In Re Cognizance For Extension Of … vs …… on 8 March, 2021

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Supreme Court of India

In Re Cognizance For Extension Of … vs …… on 8 March, 2021

Author: Hon’Ble The Justice

Bench: Hon’Ble The Justice, A.S. Bopanna, V. Ramasubramanian


                                     IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                                       CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
                                   Suo Motu Writ Petition (Civil) No.3 of 2020


                                                                      ……. Petitioner (s)

                                                                     ……Respondent (s)


1. Due to the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, this Court took

suo motu cognizance of the situation arising from difficulties

that might be faced by the litigants across the country 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). By an order dated 27.03.2020 this Court

extended the period of limitation prescribed under the

general law or special laws whether compoundable or not

with effect from 15.03.2020 till further orders. The order

dated 15.03.2020 was extended from time to time. Though,

we have not seen the end of the pandemic, there is
Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by
Madhu Bala
considerable improvement. The lockdown has been lifted
Date: 2021.03.08
15:47:26 IST

and the country is returning to normalcy. Almost all the

Courts and Tribunals are functioning either physically or by

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virtual mode. 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.

2. We have considered the suggestions of the learned

Attorney General for India regarding the future course of

action. We deem it appropriate to issue the following

directions: –

1. 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.

Consequently, the balance period of limitation

remaining as on 15.03.2020, if any, shall become

available with effect from 15.03.2021.

2. 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. In the event the actual balance

period of limitation remaining, with effect from

15.03.2021, is greater than 90 days, that longer

period shall apply.

3. The period from 15.03.2020 till 14.03.2021 shall

also stand excluded in computing the periods
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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


4. The Government of India shall amend the

guidelines for containment zones, to state.

“Regulated movement will be allowed for

medical emergencies, provision of essential

goods and services, and other necessary

functions, such as, time bound applications,

including for legal purposes, and educational

and job-related requirements.”

3. The Suo Motu Writ Petition is disposed of accordingly.


[ S. A. BOBDE ]



New Delhi,
March 08, 2021.

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