Justice Prevails: Supreme Court’s Landmark Ruling on Limitation Act

In a significant ruling, the Supreme Court has underscored the essence of justice by excluding the time spent by litigants contesting bonafide litigation in the wrong forum from the computation of limitation under Section 14(2) of the Limitation Act.

Dismissing the High Court’s findings, a Bench comprising Justices Sanjay Karol and Aravind Kumar emphasized that Section 14(2) of the Limitation Act carves out an exception for situations where proceedings are pursued diligently and in good faith in a court that is unable to entertain them due to jurisdictional defects or similar causes.

The judgment, penned by Justice Sanjay Karol, endorsed the holistic interpretation of Section 14, emphasizing that applicants prosecuting civil proceedings diligently before a forum lacking jurisdiction are entitled to exclusion of the time spent in such pursuits when calculating the limitation period. This aligns with the court’s stance in the case of Sesh Nath Singh v. Baidyabati Sheoraphuli Coop. Bank Ltd.


The case revolves around the rejection of an execution application seeking enforcement of a decree issued in the appellant’s favor by the trial court under Section 182 of the Jammu and Kashmir Limitation Act. The trial court rejected the application citing limitation, arguing that the time spent by the appellant contesting the litigation for execution at the Tehsildar Court, which lacked jurisdiction, couldn’t be excluded.

The High Court upheld the trial court’s decision, prompting the appellant to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court’s Observations

The appellant contended that Section 14(2) of the Limitation Act, akin to Section 182 of the Jammu and Kashmir Limitation Act, entitled them to exclusion of time spent pursuing remedies before the Tehsildar. The Supreme Court, concurring with this argument, held that the time consumed in pursuing litigation in good faith at the wrong forum must be excluded from the limitation period calculation.

Referring to the conditions laid out in Consolidated Engg. Enterprises v. Principle Secy, Irrigation Department, the court affirmed:

– Both proceedings must be civil in nature, prosecuted by the same party.
– The failure of the prior proceeding should be due to a jurisdictional defect.
– Both proceedings must pertain to the same matter in issue and be conducted in a court.

The court concluded that the appellant’s time spent contesting the application in good faith at the inappropriate forum should be excluded from limitation calculation, fulfilling all conditions stipulated for invoking Section 14 of the Limitation Act.


The court’s ruling, excluding the time period from 18.12.2000 to 29.01.2005, ensures that the execution application falls within the prescribed limitation period of three years under Article 182 of the Limitation Act. Consequently, the appeal was allowed, and the execution application was reinstated for fresh consideration by the Munsiff Court, Hiranagar (Trial Court).

In this pursuit of justice, the legal counsels for both parties played pivotal roles, ensuring fair representation and adherence to legal principles throughout the proceedings.

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