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Supreme Court Proposes To Lift Suo Moto Extension Of Limitation Given In View Of COVID; Might Give 90 Days Grace Period

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
3 March 2021 7:25 AM GMT
Supreme Court Proposes To Lift Suo Moto Extension Of Limitation Given In View Of COVID; Might Give 90 Days Grace Period
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The Supreme Court on Wednesday indicated that it was proposing to lift the suo moto extension of the limitation period for filing of cases granted by it last year on account of COVID-19 pandemic and the national lockdown.A bench headed by the Chief Justice of India told the Attorney General for India today that it was proposing to lift the ban on the running of limitation. The bench added that...

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday indicated that it was proposing to lift the suo moto extension of the limitation period for filing of cases granted by it last year on account of COVID-19 pandemic and the national lockdown.

A bench headed by the Chief Justice of India told the Attorney General for India today that it was proposing to lift the ban on the running of limitation. The bench added that it might give a grace period of ninety more days with effect from the lifting of the extension of limitation.

The bench also said that it will make a provision to help litigants to file cases in the eventuality of lockdown being re-imposed in parts of the country. The bench asked the Attorney General to suggest a modality by which persons in containment zones can go out to file a case.

The bench, also comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat, required the AG to draft the clauses which can be included in the order to enable persons in containment zones to file cases.

"District Magistrate is the person who enforces the containment zone. He visits the zone once a week. He can in his discretion allow a person to go out to file a case as a matter of right, if he has a negative report", the AG said.

"You can make a provision for a person in the containment zone to apply to the officer, through Whatsapp or messages, instead of the officer visiting the zone", the CJI suggested to the AG.

The AG said that he will consult with the concerned department and draft the clauses. Accordingly, the bench adjourned further hearing till tomorrow to enable the AG to seek the views of the department.

When the matter was taken up , AG KK Venugopal told that bench that the suo moto extension of limitation was given in view of the lockdown, and now that lockdwon has been lifted, the extension can be recalled.

"Now my lords a year has elapsed. Would your lordships like to exclude the period of one year from March 15 last year to March 15 this year from limitation and give a further period of 60 or 90 days uniformly across the country"?, the AG told the bench.

It was on March 23 last year that the Supreme Court extended the limitation period for filing in all courts and tribunals with effect from March 15, 2020, until further orders. A bench headed by the Chief Justice of India passed this order suo moto taking note of the difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Later, in July 2020, the SC clarified that this order will apply to Section 29A and 23(4) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 and Section 12A of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015.

In December 2020, a two-judge bench of the SC had said that the suo moto extension of limitation was still in force.




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