Owing to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in India, the Supreme Court in March 2020 took Suo Motu cognizance of the situation arising out of the challenge faced by the country and resultant difficulties that may be faced by litigants across the country in filing their petitions/applications/suits/appeals and all other proceedings within the period of limitation prescribed under the general law of limitation or under Special Laws (both Central and/or State) and by exercising its power under Article 142 read with Article 141 of the Constitution of India, 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 w.e.f. 15th March 2020 and that this order would be a binding order within the meaning of Article 141 on all Courts/Tribunals and authorities across India.
Since these orders have been modified and have finally been recalled as on date, our Partner Abhimanyu Chopra has compiled a bookmarked edition of all orders in the Suo Moto Writ (Civil) No. 3 of 2020 and M.A. 665 of 2021 in Re: Cognizance for extension of limitation to be used as a ready reckoner.
BEFORE THE HON’BLE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
SUO MOTO WRIT (CIVIL) NO. 3 of 2020
IN RE : COGNIZANCE FOR EXTENSION OF LIMITATION
|S. No.||Order Dated||Court Order in brief||Page No.|
|1.||23.03.2020||Ordered that a period of limitation in all petitions / applications / suits / appeals/all other proceedings within the period of limitation prescribed under the general law of limitation or under Special Laws (both Central and/or State) proceedings, irrespective of the limitation prescribed under the general law or Special Laws whether condonable or not shall stand extended w.e.f. 15th March 2020 till further orders.||1-2|
|2.||06.05.2020||All periods of limitation prescribed under the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 and under section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act 1881 shall be extended with effect from 15.03.2020 till further orders.
In case the limitation has expired after 15.03.2020 then the period from 15.03.2020 till the date on which the lockdown is lifted in the jurisdictional area where the dispute lies or where the cause of action arises shall be extended for a period of 15 days after the lifting of lockdown.
|3.||08.06.2020||Prayer for filing reply-affidavit and also reply-in-rejoinder||6-8|
|4.||06.07.2020||Permission seek to file a short note on the various aspects of the Limitation involved in the matter||9-11|
|5.||10.07.2020||Orders shall also apply for extension of time limit for passing arbitral award under Section 29A and for extension of the time limit prescribed under Section 23(4) of the said Arbitration Act.
Time Lines also extended for Section 12 of the Commercial Courts Act for compulsory pre-litigation shall stand extended from the time when the lockdown is lifted plus 45 days thereafter. That is to say that if the above period, i.e. the period of lockdown plus 45 days has expired, no further period shall be liable to be excluded.
Service of notices, summons and pleadings may be effected by e-mail, FAX, commonly used instant messaging services, such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal etc. we direct that in addition thereto, the party must also effect service of the same document/documents by e-mail, simultaneously on the same date.
|6.||08.03.2021||The period from 15.03.2020 till 14.03.2021 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 proceedings.||18-20|
|7.||27.04.2021||Owing to the new surge of cases, the Supreme Court restored the order of 23.03.2020 and 08.03.202 and further suspended limitation under general or special laws in respect of all judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings till further orders under Article 142 read with Article 141 and listed the matter for 19.07.2021. Thereby, effectively limitation stands suspended from 15.03.2020 till date.||21-26|
|8.||01.09.2021||The matter was orally mentioned on the behest of Election Commission of India seeking urgent listing of two applications (i) Seeking Intervention (ii) Seeking Directions.||
|9.||09.09.2021||The Court directed to list all the applications with the main matter before an appropriate bench.||29-31|
|10.||23.09.2021||The Court disposed of the application with certain directions:-