Judges: were of opinion that the; additional time allowed under Section 15 (2) could not be added on to three years followed by Sections 6 and 8; but the case cannot be treated as a definite decision to that effect. And it must be noticed that one of, those learned Judges, Spencer,, J., decided in Myrugesa Mudali v. Ramaswami Chettiar : AIR1914Mad668(1) , that Sections 4: & 31 could be given a cumulative effect.

5. The qualifications of Section 3 made by, Sections 12 and 16 clearly have a cumulative effect when applicable. And, if an examiner wishes to institute a suit for which the period of limitation prescribed by the Schedule is one or two years, then he, has the benefit of that period, after he becomes a major and to it he may add periods excluded from computation under Sections 12 and 16. So far the effect of Sections 6 and 12, 16 may be cumulative. I see no good reason why an ex-minor, when the period prescribed by the schedule is three years or more should not get the benefit of three years under Sections 6 and 8 and also of the periods to be excluded from computation under Sections 12, and 16. There is nothing in Section 8 to prevent that. Now, if the other qualifications of Section 3, which are to be found in Sections 5 to 25, when applicable may have a cumulative effect, is the qualification in Section 4 different from them in that respect? From its position immediately following the general Section 3, and from the fact that it applies to any suit, appeal or application we might expect that it was intended as a general qualification of Section 3. Rut it happens that the words ' the period of limitation prescribed ' appear in Section 4. As they stand in the section those words present some difficulty. But, when we remember that Section 3 directs the dismissal of a suit only after the expiry of the period prescribed by the schedule as qualified by Sections 4 and 25, I do not think it unreasonable in Section 4 to interpret ' the period of limitation prescribed '-that is the period of limitation prescribed by the schedule-as equally qualified by Sections 5 and 25. Let us suppose that a minor had a right to institute a suit to which Article 1 of Schedule 1 of the Act applies and for which the period of limitation is 30 days. Under Section 6, the 30 days will run from the date on which he becomes a major. But during the whole of those 30 days the Court in which the suit must be instituted may be closed for the vacation. In such a case can Section 4 be so interpreted as to destroy the effect of Section 6? Sections 4 and 25 being all qualifications of Section 3, we must read them, if possible, consistently with each other and in relation to Section 3.

6. The period of limitation mentioned in Section 4 must I think be understood not only as prescribed in the schedule but also as qualified by Sections 5 and 22. If it is suggested that this is a startling or extravagant interpretation of the words '' period of limitation prescribed ' in Section 4, I think it can be shown that those words in that section have long been so interpreted in our Courts. Sections 12 and 16 in cases to which they are applicable add certain periods to the periods of limitation prescribed by the schedule. The Act does not say that those additional periods are to be deemed to be included in the periods of limitation mentioned in Section 3 nor that the expression ' period of limitation prescribed therefor by Schedule 1 ' in Section 3 is to be read or understood as including also those additional periods. The Act merely directs that. when we come to the practical business of calculating the periods of limitation prescribed in the schedule, those additional periods shall be excluded in cases to which they are applicable with the result that we reach longer periods of limitation than we should if guided by the schedule alone. By Section 3 we are directed, when we examine such a case in order to see whether it is time barred, to apply, not the period prescribed by the schedule simply, but the period prescribed by the schedule subject to the provisions of Sections 12 and 16, that is the period prescribed by the schedule as modified or extended' by Sections 12 and 16. That is simple and obvious. But, if the period' of limitation for such a case as prescribed by the schedule and extended by Sections 12'. and 16 expires in a vacation or at any other time when the Court is closed, how do we apply to the case the provisions of Section 4? We do not treat that section as applying only to the period actually prescribed by the schedule and refuse to apply it to that period as extended by Sections 12: and 16. What we do in such a case is to read the words ' the period of limitation) prescribed ' in Section 4 as equivalent to the period of limitation prescribed by the schedule as modified or extended by Sections 12 and 16.

7. That is a matter of every day practice in every Court. Is there any overmastering reason why we should interpret Section 4 in a different way in relation to the cases to which Sections 6 and 8 apply? On the contrary it is proper that, so far as possible, we should interpret the words ' period of limitation prescribed ' in Section 4 in a uniform way and in consonance with, the other provisions of the Act. Interpreting the words ' the period of limitation prescribed ' in Section 4 in this case as equivalent to

the period of limitation prescribed by Schedule 1 as modified by Sections 6 and 8,

8. I find that the plaintiff's suit was instituted in time. This appeal is dismissed with costs.

S.A. Nos. 926 and 1094 of 1925.

9. In these two appeals the same points are raised as in S. A. No. 824 of 1925. These appeals also are dismissed with costs.


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