Extension of limitation period due to covid-19 ended by Supreme Court

Extension of limitation period due to covid-19 ended by Supreme Court. Period from 15.03.2020 till 14.03.2021 to be excluded.

ABCAUS Case Law Citation
ABCAUS 3467 (2021) (03) SC

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Hon’ble Supreme Court had taken suo motu cognizance of the difficulties faced by the litigants in filing petitions, suits, appeals, other proceedings within the period of limitation prescribed under the general law of limitation or under any special laws. 

Accordingly, the Court by order had extended the period of   limitation prescribed under the general law or special laws whether compoundable or not with effect from 15.03.2020 till further orders. The said order was extended from time to time.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that lockdown has been lifted and the country is returning to normalcy and almost all the Courts and Tribunals are functioning either physically or by virtual mode.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court opined that the extension of the limitation period having served its purpose is no longer required.

Accordingly, the Apex Court issued the following directions: –

1.In computing the period of limitation for any suit, appeal, application or proceeding, the period from 15.03.2020 till 14.03.2021 shall stand excluded. Consequently, the balance   period of limitation remaining as on 15.03.2020, if any, shall become available with effect from 15.03.2021.

2.In cases where the limitation would have expired during the   period between 15.03.2020 till 14.03.2021, notwithstanding   the   actual   balance period of limitation remaining, all persons shall have a limitation period of 90 days from 15.03.2021. In   the event the actual balance period of limitation remaining, with   effect from 15.03.2021, is greater than 90 days, that longer period shall apply.

3.The period from 15.03.2020 till 14.03.2021 shall also stand   excluded in computing the periods prescribed under Sections 23(4) and 29A of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, Section 12Aof the Commercial Courts Act, 2015 and provisos (b) and (c) of Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 and any other laws, which prescribe period(s) of   limitation   for   instituting proceedings, outer limits (within which the courtor tribunal can condone delay) and termination of proceedings.

4.The   Government   of   India   shall   amend   the guidelines for containment zones, to state. “Regulated movement will   be   allowed for medical emergencies, provision of essential goods   and services, and other necessary functions, such as, time   bound applications, including for legal purposes, and educational and job-related requirements 

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