Time Period Excluded U/Section 14 Limitation Act Cannot Be Counted For Computing The Period For Which Delay Can Be Condoned : Supreme Court

Time Period Excluded U/Section 14 Limitation Act Cannot Be Counted For Computing The Period For Which Delay Can Be Condoned : Supreme Court

The Supreme Court observed that time period excluded under Section 14 of Limitation Act cannot be counted for the purpose of computing the period for which delay can be condoned.

Exclusion of time is different, and cannot be equated with condonation of delay, the bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and JK Maheshwari observed.

In this case, Appellate Deputy Commissioner (Commercial Taxes) (FAC), Vijayawada, dismised an appeal holding that the delay is beyond condonable period. This order was upheld by the Andhra Pradesh High Court. The High Court noted that the petitioner had challenged assessment order dated 18.01.2018 before it and on the self same day the writ petition was dismissed at the stage of admission by order dated 07.03.2018 giving liberty to the petitioner to avail the statutory remedy under the Andhra Pradesh Value Added Tax Act. “However, the petitioner availed said remedy after 60 days ie, beyond the maximum period that may be condoned under law. Hence, the appeal was dismissed as barred by limitation”the court had observed.

In appeal, the Apex Court bench noted that the period from the date of filing of the writ petition on 24.02.2018 and the date on which it was dismissed as not entertained viz. 07.03.2018, should have been excluded in this case.

“The writ proceedings were maintainable, but not entertained. Bona fides of the appellant in filing the writ petition are not challenged. Further, immediately after the dismissal of the writ petition, the appellant did file an appeal before the Appellate Authority. On exclusion of the aforesaid period, the appeal preferred by the appellant would be within the condonable period.”, the court said.

Section 14 Limitation Act

Section 14 of the Limitation Act provides for the exclusion of time of proceeding bona fide in court without jurisdiction. The said provision reads as follows:

(1) In computing the period of limitation for any suit the time during which the plaintiff has been prosecuting with due diligence another civil proceeding, whether in a court of first instance or of appeal or revision, against the defendant shall be excluded, where the proceeding relates to the same matter in issue and is prosecuted in good faith in a court which, from defect of jurisdiction or other cause of a like nature, is unable to entertain it.

(2) In computing the period of limitation for any application, the time during which the applicant has been prosecuting with due diligence another civil proceeding, whether in a court of first instance or of appeal or revision, against the same party for the same relief shall be excluded, where such proceeding is prosecuted in good faith in a court which, from defect of jurisdiction or other cause of a like nature, is unable to entertain it.

(3)….

For the purposes of this section,— (a) in excluding the time during which a former civil proceeding was pending, the day on which that proceeding was instituted and the day on which it ended shall both be counted; (b) a plaintiff or an applicant resisting an appeal shall be deemed to be prosecuting a proceeding; (c) misjoinder of parties or of causes of action shall be deemed to be a cause of a like nature with defect of jurisdiction.

Exclusion of time is different..

On Section 14 Limitation Act, the court noted thus:

“Exclusion of time is different, and cannot be equated with condonation of delay. The period once excluded, cannot be counted for the purpose of computing the period for which delay can be condoned. Of course for exclusion of time under Section 14 of the Limitation Act, 1963, the conditions stipulated in Section 14 have to be satisfied.”

Allowing the appeal, the bench directed the Appellate Authority to examine the appeal on merits.

Case details

Laxmi Srinivasa R And P Boiled Rice Mill vs State Of Andhra Pradesh | 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 964 | SLP(C) 11225/2022 | Nov 14, 2022 | Justices Sanjiv Khanna and JK Maheshwari

For Petitioner(s) Mr. Vidya K. Sagar, Adv. Mr. Ajit Kumar Jha, Adv. Mr. KS Rana, AOR

For Respondent(s) Mr. Mahfooz A. Nazki, AOR Mr. Polanki Gowtham, Adv. Mr. Shaik Mohamad Haneef, Adv. Mr. T. Vijaya Bhaskar Reddy, Adv. Mr. KVGirish Chowdary, AdV. Ms. Rajeswari Mukherjee, Adv. Ms. Niti Richhariya, Adv.

headnotes

Limitation Act, 1963; Division 14 – Exclusion of time is different, and cannot be equated with condonation of delay. The period once excluded, cannot be counted for the purpose of computing the period for which delay can be condoned – For exclusion of time under Section 14, the conditions stipulated in Section 14 have to be satisfied – Referred to Consolidated Engineering Enterprises vs Principal Secretary, Irrigation Department (2008) 7 SCC 169 and Kalpraj Dharamshi v Kotak Investment Advisors Limited (2021) 10 SCC 401.

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