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Indirect Tax Alert: Supreme Court withdraws extension order for period of limitation with effect from 02 October 2021

29 September 2021

On 23 March 2020, the Hon’ble Supreme Court had directed for the extension of the period of limitation in all proceedings before all Courts and Tribunals with effect from 15 March 2020, until further orders. Considering the considerable improvement in COVID-19 situation, the Court had the opinion vide order dated 08 March 2021 that the order dated 15 March 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 by 14 March 2021. However, the order of 23 March 2020 was restored on 27 April 2021, on account of the second wave of the pandemic.

 

Now, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has ended the extension of period of limitation by excluding the period of 15 March 2020 to 2 October 2021 from computation of limitation, vide Suo Motu Writ Petition (Civil) No.3/2020, and the following order is passed:

  • In computing the period of limitation for any suit, appeal, application or proceeding, the period from 15 March 2020 till 02 October 2021 shall stand excluded. Consequently, the balance period of limitation remaining as on 15 March 2021, if any, shall become available with effect from 03 October 2021.
  • In cases where the limitation would have expired during the period between 15 March 2020 till 02 October 2021, notwithstanding the actual balance period of limitation remaining, all persons shall have a limitation period of 90 days from 03 October 2021. In the event, the actual balance period of limitation remaining, with effect from 03 October 2021, is greater than 90 days, that longer period shall apply.
  • The period from 15 march 2020 till 02 October 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.
  • The Government of India shall amend the guidelines for containment zones, to state.

[Supreme Court of India order dated 23rd September 2021]