In a lawsuit relating to claim under Fatal Accidents Act, the Supreme Court viewed as that period of limitation under residuary Article 113 cannot be invoked if there is any other specific entry governing the event. The claimants wanted a bigger period of limitation of three years under Article 113, and tried to contend that the period of limitation of two years under Article 82 was not applicable to the case.
The claim was raised against Jodhpur Vidhyut Veteran Nigam Ltd., in respect of the death of a person who died of electrocution by touching a naked electric wire, while he was travelling on the roof top of a bus. The claim was put forward by the widow and children of the deceased two years after the date of expiry, but within three years there from. The claim was dismissed as bus.
The argument of the claimants was that Article 113 of the Limitation Act should be used. Article 113 is a residuary provision, providing for limitation for suits for which no period of limitation has been offered for in the schedule of the Limitation Act. As per Article 113, the period of limitation for such miscellaneous suits is three years from the date when the right to sue accrued.
The Court deemed that the claim would be regulated by Article 82 of the Schedule, which specifically dealt with a claim of compensation under Fatal Accidents Act by executors, administrators or representatives under the Fatal Accidents Act. The period of limitation provided was two years from the date of death. Thus, it was entertained that when a specific provision was available, resort to the residuary clause under Article 113 was not possible.
The claimants placed reliance on Jay Laxmi Salt Works (P) Ltd. vs. State of Gujarat (1994) 4 SCC 1 to contend that period of limitation for a tortious claim was three years. All the same, the said decision was picked out; pointing out that it was a case for restitution for loss of impairment to a property, and not a case under Fatal Accidents Act. For a case of general damages under tortious claim, the period of limitation will be three years. Merely, in case of destruction, it is ruled by the Fatal Accidents Act, for which there is a specific provision available as Article 82. It was mentioned as hereunder:
Once a specific period of limitation is preferable to any of the entries in the Schedule to the Limitation Act, 1963, then the residuary Article 113 cannot be invoked. In the instant case, for a suit for damages under the Fatal Accidents Act, 1855 Article 82 provides for a specific period of limitation, viz., two years from the date of death of the person.
By: Manavi Joshi