Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Pratibha M. Singh, J., rejected the counter claim filed by the defendant holding it to be barred by limitation under Section 55 of Limitation Act.

The Plaintiff had filed a recovery suit against the defendants for non-payment of dues on completion of a construction work. The defendants filed a counter claim on the ground that the plaintiff left the work in between and they had to engage a third party contractor for completion of work. The counter claim was opposed by the petitioner contending that it was barred by limitation under Section 55, as any claim of compensation has to be filed within a period of three years as prescribed by the section. The defendants took a stand that the breach committed by the plaintiff continued till the time the third party contractor completed the work.

The High Court perused the record and held, the fact that the defendants had to engage third-party contractors would not extend the period of limitation in so far as the plaintiff was concerned, as the date of abandonment was a complete cause of action in itself.  Relying on Supreme Court decision in Bal Krishna Savalram Pujari v. Dayaneshwar Maharaj Sansthan, AIR 1959 SC 798, the High Court observed that the engagement of new contractors could not extend the period of limitation as the concept of limitation is not elastic to include the conduct of third parties. On the said reasoning, the Court rejected the counter claim of the defendants as time-barred. The matter was directed to be listed before appropriate District Judge. [KLA Construction Technologies (P) Ltd. v. Chadha Sugar and Industries (P) Ltd.,2018 SCC OnLine Del 10226, decided on 30-07-2018]




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