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Standard Chartered Bank v. Andhra Bank Financial Services Ltd. and Ors. - (Supreme Court) (28 Aug 2015)

Knowledge of a specific person against whom a suit can be instituted is required under “first learns”



The Supreme Court held that Standard Chartered Bank's claim borne from a purchase of bonds worth nearly Rs. 50 crores for which it only received a photocopy of the letter for allotment was not time barred. Noting that under Article 91(a) of the Schedule in Limitation Act, 1963, the period of limitation started running from the date when the person 'first learns' about the conversion of moveable property, a certain degree of knowledge had to be attributed to meet the requirement. A mere suspicion or a whisper of knowledge was not enough for the period of limitation to start running. Given the facts of the case, the Court determined 'first learns' required knowing the identity of a specific person in whose possession the bonds were and that he acquired the possession of the said bonds under an arrangement, which in law would constitute wrongful conversion.

Relevant : K.S. Nanji and Co. v. Jatashankar Dossa and Ors. MANU/SC/0252/1961 Sarat Kamini Das v. Nagendra Nath Pal MANU/WB/0459/1925 Standard Chartered Bank v. Andhra Bank Financial Services Ltd. and Ors. MANU/SC/2534/2006


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