Supreme Court on Tuesday, upheld the Gauhati High Court Judgment that the Limitation Act, 1963 to be applicable to the State of Mizoram. Rejecting the contentions raised by the appellant, Apex Court bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and N.V Ramana, held that the Notification dated 14.3.1966 is not applicable to the Union Territory and the successor State of Mizoram by virtue of Section 24 of the General Clauses Act.
In this case, Trial Court had held that the Limitation Act, 1963 would not be applicable to bar the suit of the appellant. The Gauhati High Court, on appeal, held the Limitation Act, 1963 to be applicable to the State of Mizoram and hence the suit filed by the appellant for declaration of title etc. was dismissed as being time barred. This judgment by the High court is assailed by the appellants in Supreme Court.
The contention of the appellant was that the Governor of Assam issued Notification in 1966 whereby the operation of the Limitation Act 1963 was excluded from the tribal areas of Assam as specified in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. The appellants also pointed out that Gauhati High Court in The State of Meghalaya vs. U. William Mynsong had held that in view of this notification , the Limitation Act 1963 will not apply to the State of Meghalaya. The court however said that it does not agree with the reasons cited in the Judgment cited by the appellants.
The Apex Court quoted in approval the judgment Regional Provident Fund Commissioner vs. Shillong City Bus Syndicate & Ors “In other words, until such notification is published by the President, all Acts of Parliament which are not occupied by the provisions contained in paragraph 3 shall proprio vigore become operative in the area of the Autonomous Regions or Districts in the State of Meghalaya.”. The court clarified that Para 12A referred to therein pertains to the autonomous Districts or Regional Councils in the State of Meghalaya whereas in the instant case the relevant provisions of the Sixth Schedule would be Paragraph 12B as initially applicable to the Union Territory of Mizoram and thereafter to the State of Mizoram.
In response to the argument of the appellant that the Section 24 of General clauses Act would be applicable, the court said “We do not see how the said provisions of the General Clauses Act can have any application to the present case.”
Read the Judgment here.