India: Applicability Of Limitation Act To Proceedings Under The Insolvency And Bankruptcy Code, 2016

The much debated I&B Code, 2016 was enacted by the Government to correct the mounting burden of debts on business and corporate houses and to improve the NPA status of banks. It aimed towards a measure which provided the companies an option to revive and start afresh, simultaneously giving the creditors their due. The code has been used by several creditors to recover their dues or debts. In such a scenario one question arises that whether for a time-barred claim/debt an application under the I&B Code can be filed. The question has arisen in a no. of cases.

In Deem Roll-Tech Limited v. M/S R.L. Steel & Energy Ltd.,23 the question pertaining to initiation of CIRP for a timebarred claim came before the Principal Bench of NCLT. The debt had arisen out of sale and the last payment by the debtor was made on 25.02.2014. Holding that the provisions of Limitation Act, 1963 are applicable to applications under I&B Code, it was observed by the bench as follows:

"Sec. 255 of IBC provides that the Companies Act 2013 shall be amended in the manner specified in the eleventh schedule to IBC and a perusal of the eleventh schedule of IBC discloses the amendments made to the Companies Act 2013 of several provisions though not section 433 of the Act wherein specifically the provisions of the Limitation Act 1963 (36 of 1963) is made applicable and that it shall, as far as may be apply to the proceedings or appeals before the Tribunal or Appellate tribunal as the case may be. Hence in the absence of any specific bar in the IBC to the application of the Limitation Act, 1963 coupled with the provisions of Sec. 433 of the Act as contained in the Companies Act 2013 which makes Limitation Act applicable to this Tribunal the debt as claimed by the petitioner is barred by limitation and hence cannot be the basis for invoking IBC before this Tribunal".

A similar question arose in Sanjay Bagrodia v. Sathyam Green Power Pvt. Ltd.24 before the Principal Bench at New Delhi. To counter the plea that Limitation Act will be applicable to proceedings under I&B Code, the counsel for the operational creditor contended that tribunals are creatures of a statute and the Limitation Act, 1963 cannot be read into the Statutes creating the Tribunals unless it is expressly provided. He drew the attention of the Bench to Section 238 of I&B Code and argued that this is a non-obstante clause which provide that the IBC will have its effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in other laws for the time being in force.

The bench relied on its decision in Deem Role and held that limitation period is applicable and that the rule of prudence requires that public policy of law must be given effect which is widely followed. Law does not come to the rescue of those who sleep over their rights. It comes to the help of those who are vigilant. Explaining the non-obstante nature of section 238 of the Code, the bench observed as follows:

"The other argument based on Section 238 of IBC would also not advance the case of the applicant because Section 238 only postulates that if there is any conflict between the provisions of IBC and any other existing law then IBC would prevail. It is obviously a non-obstante clause. Nothing has been pointed out to us to highlight any conflict so as to attract the application under Section 238 of the IBC."

Hon'ble Justice MM Kumar in Sanjay Bagrodia also referred Section 60(6) of the Code and held that it provides for application of Limitation Act, 1963 to the I&B Code. The section provides as follows:

"(6) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Limitation Act, 1963 or in any other law for the time being in force, in computing the period of limitation specified for any suit or application by or against a corporate debtor for which an order of moratorium has been made under this Part, the period during which such moratorium is in place shall be excluded".

Interpreting the aforesaid provision Hon'ble J. MM Kumar observed as follows:

"The simple result flowing from the plain reading of Section 60(6) IBC is that the claim made before the NCLT must also be within the period of limitation as prescribed by the Limitation Act, 1963."

Thus, the petition of the operational creditor, being for a claim outside the net of limitation period was dismissed. Nevertheless, the position seems to have now been changed with the ruling given by Appellate Tribunal NCLAT in Neelkanth Township and Construction Pvt. Ltd. v. Urban Infrastructure Trustees Limited.25 The NCLAT held that there is nothing on the record that Limitation Act, 1963 is applicable to I&B Code. There is no provision of the I&B Code which suggest that the Law of Limitation is applicable. The bench observed as follows:

"The I & B Code, 2016 is not an Act for recovery of money claim, it relates to initiation of Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process. If there is a debt which includes interest and there is default of debt and having continuous course of action, the argument that the claim of money by Respondent is barred by Limitation cannot be accepted.

Therefore, as of now the law stands on the footing that for bringing application under I&B Code, 2016, adherence to Limitation Act, 1963 is not required. Even when a creditor comes up with a time-barred claim/ debt, the process of Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process can be initiated at his instance. The ruling of the NCLAT is in consonance with the propounded object of the Code i.e. it is not a forum or tool for debt recovery but a platform for reinstating and revival of business which cannot be denied merely because the claim has become time-barred and there can be no default in respect of the same.


23 Company Application No. (I.B.) 24/PB/2017.

24 C.P. No. (IB)108(PB)/2017, MANU/NC/0465/2017.

25 Company Appeal (AT) (Insolvency) No. 44 of 2017, MANU/ NL/0063/2017.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

*** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.