Status as on- 08/04/2020
The Supreme Court of India in taking Suo moto cognizance of the unprecedented situation arising out of the spread of the COVID-19 and resultant difficulties such as lockdown ordered for extension of the period of limitation. The said order applies in all proceedings, irrespective of the limitation prescribed under the general law or Special Laws. The said period came into effect from 15th March 2020 till any further orders are passed by the Supreme Court. That such a necessary step was taken owing to the fact that all sorts of legal actions are governed by time i.e. there is a fixed timeline to file suits, to file appeals to file complaints, etc. Thus, a situation like a lockdown where all courts are closed or functioning for urgent matters, running out of time period became an issue which was addressed by the Supreme Court in its order.
The Coronavirus pandemic has resulted in nationwide lockdown which has been imposed by the Union as well as the respective state governments till 14th April 2020. The restrictions over movement and closure of institution raised the situation of resultant difficulties that were being faced by litigants across the country in filing their petitions/ applications/suits/appeals/all other proceedings within the period of limitation prescribed under the general law of limitation or Special Laws (both Central and/or State).
Supreme Court Orders
Thus, On March 23, 2020, the Supreme Court of India exercised its powers under Article 142 read with Article 141 of the Constitution of India and ordered that
“the period of limitation in all such proceedings, irrespective of the limitation prescribed under the general law or Special Laws whether condonable or not shall stand extended with effect from 15th March 2020 till further order/s to be passed by the Court in present proceedings.”
The three-judge bench comprising the Hon’ble Chief Justice S.A Bobde, Justice L. Nageswara Rao, and Justice Surya Kant delivered the Order. The Bench took Suo moto cognizance of the unprecedented situation arising out of the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Therefore, one thing becomes certainly clear that in all cases and the timelines prescribed under the Limitation Act or different laws like Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, the Arbitration Act, 1996 or any other action will stand extended. That you do not need to worry with respect to any complaint or appeal running out of time as the same shall now stand extended.
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