In an important ruling, a large Bench of the Supreme Court of India clarified that while calculating the period of one month which is prescribed under Section 142(b) of the Negotiable Instruments Act (“N.I. Act”), the period has to be reckoned by excluding the date on which the cause of action arose.
Reaching its conclusion on the basis of Section 9 of the General Clauses Act, 1897 (not on Section 12 Limitation Act) and on the basis of a long line of English decisions, the Court said “it is not possible to hold that the word ‘of’ occurring in Section 138(c) and 142(b) of the N.I. Act is to be interpreted differently as against the word ‘from’ occurring in Section 138(a) of the N.I. Act; and that for the purposes of Section 142(b), which prescribes that the complaint is to be filed within 30 days of the date on which the cause of action arises, the starting day on which the cause of action arises should be included for computing the period of 30 days.”