Muhammed Shafeek v/s M/S Tasty Nut Industries & Ors.; CM.APPL.NO.1/2023
The Limitation Act, 1963 is a crucial piece of legislation that governs the time limit within which legal proceedings must be initiated. It applies to a wide range of cases, including commercial disputes. However, the Act also recognizes that there may be valid reasons for a delay in filing a case, and provides for certain exceptions to the time limit.
The Limitation Act applies to commercial disputes, as confirmed by the High Court of Kerala in a recent case involving an appeal filed by Muhammed Shafeek (the appellant), proprietor of M/S. Best Cashew Traders, against M/S. Tasty Nut Industries. The case concerned a delay of 25 days in filing the appeal, which the appellant sought to have condoned. The Hon’ble Court ultimately granted the application, but only after considering the specific circumstances of the case.
One of the arguments against the application of the Limitation Act to commercial disputes is that it may hinder the expeditious resolution of such disputes. However, the Act recognizes the importance of timely resolution of disputes and provides for strict adherence to the time limit. Each day’s delay is viewed seriously, and it cannot be condoned as a matter of course, without valid and sufficient reasons.
The Act also provides for certain exceptions to the time limit, which may be invoked in exceptional cases. For example, Section 14 of the Act provides that the time during which a person is prevented by any sufficient cause from taking an action shall be excluded from the computation of the time limit. This provision recognizes that there may be valid reasons for a delay in filing a case, such as illness, financial hardship, or other unforeseen circumstances.
The Hon’ble Court has made it clear that the exceptions to the time limit should be invoked only in exceptional cases. In the appellant’s case, the court noted that the delay of 25 days was not a significant one, and that the appellant had not provided any compelling reasons for the delay. However, the court ultimately granted the application to condone the delay, taking into account the fact that the appellant had diligently defended his case before the trial court and that the delay was not due to any negligence on his part.

Author of this article:
Adv. Ravish Bhatt,
Partner, R&D Law Chambers,
Dual Qualified Lawyer Solicitor | International Tax Affiliate

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