Author: Lakshya Raj Singh Rathore, student at Nirma University.
Citation: 2021 SCC OnLine SC 193
Date of Decision: March 8, 2021
Bench: S.A. Bobde, L. Nageswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat
Original Copy: View
Statues Involved: Limitation Act
Issues in question:
- The Limitation period which has expired has been extended or not due to the corona pandemic?
- Guidelines for the central government regarding the amendment in guidelines in the containment zones.
Background/Facts of the case:
- Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the apex court took the suo moto cognizance of the problems arising from the cases involving the expiry of the limitation period mentioned as per the laws of both the Centre and the States, taking note of to give a relaxation to the people facing these issues in their applications, appeals or the suits.
- The writ petition as stated by the Attorney General of India pleading that the people who have suffered from such issues arising out of an unprecedented event like the covid-19 pandemic so the apex court must seek out some remedies for them.
- The bench thus understanding the situation took the issue into cognizance.
- The bench computing the period for any type of litigation stated that from the period between March 15, 2020 and March 14, 29021 shall stand extended or excluded from its original course of time.
- The limitation period shall be of 90 days after March 15 2021 regardless of the time remaining in the expiry of the limitation period unless it is longer than 90 days and if it is longer than the longer one shall apply.
- The bench also stated that the decision shall apply in the cases under Section 23(4) and 29A of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996, Section 12A of the commercial courts Act, 2015 and Section 138 (a) and Section138 (b) of the negotiable Instruments Act 1881, along with other laws prescribing such periods of limitation for instituting or terminating the proceedings.
- Along with the above judgment the bench also stated the government should allow the movement of people in cases of medicinal emergencies, for essential goods and services and functions such as time bound applications, for legal purposes and if there is any kind of educational or job requirements the people must not be stopped from moving out.
- Taking up the suo moto cognizance shows the idea of the bench to itself work for justice, so that the rights of the people can be safeguarded.
- The decision of the bench to provide a relief to the people who were not able to exercise the rights because of the expiry of limitation period due to covid-19 shows the cognizance of the Apex court to realize the problems of people.
- Also the request to amend the guidelines will ensure that people are not deprived of their basic Fundamental Rights as mentioned in article 19 and article 21 of the Indian Constitution just because these people are in the contamination zone without being tested positive for covid-19.