Referred to Larger Bench XXVII: The Drastic Power of Rejecting a Plaint IV

A party should not be penalized for failing to adopt legal proceedings when facts or documents have been wilfully concealed from him. A party who had acted fraudulently should not be given benefit of limitation, running in its favor, by virtue of such frauds [Pallav Sheth v. Custodian, (2001) 7 SCC 549].

Section 17 of The Limitation Act, 1963 does not encompass all kinds of frauds, but specific situations. Once aware of antecedent facts necessary to pursue legal proceedings, period of limitation commences [P. Radha Bai v. P. Ashok Kumar, (2019) 13 SCC 445].

Whether applicant had means to know of fraud is a relevant consideration. It is manifest, Section 17(1) does not protect a party at fault for failure to exercise reasonable diligence when circumstances demand such exercise and on exercise of which applicant could have discovered fraud.

Section 17(1) does not assist a person who merely shuts his eyes in spite of circumstances requiring him to ascertain facts on which he would have discovered fraud. Unadorned assertion feigning ignorance would not help.

Judgments of Single Judge and Division Bench of High Court, dismissing suit as being barred by limitation, are upheld.

Hon’ble Justice Sanjiv Khanna, Saranpal Kaur Anand v. Praduman Singh Chandhok, [Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 27994 of 2016].

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Salim Bhai v. State of Maharashtra, (2003) 1 SCC 557; Samala v. K.T. Eshwara Sa, (2008) 12 SCC 661; Soumitra Kumar Sen v. Shyamal Kumar Sen, (2018) 5 SCC 644; Shakti Bhog Food Industries Ltd. v. Central Bank of India, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 482; Srihari Hanumandas Totala v. Hemant Vithal Kamat, (2021) 9 SCC 99.

It is absolutely clear, for invoking Order 7, Rule 11(d) and for purpose of rejecting a plaint, on ground: suit is barred by any law, only averments made in plaint have to be referred to and written statement, being wholly irrelevant, must not be considered.

Single Bench erroneously considered and Division Bench fallaciously referred to, contentions in written statement.

Hon’ble Justice Bela M. Trivedi, Saranpal Kaur Anand v. Praduman Singh Chandhok, [Special Leave Petition (Civil) No. 27994 of 2016].