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Covid-19: Supreme Court ends relaxation in limitation time for filing cases

A period of limitation has been prescribed under the general law of limitation or under special laws for filing appeals
Last Updated : 17 August 2021, 07:06 IST

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The Supreme Court on Monday ended relaxation granted in limitations of the time period for filing pleas in cases before legal fora in view of Covid-19 situation. It, however, gave minimum of 90 days time to all persons from March 15, 2021, to file their petitions, applications, suits, or appeals.

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat said its order passed on March 27, 2020 has served its purpose and all courts are now functioning either through virtual or physical mode.

The court had in March last taken Suo Motu cognisance of the situation arising out of the challenge faced by the country on account of the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant difficulties faced by litigants across the country.

The bench had then directed to extend a period of limitation, which was ending on March 15, 2020, to "obviate any difficulty and to ensure that lawyers or litigants do not have to come physically to file such proceedings in respective courts or tribunals across the country including this court".

A period of limitation has been prescribed under the general law of limitation or under special laws for filing appeals.

On Monday, the bench said, "We are of the opinion that the order dated 15.03.2020 has served its purpose and in view of the changing scenario relating to the pandemic, the extension of limitation should come to an end."

The court disposed of the Suo Motu matter. "Though we have not seen the end of the pandemic, there is considerable improvement. The lockdown has been lifted
and the country is returning to normalcy. Almost all the courts and Tribunals are functioning either physically or by virtual mode," the bench said.

Following suggestions by Attorney General K K Venugopal, the bench said in computing the period of limitation for any suit, appeal, application or proceeding, the period from March 15, 2020 till March 14, 2021 would stand excluded.

"Notwithstanding the actual balance period of limitation remaining, all persons shall have a limitation period of 90 days from March 15, 2021. In the event the actual balance period of limitation remaining, with effect from March 15, 2021, is greater than 90 days, that longer period shall apply," the court said.

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Published 08 March 2021, 14:23 IST

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