The Supreme Court has ordered that the extension granted with respect to limitation period to file cases in courts in view of COVID-19 pandemic situation, will end on October 2, 2021 (In Re: Congizance for Extension of Limitation).
Consequently, the limitation period will start running from October 3, 2021.
“In computing the period of limitation for any suit, appeal, application or proceeding, the period from March 15, 2020 till October 2, 2021 shall stand excluded. Consequently, the balance period of limitation remaining as on March 15, 2021, if any, shall become available with effect from October 3, 2021,” the order said.
The order also stated that in cases where the limitation would have expired during the period between March 15, 2020 till October 2, 2021, notwithstanding the actual balance period of limitation remaining, all persons shall have a limitation period of 90 days from October 3, 2021. In the event the actual balance period of limitation remaining, with effect from October 3 is greater than 90 days, that longer period shall apply.
The period from March 15, 2020 till October 2, 2021 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.
March 15, 2020 was the date with effect from which extension of limitation was first given in view of COVID-19.
The top court had then taken up the issue suo motu, and directed the suspension of limitation periods in view of the difficulties faced by the litigants in approaching the courts amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the said order was recalled in March 8 this year after a dip in COVID cases.
The Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association had then approached the Supreme Court seeking suspension of limitation periods in view of the surge in COVID-19 cases across the country.
The Supreme Court had then on April 27, 2021 ordered that the limitation period under any general or special laws in respect of all judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings in the country shall stand extended until further orders.
A Bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and AS Bopanna had passed that order.
“The steep rise in COVID-19 cases is not limited to Delhi alone but it has engulfed the entire nation. The extraordinary situation caused by the sudden and second outburst of COVID-19 Virus, thus, requires extraordinary measures to minimize the hardship of litigant–public in all the states,” the Court had observed.
This April order has now been been effectively recalled.
Read Order here: