A 3-judge bench of Apex Court held that, ‘It is well settled law that it is the duty of the court to respect the legislative intent and by giving liberal interpretation, limitation cannot be extended by invoking the provisions of Section 5 of the Act.‘
From Para 20,
Commissioner of Customs and Central Excise Vs Ms Hongo India (P) Ltd. and Anr on 27 Mar 2009
20) Though, an argument was raised based on Section 29 of the Limitation Act, even assuming that Section 29(2) would be attracted what we have to determine is whether the provisions of this section are expressly excluded in the case of reference to High Court. It was contended before us that the words “expressly excluded” would mean that there must be an express reference made in the special or local law to the specific provisions of the Limitation Act of which the operation is to be excluded. In this regard, we have to see the scheme of the special law here in this case is Central Excise Act. The nature of the remedy provided therein are such that the legislature intended it to be a complete Code by itself which alone should govern the several matters provided by it. If, on an examination of the relevant provisions, it is clear that the provisions of the Limitation Act are necessarily excluded, then the benefits conferred therein cannot be called in aid to supplement the provisions of the Act. In our considered view, that even in a case where the special law does not exclude the provisions of Sections 4 to 24 of the Limitation Act by an express reference, it would nonetheless be open to the court to examine whether and to what extent, the nature of those provisions or the nature of the subject-matter and scheme of the special law exclude their operation. In other words, the applicability of the provisions of the Limitation Act, therefore, to be judged not from the terms of the Limitation Act but by the provisions of the Central Excise Act relating to filing of reference application to the High Court. The scheme of the Central Excise Act, 1944 support the conclusion that the time limit prescribed under Section 35H(1) to make a reference to High Court is absolute and unextendable by court under Section 5 of the Limitation Act. It is well settled law that it is the duty of the court to respect the legislative intent and by giving liberal interpretation, limitation cannot be extended by invoking the provisions of Section 5 of the Act.
Citations : [2009 SCC 5 791], [2009 JT 7 83], [2009 AIR SC 2325], [2009 LW 2 495], [2009 AIOL 407], [2009 ELT SC 315 449], [2009 SCALE 4 374], [2009 SCR 4 1197], [2009 SUPREME 3 120], [2009 ITR SC 315 449], [2009 ELT SC 236 417], [2009 VST SC 24 298]
Other Sources :