2010 M L D 68
Before Raja Muhammad Shafqat Khan Abbasi, J
ADDITIONAL DISTRICT JUDGE, BUREWALA, DISTRICT VEHARI and 2 others—Respondents
Writ Petition No. 3285 of 2009, heard on 28th May, 2009.
Muhammad Khalid Farooq for Petitioner.
Malik Muhammad Naeem Iqbal for Respondent No.3 with Zulifqar Ahmad Food Inspector.
Date of hearing: 28th May, 2009.
RAJA MUHAMMAD SHAFQAT KHAN ABBASI, J.–Through this constitutional petition, the petitioner has assailed the judgment, dated 27-3-2009 passed by the learned Additional District Judge, Burewala, District Vehari, whereby he while allowing revision petition set aside the order, dated 26-5-2008 passed by the learned Civil Judge, Burewala and rejected the plaint filed by the petitioner under Order VII, Rule 11 of the C.P.C., being barred by time.
2. Succinctly the facts giving rise to this petition are that the petitioner/plaintiff filed a suit for recovery of Rs.50,00,000 for defamation in Civil Court at Burewala against respondent No.3/defendant, who filed an application under Order VII, Rule 11 of the C.P.C. on the ground that the suit is barred by time and the same is liable to be dismissed, which was dismissed by the learned Civil Judge 1st Class, Burewala vide order, dated 26-5-2008; being aggrieved of the said order, respondent No.3/defendant filed a revision petition before the learned Additional District Judge at Burewala, who vide judgment, dated 27-3-2009 while allowing the same accepted the application under Order VII, Rule 11 of the C.P.C., and rejected the plaint being barred by time. Hence, the instant petition.
3. The sole ground urged in support of this petition is that the suit of the petitioner/plaintiff is governed by provisions of section 120 of the Limitation Act, 1908, which provides six years period for filing of such a suit. He relies on the case of Muhammad Yousaf v. Syed Ghayyur Hussain Shah, etc.1993 SCMR 1185.
4. After hearing the learned counsel ‘for the parties and going through the record available on the file as also the judgment impugned herein, it has been observed that the suit was filed on the basis of F.I.R. No.215/04, which was lodged against the petitioner/plaintiff under sections 272/273, 5(a) b(1)(c)23(c) P.F.O. 1960, Rules 1965 in Police Station City Burewala, which was also published in the newspapers. The petitioner/plaintiff faced agony of trial and ultimately earned acquittal from the Court of learned Magistrate on 5-7-2006. Thereafter he filed a suit for compensation of Rs.50,00,000 on the basis of defamation on 21-11-2007 after about 16 months of his acquittal. Sections 23 and 24 of the Limitation Act provide limitation for filing of a suit for compensation on the basis of malicious prosecution as one year and the limitation starts when the plaintiff is acquitted or the prosecution otherwise terminated and similarly under section 24 of the Limitation Act the limitation to file the suit for compensation for libel would start from the publication of defamatory material. The learned Additional District Judge while allowing revision petition has minutely considered each and every aspect of the matter and has rightly come to the conclusion that the right to file suit for defamation accrued to the petitioner/plaintiff, when he earned acquittal, but it is apparent from the record that he had filed the suit after about sixteen months of his acquittal. Relevant portion of the impugned judgment is reproduced as under:
“That according to para. No.4 of the plaint, the respondent/ plaintiff was acquitted from the aforementioned criminal case on 5-7-2006, but he filed his suit for compensation of Rs.50,00,000 on the basis of defamation on 21-11-2007 after expiry of about 4-1/2 months from actual limitation period of one year, the limitation in this preposition as I have already discussed has been mentioned in section 23 of the Limitation Act, which is one year and in my humble view the residuary section 120 of Limitation Act does not attract in this proposition because that would attract only in those cases in which no limitation has been provided in the main law of limitation. I have carefully gone through the case law referred by the learned counsel for the respondent/plaintiff cited in 1993 SCMR 1185 and I observe that the facts of case in hand and fact of esteemed case law mentioned supra are entirely different.”
The reasons advanced by the learned Additional District Judge are elaborate. No infirmity or illegality has been found therein to call for interference by this Court in its constitutional jurisdiction. It is settled principle of law that the object of law of limitation is to help the vigilant and not the indolent and that the law of limitation is required to be construed strictly, coupled with the maxim that each day of delay to be explained by the party concerned. In these circumstances, I have not been able to take view different from the one taken by the learned Additional District Judge.
5. Resultantly, there is no merit in this petition, which is hereby dismissed.
H.B.T./U-11/L Petition dismissed.