(a) Enable any suit, appeal or application to be instituted, preferred or made, for which the period of limitation prescribed by the Indian Limitation Act, 1908, expired before the commencement of this Act; or (b) Affect any suit, appeal or application instituted, preferred or made before, and pending at, such commencement.
If an application for the execution of a decree passed before the commencement of the 1963 Act is filed after the commencement of the 1963 Act the question of limitation is to be decided under the 1908 Act. The Act of 1963 does not enable any suit to be instituted after the suit has been barred under the Act of 1908. In cases where the period of limitation is increased but the cause of action has already become barred, Section 31 makes it clear that the rights will not be revived.
In C.V Purushotham v. Chinna Jeeyangar Mutt, (AIR 1975 AP 153), it has been held that when the period of limitation prescribed by the old Limitation Act for leave to appeal expired before the enforcement of the new Act, the respondent acquires a vested right to urge that the remedy has been extinguished.
Section 31 deals with cases where the period of limitation prescribed by the new Act is longer than one prescribed under 1908 Act. Section 31(a) of the Limitation Act, 1963 embodies the general principle of the law of limitation that the new Act cannot revive barred claims under the repealed Act (Act of 1908) in the absence of specific statutory provision. Even though the new Act prescribed longer period of limitation the claims which was barred under the repealed Act cannot be revived. Provision of clause (b) of Section 31 of the Limitation Act, 1963 states that the provision of new Limitation Act shall not affect any suit, application or appeal, instituted, made or preferred before and pending at the commencement of the Act. In Dhanalakshmi v.
Ramaswamy, [(1973) MLJ 399], it has been held that when an application for execution of the decree was pending on the date when the new Act came into force but it was dismissed on 5th June, 1964 and on 5th September, 1967 a fresh execution petition was filed three years after the dismissal of the earlier application but within 12 years of the date of the decree, such application would be governed by New Limitation Act and the application cannot be held to be barred by limitation.