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e-filing of documents would duly be taken into consideration for the purpose of limitation: Delhi HC


The Delhi High Court noted that the e-filing of documents would duly be taken into consideration for the purpose of computation of limitation by the tribunals and courts across the country.


The Single Judge Bench of the Delhi High Court comprising Justice Prathiba Singh was recently hearing a petition on the issue of e-filing of documents and application of limitation, held that the e-filing of documents would duly be taken into consideration for the purpose of computation of limitation by the tribunals and courts across the country.


The Petitioner has preferred this petition seeking the quashing of the impugned order issued by the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).


Learned Counsel for the Petitioner submitted that the impugned order requires the physical filing of documents before the NCLAT, for the purpose of computation of limitation.


An appeal was filed before the NCLAT challenging the said order. As per Section 61 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, an appeal against an order passed under Section 419(5) of the Companies Act, 2013 can be filed before the NCLAT within a period of thirty days. However, the said thirty-day period can be extended by another 15 days, if there was sufficient cause.


The Petitioner has filed the appeal and the same was stated to be listed before the NCLAT on 9th December 2022.


Learned Counsel for the Petitioner submitted that the maximum limitation period of 45 days expired on 12th November 2022 which was a Saturday. The case of the Petitioner was that the e-filing of the appeal was done on 11th November 2022, which was a Friday and the physical filing was done on Monday i.e., on 14th November 2022. The issue being raised by the Learned Counsel was that, since the 45 days limitation period expired on 12th November 2022, which was a Saturday, the delay in filing the appeal would be liable to be condoned.


The High Court has considered the matter and observed that the computation of the time period under the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal Rules, 2016 is set out in Rule 3. Further, it has been observed that Rule 103 of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal Rules, 2016 specifically permits electronic filing.


The apprehension expressed by the Petitioner was that in view of the above order dated 21st October 2022 and given that the e-filing was done within limitation, the physical filing was done on the following Monday.


Since the matter was pending adjudication before the NCLAT, which was a duly constituted Tribunal under Section 410 of the Companies Act, 2013, the High Court did not wish to give any opinion on the factual issue i.e., whether the appeal was within the limitation period or not. The High Court observed that the prevalent position with regard to the e-filing of documents across Courts and Tribunals in the country, encouraging e-filing, which may become the norm in the future, would duly be taken into consideration by the Tribunal.


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