Saturday 8 May 2021

Whether an entry of debt made in the balance sheet can amount to an acknowledgement of liability as per S 18 of the Limitation Act?

 Going by the above provisions, a balance sheet is the statement of assets and liabilities of the company as at the end of the financial year, approved by the Board of Directors and authenticated in the manner provided by law. The persons who authenticate the document do so in their capacity as agents of the company. The inclusion of a debt in a balance sheet duly prepared and authenticated would amount to admission of a liability and therefore satisfies the requirements of law for a valid acknowledgement under S. 18 of the Limitation Act, even though the directors by authenticating the balance sheet merely discharge a statutory duty and may not have intended to make an acknowledgement.”

31. In Zest Systems Pvt. Ltd. v. Center for Vocational and Entrepreneurship Studies, 2018 SCC OnLine Del 12116, the Delhi High Court held:

“5. In Shahi Exports Pvt. Ltd. v. CMD Buildtech Pvt. Ltd. (supra) this court held as follows:— “7. It is hardly necessary to cite authorities in support of the well-established position that an entry made in the company's balance sheet amounts to an acknowledgement of the debt and has the effect of extending the period of limitation under section 18 of the Limitation Act, 1963. 

 6. In view of the legal position spelt out in judgments noted above, the acknowledgement of the debt in the balance sheet extends the period of limitation. The acknowledgement is as on 31.3.2015. This suit is filed in 2017. The suit is clearly within limitation. The present application is allowed.”

Supreme Court of India
Asset Reconstruction Company ... vs Bishal Jaiswal on 15 April, 2021
Author: Rohinton Fali Nariman

Bench: Rohinton Fali Nariman, B.R. Gavai, Hrishikesh Roy
Read full Judgment here: Click here
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