SC restores order extending limitation period till further orders for all judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings.
Earlier, in 2020, the Supreme Court took suo motu cognizance of the situation arising out of COVID-19 Virus and passed order to direct that the period of limitation in filing petitions/ applications/ suits/ appeals/ all other proceedings, irrespective of the period of limitation prescribed under the general or special laws, shall stand extended with effect from 15th March, 2020 till further orders.
After that on 8th March, 2021, the Apex Court ordered that extension of limitation to be ended as apparently when the country was returning to normalcy and all the Courts and Tribunals had started functioning physically or by virtual mode,
In view of the current surge of covid-19, the Supreme Court Advocate on Record Association (SCAORA) had prayed restoration of the order dated 23rd March, 2020.
The Full Bench of the Supreme Court headed by Hon’ble the Chief Justice took notice of the fact that the rise in COVID-19 Virus cases is not limited to Delhi alone but it has engulfed the entire nation.
Their Lordships opined that the extraordinary situation requires extraordinary measures to minimize the hardship of litigant–public in all the states.
Accordingly, the Hon’ble Court restored the order dated 23rd March, 2020 and in continuation of the order dated 8th March, 2021 directed that the period(s) of limitation, as prescribed under any general or special laws in respect of all judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings, whether condonable or not, shall stand extended till further orders.
Limitation period from 14.03.2021 extended for periods in other Acts also
It is further clarified that the period from 14th March, 2021 till further orders shall also stand excluded in computing the periods prescribed under Sections 23 (4) and 29A of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, Section 12A of 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 court or tribunal can condone delay) and termination of proceedings.
The Apex Court clarified that this order has been passed in exercise of our powers under Article 142 read with Article 141 of the Constitution of India. Hence it shall be a binding order within the meaning of Article 141 on all Courts/Tribunals and Authorities.
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