IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 12851 OF 2017
(Arising out of S.L.P.(C) No. 26011 of 2016)
DAMINI AND ANOTHER … APPELLANT (S)
JODHPUR VIDYUT VITRAN NIGAM
LIMITED AND ANOTHER … RESPONDENT (S)
J U D G M E N T
2. What is the period of limitation for filing a suit or claim under
The Fatal Accidents Act, 1855 is the issue arising for
consideration in this case.
3. The appellants are the widow and son of one Pradeep Bhai
Patel who worked as a driver of a bus. The deceased was
driving passengers from Ahmedabad to Rajasthan. When the
bus reached a dharamshala, the deceased climbed the
rooftop of the bus to bring down the luggage of the
passengers. When the deceased was on the rooftop, a naked
electricity wire touched his hand. Due to the electrocution,
the deceased fell down from the roof of the bus. Thereafter,
he was rushed to the hospital where he was declared dead
by the doctors. The cause of death was the contact with the
live electricity wire.
4. The appellants filed an application under Section 1A of the
Fatal Accidents Act, 1855 before the District Judge, Jaisalmer,
Rajasthan claiming Rs.22,68,000/- towards damages. The
claim was resisted on the ground of limitation among other
5. According to the respondents, under Article 82 of The
Limitation Act, 1963, the claim should have been presented
within two years from the date of death of the person. The
contention was upheld and the claim petition was dismissed.
The decision was upheld by the High Court as well, and thus,
the appellants are before this Court.
6. It is the contention of the appellants that the petition filed
before the District Judge has to be treated as a Civil Suit for
damages, and hence, it was the residuary entry, viz., Article
113 which should have been applied, in which case, the
limitation is three years from when the right to sue accrues
which is the date of death, i.e., 14.09.2008.
7. In the present case, the claim petition was preferred on
05.09.2011 before the District Judge, and therefore,
according to the learned Counsel for the appellants, the
petition was within time.
8. We are afraid the contentions raised by the appellants
cannot be appreciated. Part VII of the Schedule to the
Limitation Act, 1963 which provides for period of limitation
deals with suits relating to tort. Article 82 is under Part VII.
The same reads as follows:
“PART VII- SUITS RELATING TO TORT
Period of limitation Time from
es under the
(13 of 1855).
Two years. The date of
the death of
9. Under Part X, Article 113 reads as follows:
“PART X-SUITS FOR WHICH THERE IS NO PRESCRIBED PERIOD
Period of limitation Time from
Any suit for
Three years. When the
right to sue
10. As rightly contended by Shri Punjeet Jain, learned Counsel
appearing for the respondents, once a specific period of
limitation is referrable to any of the entries in the Schedule
to the Limitation Act, 1963, then the residuary Article 113
cannot be invoked. In the instant case, for a suit for damages
under the Fatal Accidents Act, 1855 Article 82 provides for a
specific period of limitation, viz., two years from the date of
death of the person.
11. Part VII of the Schedule deals with the “suits relating to tort”.
Therefore, when a suit for compensation is filed under the
Fatal Accidents Act, 1855, the same has to be filed within the
period of two years as prescribed under Article 82 of the
Limitation Act, 1963. In the instant case, the action for
damages is brought under Section 1A of the Fatal Accidents
Act, 1855. The provision reads as follows:
“[1A.] Suit for compensation to the family of a
person for loss occasioned to it by his death by
actionable wrong.-Whenever the death of a person
shall be caused by wrongful act, neglect or default,
and the act, neglect or default is such as would (if
death had not ensued) have entitled the party injured
to maintain an action and recover damages in respect
thereof, the party who would have been liable if death
had not ensued, shall be liable to an action or suit for
damages, notwithstanding the death of the person
injured and although the death shall have been caused
under such circumstances as amount in law to felony
or other crime.
Every such action or suit shall be for the benefit
of the wife, husband, parent and child, if any, of the
person whose death shall have been so caused, and
shall be brought by and in the name of the executor,
administrator or representative of the person
and in every such action, the court may give such
damages as it may think proportioned to the loss
resulting from such death to the parties respectively,
for whom and for whose benefit such action shall be
brought, and the amount so recovered, after deducting
all costs and expenses, including the costs not
recovered from the defendant, shall be divided
amongst the before-mentioned parties, or any of them,
in such shares as the court by its judgment or decree
12. The appellants have placed reliance on the decision of this
Court in Jay Laxmi Salt Works (P) Ltd. v. State of
to justify their argument that Article 113 should be
applied for computation of period of limitation. Jay Laxmi
(supra) was not a case of death of a person and it was also
not a case under the Fatal Accidents Act, 1855. It pertained
to a claim of damages for loss due to damage to property.
Therefore, Jay Laxmi (supra) has no relevance in a suit for
damages under the Fatal Accidents Act, 1855. It is also to be
noted that there is no particular period of limitation under
the Fatal Accidents Act, 1855. Therefore, the suit under
Section 1A of the Fatal Accidents Act, 1855 has to be filed
(1994) 4 SCC 1
within two years.
13. However on a query as to whether there is a scheme under
the first respondent for providing compensation to the
victims, the learned standing Counsel has informed us that
there is a scheme under the Rules now applicable wherein
the legal heirs of the deceased person are entitled to a
one-time compensation of Rs.5 lakhs. The accident is of the
year 2008. Therefore, we are of the view that it is a fit case
to invoke our jurisdiction under Article 142 of the
Constitution of India and grant Rs. 7 lakhs as compensation.
The first respondent shall pay this amount to the first
appellant within two months from today otherwise the
appellants will be entitled to interest of 12 per cent per
annum from the date of the accident and the officers
responsible for the delay shall be personally liable for the
14. We make it clear that this order is passed under the peculiar
facts of this case and hence, it is not to be treated as a
15. The appeal is disposed of as above. There shall be no order
as to costs.
SEPTEMBER 14, 2017.
ITEM NO.1501 COURT NO.5 SECTION XV
S U P R E M E C O U R T O F I N D I A
RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS
Petition(s) for Special Leave to Appeal (C) No(s). 26011/2016
DAMINI & ANOTHER Petitioner(s)
MANAGING DIRECTOR, JODHPUR VIDHYUT VITRAN
NIGAM LTD & ANOTHER Respondent(s)
Date : 14-09-2017 This petition was called for Judgment today.
For Petitioner(s) Mr. Balraj Dewan, AOR
(Appearance slip not given)
For Respondent(s) Ms. Pratibha Jain, AOR
(Appearance slip not given)
Hon’ble Mr. Justice Kurian Joseph pronounced the reportable
Judgment of the Bench comprising His Lordship and Hon’ble Mrs.
Justice R. Banumathi.
The appeal is disposed of.
Pending interlocutory applications, if any, stand disposed of.
(JAYANT KUMAR ARORA) (RENU DIWAN)
COURT MASTER ASSISTANT REGISTRAR
(Signed reportable Judgment is placed on the file)