Supreme Court order in In Re: Cognizance for extension of Limitation

The Hon’ble Supreme Court has, recently, disposed of the Miscellaneous Application No. 665 of 2021 filed by Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association, in In Re: Cognizance for extension of Limitation, SMW (C) No. 3 of 2020.
The Hon’ble Court held its hearing on 23.09.2021, and after detailed submissions from counsels, observed that there is a consensus that the relaxation of the period of limitation need not be continued any further.
The order dated 23.09.2021 has been passed in continuation of the previous orders, dated 23.03.2020, followed by order dated 08.03.2021, followed by order dated 27.04.2021, on the subject matter of extraordinary situation caused by the outburst of COVID-19 virus that necessitated extraordinary measures to minimize the hardship of litigant-public in all the States.
Following directions were issued by the Hon’ble Court:-
1.  In computing the period of limitation for any suit, appeal, application or proceeding, the period from 15.03.2020 till 02.10.2021 shall stand excluded. Consequently, the balance period of limitation remaining as on 15.03.2021 (sic 15.03.2020), if any, shall become available with effect from 03.10.2021.

2. In cases where the limitation would have expired during the period between 15.03.2020 till 02.10.2021, notwithstanding the actual balance period of limitation remaining, all persons shall have a limitation period of 90 days from 03.10.2021. In the event the actual balance period of limitation remaining, with effect from 03.10.2021, is greater than 90 days, that longer period shall apply.

3. The period from 15.03.2020 till 02.10.2021 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

4. 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.”

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