Statute of Limitation is Founded on Public Policy

The Statute of Limitation is founded on public policy, its aim being to secure peace in the community, to suppress fraud and perjury, to quicken diligence and to prevent oppression. It seeks to bury all acts of the past which have not been agitated unexplainably and have from lapse of time become stale.

According to Halsbury’s Laws of England, Vol. 24, p. 181:

“330. Policy of Limitation Acts. The courts have expressed at least three differing reasons supporting the existence of statutes of limitations namely, (1) that long dormant claims have more of cruelty than justice in them, (2) that a defendant might have lost the evidence to disprove a stale claim, and (3) that persons with good causes of actions should pursue them with reasonable diligence”.

An unlimited limitation would lead to a sense of insecurity and uncertainty, and therefore, limitation prevents disturbance or deprivation of what may have been acquired in equity and justice by long enjoyment or what may have been lost by a party’s own inaction, negligence’ or laches.

(See: Popat and Kotecha Property v. State Bank of India Staff Assn. (2005) 7 SCC 510; Rajendar Singh & Ors. v. Santa Singh & Ors., AIR 1973 SC 2537; and Pundlik Jalam Patil v. Executive Engineer, Jalgaon Medium Project, (2008) 17 SCC 448).

Supreme Court
Basawaraj & Anr. Vs. The Spl. Land Acquisition Officer, 2013 AIR SCW 6510