Statute of Limitations

June 8, 2024

The statute of limitations in Indian law refers to the legal principle that sets the maximum time period within which a lawsuit or legal action must be initiated after the occurrence of an alleged offense or injury. The statute of limitations serves to promote fairness, certainty, and finality in legal proceedings by preventing stale claims, preserving evidence, and encouraging prompt resolution of disputes. Different types of claims may be subject to specific statutes of limitations, which vary depending on the nature of the claim, the applicable law, and the jurisdiction. For example, civil claims such as breach of contract, personal injury, or property damage may have different limitation periods than criminal offenses such as theft, fraud, or assault. The limitation period typically begins to run from the date of the alleged harm or the discovery of the injury, depending on the nature of the claim and the applicable legal standard. Once the statute of limitations expires, the claim is said to be time-barred, and the plaintiff loses the right to pursue legal action against the defendant. However, certain exceptions or tolling provisions may extend the limitation period in cases involving fraud, concealment, disability, or other equitable considerations. The statute of limitations balances the interests of plaintiffs in seeking redress with the need for finality and predictability in the legal system, ensuring that legal claims are pursued in a timely manner.


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