Chapter XXXVI deals with limitations for taking cognizance of certain offences. Section 467 provides the definition of “Period of Limitation”.

Question: What do you mean by the object of Period of limitation? Discuss the bar to take cognizance after the lapse of the period of limitation. When the period of limitation starts? [JK. J. S., 2011] Find the answer only on Legal Bites. [What do you mean by the object of Period of limitation? Discuss the bar to take cognizance after the lapse of the period of limitation. When does the period of limitation starts?] Answer The general rule prescribed in the maxim nullum tempus...

Question: What do you mean by the object of Period of limitation? Discuss the bar to take cognizance after the lapse of the period of limitation. When the period of limitation starts? [JK. J. S., 2011]

Find the answer only on Legal Bites. [What do you mean by the object of Period of limitation? Discuss the bar to take cognizance after the lapse of the period of limitation. When does the period of limitation starts?]

Answer

The general rule prescribed in the maxim nullum tempus occurrit regi—lapse of time does not bar the right of the Crown—shows that, in general, the rule of equity, vigilantibus et non-dormientibus jura subveniunt (the law assists those that are vigilant with their rights and not those that sleep thereupon), does not apply to the Crown.

Chapter XXXVI deals with limitations for taking cognizance of certain offences. Section 467 provides the definition of “Period of Limitation”. It states: For the purposes of this Chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, “period of limitation” means the period specified in section 468 for taking cognizance of an offence. Section 468 in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 provides for Bar to take cognizance after the lapse of the period of limitation. It states:

“(1) Except as otherwise provided elsewhere in this Code, no Court shall take cognizance of an offence of the category specified in sub- section (2), after the expiry of the period of limitation.

(2) The period of limitation shall be-

  • six months, if the offence is punishable with fine only
  • one year, if the offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year;
  • three years, if the offence is punishable with imprisonment for term exceeding one year but not exceeding three years.

(3) For the purposes of this section, the period of limitation in relation to offences which may be tried together, shall be determined with reference to the offence which is punishable with the more severe punishment or, as the case may be, the most severe punishment.”

The object of this section in putting a bar of limitation on prosecution was clearly to prevent the parties from filing cases after a long time, as a result of which material evidence may vanish, and also prevent the filing of vexatious and belated prosecutions. The object which the section seeks to sub-serve is clearly in consonance with the concept of fairness of trial as enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution.

Further, Section 469 of the code fixes the day from which the period of limitation laid down under the previous section should begin to run. In general, the period of limitation should run from the date of the offence. To this, there are two exceptions:

  • If the aggrieved party or the police officer was not aware of the commission of the offence, then the earliest day on which either of them becomes aware of such offence, will be the date for the purpose of commencement of limitation.
  • Similarly, if the offender’s identity was not known, then the first day on which either the aggrieved person or the police officer comes to know of his identity will be the date of commencement of limitation.

The provision is made so that an offender may not escape punishment by absconding for the statutory period. For computation purposes, the first day will be excluded. The limitation would start from the date of the filing of the defamatory complaint and not from the date of the dismissal of that complaint when the subsequent complaint is filed after the dismissal of the previous complaint.


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Updated On 2023-01-08T22:35:59+05:30
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