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Hon'ble Supreme Court Extends limitation period in view of surge of COVID-19 cases

Hon'ble Supreme Court Extends limitation period in view of surge of COVID-19 cases

11 Jan, 2022

With the outbreak of Omicron cases in India, a new variant of Coronavirus, and a sudden increase in COVID-19 cases, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India on Monday (10.01.2022) has again ordered the extension of the limitation period for filing of cases and applications in Hon’ble Courts and tribunals till 28.02.2022. The suo moto order was passed by the Hon’ble Court to withdraw the said limitation period with effect from October 1, 2021, due to subsiding COVID cases in India.

 

Taking the note of the impending third wave of COVID-19, the Hon’ble Court ordered as, “[t]he ordered dated 23.03.2020 is restored and in continuation of the subsequent orders dated 08.03.2021, 27.04.2021 and 23.09.2021, it is directed that the period from 15.03.2020 till 28.02.2022 shall stand excluded for the purpose of limitation as may be prescribed under any general or special laws in respect of all judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings.” Further, the directions from the Hon’ble Court are reproduced as follows:

 

  • Consequently, the balance period of limitation remaining as on 03.10.2021, if any, shall become available with effect from 01.03.2022.
  • In cases where the limitation would have expired during the period between 15.03.2020 till 28.02.2022, notwithstanding the actual balance period of limitation remaining, all persons shall have a limitation period of 90 days from 01.03.2022. In the event, the actual balance period of limitation remaining, with effect from 01.03.2022 is greater than 90 days, that longer period shall apply.
  • It is further clarified that the period from 15.03.2020 till 28.02.22 shall also stand excluded in computing the periods prescribed under Sections 23(4) and 29A of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, Section 12 A 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 Hon’ble court or tribunal can condone delay) and termination of proceedings.”

 

Given the above, the readers would appreciate that the order also applies to the Intellectual Property Offices (IPO), commercial courts, and other similar authorities equally. It is advisable that all applications/petitions/suits/condonation of delay applications/ all other proceedings pending for filing and the due date of which expired on or after 15.03.2020 till 28.02.2022 must be planned to be filed accordingly within the extended limitation period pursuant to the present order of the Hon’ble Court.

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