Supreme Court Recalls Limitation Period Relaxation From October 2- Period From 15.03.20 to 02.10.21 Excluded

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Supreme Court Recalls Limitation Period Relaxation From October 2- Period From 15.03.20 to 02.10.21 Excluded [Read Order]
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The Supreme Court has recalled its April 27, 2021 suo motu order, which had extended the limitation period for filing cases in light of the COVID second wave, with effect from March 14, 2021.

The Court stated that the suo motu extension of the limitation period will be withdrawn as of October 2, 2021.

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A bench comprising of Chief Justice NV Ramana, Justices L Nageswara Rao and Surya Kant issued following order:

The instructions are as follows:

I. The period from 15.03.2020 to 02.10.2021 shall be excluded in calculating the statute of limitations for any suit, appeal, application, or proceeding. As a result, any remaining limitation period as of 15.03.2021, if any, will become available as of 03.10.2021.

II. In cases where the limitation would have expired between 15.03.2020 and 02.10.2021, regardless of the actual balance period of limitation remaining, all persons shall have a 90-day limitation period beginning on 03.10.2021. If the actual balance period of limitation remaining, as of 03.10.2021, is greater than 90 days, the longer period will apply.

III. The period from 15.03.2020 to 02.10.2021 shall also be excluded in computing the periods prescribed by 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, as well as any other laws that prescribe period(s) of limitation for instituting proceedings.

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IV. To state, the Government of India shall amend the guidelines for containment zones.

“Regulated movement will be permitted for medical emergencies, the delivery of essential goods and services, and other necessary functions such as time-bound applications, including for legal purposes, and educational and job-related requirements.”

On March 23, 2020, the Supreme Court issued an order directing that the period of limitation in all such proceedings, regardless of the limitation prescribed under general law or Special Laws, whether condonable or not, be extended w.e.f. March 15, 2020, until further order/s on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.

After observing that the country was resuming normalcy, the extension of limitation was terminated by order dated March 8, 2021.

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