• What is the time limit to make a claims by legal heirs?

My father and uncle were the only two partners of a firm started by them in 1967. My father died in 1983 without a Will. Afterwards my uncle and my mother continued as partners for one more year. Afterwards I (Son) was also included as a partner. I have two sisters, one elder than me and one younger than me. Elder sister is married and younger sister is not married. When myself, my uncle and my mother were the partners of the firm, we purchased a land for our business during 1992 in the name of the firm. My uncle also died in the year 1993. Myself and my mother continued the business as partners till 2008 but the partnership was not dissolved. Now we have stopped doing the business and land/building is vacant. My uncle, before his death left an unregistered will in my name. Accordingly his personal assets were transferred into my name. Now, during 2009 i.e. after 26 years of my father's death) my sisters and mother have gone to the court  claiming their shares in the land which is in the name of the partnership firm. 
My question is "Is their a time limitation to make claims on properties on the basis of legal heirship?" If "Yes" "How many years?".
Kindly answer my question with Act, Sections and Subsection.
Asked 4 years ago in Civil Law from Bangalore, Karnataka
Law relating to limitation is incorporated in the Limitation Act 1963 which prescribes different periods of limitation for suits, petition or applications.  The statutes of limitation are based on the principles of public policy which diligence and to prevent oppression.The Law of limitation bars the remedy in a court of law only when the period of limitation has expired, but it does not extinguish the right that it cannot be enforced by judicial process. Thus if a claim is satisfied outside the court of law after the expiry of period of limitation, that is not illegal

Bar of Limitation
Sec 3 of the Act provides that any suit, appeal or application if made beyond the prescribed period of limitation, it is the duty of the court not to proceed with such suits irrespective of the fact whether the plea of limitation has been setup in defence or not. The provision of sec 3 are mandatory. The court can suo  motu take note. The effect of sec 3 not to deprive the court of is jurisdiction. Therefore, decision of a court allowing a suit which had been instituted after the period prescribed is not vitiated for want of jurisdiction.
Extension of Time in Certain Cases
Doctrine of sufficient cause
Sec 5 allows the extension of prescribed period in certain cases on sufficient cause being shown for the delay. This is known as doctrine of “Sufficient cause” for condonation of delay which is embodied in sec 5 of the Limitation Act. 1963. Sec 5 provides that any application other than application under provision of order XXI of the code of civil procedure 1908 may admitted after the period of limitation if the appellant satisfies the court that he had sufficient cause for not preferring the appeal. However it must be a cause which is beyond the control of the party.
Person under legal disability
Section 6 is an enabling section to enable persons under disability to exercise their legal rights within a certain time. Section 7 supplements section 6,section 8 controls these section, which served as an exception  to sec 6 and 7. The combined effect of section 6 and 8 is that where the prescribed limit expires before the cessation of disability, for instance, before the attainment of majority, the minor will no doubt be entitled fresh period of limitation.
Computation of period of limitation:
i)  Section 12 to 24 deals with computation of period limitation. As per section 12 the day to be excluded in computing period is the day from which the period is to be reckoned and the time requisite for obtaining a copy of decree shall be excluded.
ii)  Time which leave to sue or appeal as a pauper is applied for also excluded.
iii)  The time which a suit or application stayed by an injunction and the continuance of the injunction and the time taken for obtaining sanction or consent.
Dhawal Bhandari
Advocate, Chandigarh
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