A question recently arose before the High Court of Karnataka in The Dy. Commissioner and Special Land Acquisition Officer vs. S.V. Global Mill Ltd. as to whether extension of time can be granted under Section 5 of the Limitation Act, 1963 to an Appeal filed under Section 74(1) of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (“2013 Act”).
Section 74(1) of the 2013 Act specifies that any challenge to an Award granting compensation has to be made within 60 days of the date of the Award before the High Court. An extension of an additional 60 days may be granted if there are reasonable grounds. The Appeal in the above case was filed beyond the 120 day time period prescribed.
The following issue was answered:
“Whether Section 74(1) of 2013 Act, which is a special law prescribing a different period of limitation than as prescribed under the schedule to the Limitation Act, in terms of Section 3 of the Limitation Act excludes the application of Sections 4 to 24 (inclusive) of the Limitation Act and particularly Section 5 thereof?”
The Hon’ble Court considered the scheme of the 2013 Act and the Limitation Act and held that:
On a reading of Section 74(1) of the 2013 Act, there is no bar, either express or implied, which excludes application of Sections 12 to 14 of Limitation Act. On the other hand, if a mechanical interpretation is given to the words “within sixty days from the date of the Award” and the expression “a further period not exceeding sixty days”, without taking into consideration Sections 12, 13 and 14 of the Limitation Act, it would result in violation of the Constitutional right of a land-loser to seek enhancement by filing an appeal to the High Court.
This update has been contributed by Maneesha Kongovi (Partner).
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