In computing the period of limitation for any suit, appeal, application or proceeding, the period from 15.03.2020 till 14.03.2021 shall stand excluded.
Limitation period due to Pandemic— The Hon’ble Supreme Court took suo motu cognizance of the situation arising from difficulties, which were faced by the litigants in filing petitions/applications/suits/appeals/all other proceedings within the period of limitation prescribed under the general law of limitation or under any special laws (both Central or State). The court vide order dated 27.03.2020 has extended the period of limitation prescribed under the law with effect from 15.03.2020 till further orders. The order dated 15.03.2020 was extended from time to time. The court observed that in view of the changing scenario relating to the pandemic, the extension of limitation should come to an end.
Held that:- The Hon’ble Supreme Court held that (i) in computing the period of limitation, the period from 15.03.2020 till 14.03.2021 shall stand excluded. Consequently, the balance period of limitation remaining as on 15.03.2020, if any, shall become available with effect from 15.03.2021. (ii) In cases where the limitation would have expired during the period between 15.03.2020 till 14.03.2021, notwithstanding the actual balance period of limitation remaining, all persons shall have a limitation period of 90 days from 15.03.2021. (iii) 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.