PROCEEDING IN WRONG FORUM
Write a short note on effect of prosecuting of a suit before a wrong court on limitation?
Section 14 of the Indian Limitation Act, 1963, deals with the provisions of effect of prosecution of a suit before a wrong court on period of limitation. According to this section, if a person files a suit in a wrong court which cannot dispose off the suit for want of jurisdiction and after knowing this fact if that person again files a suit in the court which has jurisdiction and the matter in issue is same in both the suits, then in such a case, the subsequent court has power to exclude that period when the person was prosecuting the suit before the wrong court from the period of limitation and to extend the period of limitation by adding same amount of time which has been excluded.
But, according to this section, the period of limitation can be extended only if the person was prosecuting the suit before the wrong court with due diligence. Basically, it means that he was prosecuting the suit in that court in good faith and without any malafide intention.
In the leading case of Mathura Singh vs Bhawani Singh, the Hon’ble court held that the main aim of this section is to protect the honest litigant from the rigors of his own act which has been done by him in good faith.
Moreover, in the leading case of Basdeo Pd. Khemka vs. U.O.I., the Hon’ble court held that it is not discretion of court to exclude that period which has been mentioned in this section. It is a right of plaintiff to get that period excluded but for this he has to satisfy all the conditions which has been laid down under section 14 of the Indian Limitation Act, 1963.
According to section 14 of the Indian Limitation Act, 1963, while excluding the time, the day on which the former suit was instituted and the day on which the suit was ended, both will be counted. But the whole period will be excluded only if the plaintiff proves that he had filed the suit in good faith.
In the leading case of Jalandher, Improvement Trust, Jalandher vs. Kuldeep Singh, the Hon’ble court held that according to section 14 of the Indian Limitation Act, 1963, the burden of proof to prove good faith is upon the plaintiff and if the plaintiff fails to prove good faith, then in such a case, the burden of proof does not shift upon defendant to prove the contrary.