Distinction between Limitation and Prescription

  1. Limitation is an adjective law whereas prescription is a branch of substantive law.
  2. Limitation bars the enforcement of a right whereas prescription creates a right.
  3. Limitation is negative right while prescription is an affirmative or assertive right.
  4. Limitation only extinguishes the right of the claimant to sue in a court of law whereas prescription creates or extinguishes a right.
  5. According to the Limitation Act, time and period after the expiry of which one’s right to get his substantive right enforced by a court of law, comes to an end. Whereas prescription indicates a period after the expiry of which one’s right becomes absolute.
  6. Limitation applies to all suits, appeals and application dealt with by the Act, unconditionally. Whereas, in the case of acquisition of a title under prescription, it is absolutely necessary the claimant must have enjoyed the use of the property peaceably, openly, without any interruption and as of right; if the prescriptive right was enjoyed clandestinely forcefully no legal right accrues to the claimant. 
  7. In the cases of limitation, there is no question of presumption. The provisions are quite clear and direct and they leave no room for any presumption of supposition. Prescription is based on a legal presumption that if the claimant had used and enjoyed the property for a certain number of years openly and as of right it must be presumed that the real owner had no objection to the enjoyment of the property by the claimant. 

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