On Thursday a bench led by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana mentioned that the April 27, 2021 order would be lifted from October 1, 2021. The Hon’ble Chief Justice of India particularly stated “I think we can lift the order. We can now say that period of extension will be upto October 1.” KK Venugopal, Attorney General for India agreed on this suggestion. The Attorney General stated that there is presently no containment zone anywhere.
On 27 April 2021, the Hon’ble Supreme Court ordered that in respect of all judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings in the country, under any general or special laws, the limitation period shall stand extended until further orders. A plea in this regard by the Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association (SCAORA) was moved. The Hon’ble Court said that a detailed order regarding the case would be passed by the Court to implement its powers under Article 142 of the Constitution. The bench including the Hon’ble Chief Justice N.V. Ramana, Justice Surya Kant, Justice AS Bopanna had remarked “The steep rise in COVID-19 cases is not limited to Delhi alone but it has engulfed the entire nation. The extraordinary situation caused by the sudden and second outburst of COVID-19 Virus, thus, requires extraordinary measures to minimize the hardship of litigant–public in all the states,”.
Last year on March 23, 2020, a similar order was passed by the Bench would be restored. The Hon’ble Court on March 2020 took up the issue of suo moto and ruled the limitation period suspensions, due to difficulties experienced by the litigants in approaching the courts in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. Moreover, the court clarified that till further orders the period from March 14, 2021, shall also be excluded in evaluating the periods mentioned 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.
On Tuesday, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India passed “We, therefore, restore the order dated 23rd March, 2020 and in continuation of the order dated March 8, 2021 direct that the period(s) of limitation, as prescribed under any general or special laws in respect of all judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings, whether condonable or not, shall stand extended till further orders.”
Reviewed by Bipasha Kundu