Period of Limitation

Period of Limitation

The proviso to Sub-section (2) of section 15 lays down that the claim Application shall be made within twelve months.Image result for Period of Limitation in Labour Law diagram
However, in the very next proviso it says that on sufficient ground, the application can be made even after the prescribed limitation.
The apex court held that the firs proviso to section 15(2) ex- faci indicates two alternative termini-a-quo for limitation, namely,
(i) the date on which deduction from wages was made or
(ii) the date on which the payment of wages was due to be made.
The expression “deduction of wages” and “delay in payment of wages” are two distinct concepts. If both these terminii were always relatable to the same point of time then there would be no point in mentioning terminus-a-quo(i) and the legislature could have provided that limitation under section 15(2) would always start from the date on which the wages fall due or accrue.
Since two distinct starting points of limitation referable to two distinct concepts have been stated in the proviso, the legislature has visualised that the date of deduction of wages and the due date of delayed wages may not always coincide. The conjunction “or” and the phrase “as the case may be” are clinching indicia of this interpretation. They are not mere Surplusage and must be given all effect. The legislature is not supposed for indulge in totology. It would, therefore, be contrary to this primary canon of interpretation to held that the two expressors “wages deducted” and “wages delayed” carry the same meaning though used in the alternative.
Where an employee was reinstated, after dismissal, the deduction of wages may synchronies with the act of recistatement. But where the order of reinstatement expressly stated that the
question regarding payment of wages for the interim period would be taken later on it would mean that “deduction” will coincide with the decision (impliedly or expressly) of deduction
of wages.
Therefore, the limitation under the first part of the first proviso will commence from the date on which it was decided to treat the period of dismissal as leave-due which meant leave without pay, and not from the date of reinstatement. Hence the application for claim under section 15(2) within six months (before the amending Act 13 of 1964 giving limitation of twelve months w.e.f 1.2 1965) , from the date of that decision was held to be in time D.R. Jerry v/s Union of India, AIR 1974 SC 130 See also Dilbagh Rai v/s , Union of India AIR 1974 SC 130.
The first proviso lays down that the application shall be presented within twelve months from the date on which the payment was due. The legislature has deliberately said that this period would start from the date on which payment accrues due.
In a case, where an employee is suspended, removed or dismissed, I wage become due to him only when such action is declared void and the employee can not have cause of action before the date of such declaration a.M. N.E. Rly. V/s Surajnath Dubey, 1979 LIC 1427.
The filing of Application for claim was delayed but no order : condoning delay was passed. The parties fully participated in, proceeding without raising objection as to limitation. The court held that the delay must be deemed to have been condoned by implication. Officer Commanding Engineer Stores v/s Authority. PWA, 1977 LIC 1228. See also Sitaram Ramcharan v/s M.N. t Nagrashana, AIR SC 260.
The decision of the Authority to condone the delay is a discretionary matter and it can not be questioned before the High Court or the supreme court. Div. Supdt N. Rlyu v/s Pushakar Octta Sharma (1967) 49 FLR 204.