The Supreme Court on Monday concluded the extension of the limitation period for filing of cases granted by the Court in March last year on account of COVID-19 pandemic and the national lockdown.
The Supreme Court Bench comprising Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde, Justice L. Nageswara Rao, and Justice S. Ravindra Bhat disposed of the suo moto case In Re : Cognizance of extension of Limitation with the following directions:
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.
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.
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 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 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.”
The Apex Court extended last year on 23 March 2020 the limitation period for filing in all courts and tribunals with effect from 15 March, 2020.