Recently, the Hourable Supreme Court of India vide their order in CIVIL ORIGINAL JURIDICTION in Miscellaneous Application no. 21 of 2022 in Miscellaneous Application no. 665 of 2021 in Suo Moto Writ Petition(C) No. 3 of 2020, has once again agreed to revive the extension of limitation period for filing of petitions, applications, suits and appeals in Courts and tribunals in view of raising COVID due to new variant, i.e. Omicron.
It may be worthwhile to note here that earlier Hon’ble Supreme Court extended the period of limitation in all proceedings before the Courts/Tribunals including Supreme Court w.e.f 15.03.2020 till 02.10.2021.
Now, the SCAORA’s application contended that there has been a drastic change in the Covid pandemic situation, in the view of a new variant, more particularly Omicron. The plea added that considering the alarming rise in the Covid cases, it becomes necessary to restore the relaxation with regard to the period of limitation.
A Bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justices L Nageswara Rao and Surya Kant said that it is agreeing the request made by Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association (SCAORA) to restore the order of extension limit.
This order is issued with following directions:
- The order 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 that the period from 15.03.2020 till 28.02.2022 shall stand excluded for the purposes of limitation as may be prescribed under any general or special laws in respect of all judicial or quasi judicial proceedings”,
- 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 ofof limitation remaining, all persons shall have a limitation period of 90 from 01.03.2022. In the event 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 28.02.2022 shall also stand excluded in computing the periods prescribed under Sections23 (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 138of 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 proceedings”.