Updated: May 20
Legal disability is an inability to sue due to minorities to sue owing to minority, lunacy, or idiocy. The law recognizes no other ground as sufficient for extending the period of limitation. The effect of legal disability is that it extends the periods of limitation, but it does not prevent the period from running. The provisions as to disability apply only when the plaintiff is under a disability and not when the defendant suffers therefrom. The main provision 6,7 and 8 of the Limitation Act.
Section 6 deals with initial disability and lays down the general rule in case of a person under initial disability Section- 7 provides a special rule from some of these cases. Section- 8 serves as an exception to sec-6 and 7. The general rule regarding legal disability is provided by sec-6 which reads as below-
1- Where a person entitled to institute a suit or make an application from the execution of a decree is at the time from which the prescribed period is to be considered, a minor or insane, or an idiot, he may institute the suit or make the application within the same period after the disability has discontinued, as would otherwise have been allowed from the time specified therefor in the third column of schedule.
2- Where such person is, at the time from which the specified period is to be considered, affected b two such disabilities, or where, before his disability has stopped, as would otherwise are allowed from the time so prescribed.
3- Where the disability continues up to the death of that person his legal representative may institute the suit or make the application within the same period after the death, as would otherwise have been permitted from the time so specified.
4- Where the legal representative( minister) referred to in sub-section (3) is at the death of a person to whom he represents, affected by any of such disabilities the rules contained in sub-sec (1) and (2) shall apply.
5- Where a person under disability, dies after the disability discontinue but within the period permitted to him under this section, his legal representative may associate the suit or make the application within the same period after the death, as would otherwise have been accessible to that person had he not died.
EXPLANATION- for the purposes of this section, ‘minor’ includes a child in the womb. So section- 6 doesn’t prevent the running of limitation but only increases the period of limitation on the ground of disability of person entitled to use or apply. Sec-6 excuses an insane person, minor and an idiot to file a suit or make an application for the execution of decree within the time specified by law and empowers him to file the suit or make an application after the disability has discontinued, counting the period of time from the date on which the disability discontinued. If one disability succeeds on another disability or one disability is followed by another without leaving a gap the suit or application for execution may be filed after both disabilities have stopped to exist. If the disability or disabilities continue till the person’s death then the legal representative of the deceased or whom the title devolves is permitted to file a suit or make an application for execution within the time permitted by law counting it from the death of the person entitled.
The only fact that there is a guardian for the person under disability doesn’t deprive such person of the benevolence admitted by section-6.
In Akhtar Hussain v/s Qudrat Ali AIR 1923 Oudh,31 it was observed that sec-6 of limitation Act has no application in case of appeals. Legal disability is an inability to sue owing to minority, lunacy, or idiocy. The effect of legal disability is that it increases the period of limitation but not stop the period from continuing.
Sometimes a situation arises when one of the several persons jointly entitled to institute a suit or to execute a decree is under disability. In this connection sec-7 of the act says that if one of the several persons jointly entitled to institute a suit or make an application for the execution of a decree, is under any such disability and a exhale can be given without the concurrence of such person, the time will run against all of them. However, if such evolve cannot be given, time will not run as against any of them until one of them becomes capable of giving such discharge without the concurrence if the other or until the disability has discontinued. So sec- 7 of Limitation Act would apply when the right to sue is joint irrespective of whether the substantive right is joint or not. Section- 8 of the Indian Limitation Act makes it clear the rules contained in sec- 6 and 7 are subject to the f
following conditions: a- They can’t be applied to the suits to enforce rights of pre-emption. b- They can’t be applied to any of the cases in which extension of the period of limitation for more than three years from the cessation of disability or the death of a person as the case may be, is sought for.