The Supreme Court on Monday extended the period of limitation till February 28 for filing any petition or appeal before any court or tribunal in the country. The extension came in light of the rise in Covid-19 cases in the country driven by the spread of the Omicron variant of the virus.
The limitation period is the maximum time limit within which a case is to be filed.
Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, the Supreme Court has been extending the limitation period since March 15, 2020. The court’s latest order has held that the period between March 15, 2020, to February 28, 2022, will not be counted towards the limitation period for filing of any case.
The court has also held that in case the limitation period for filing a case expired between this period of March 15, 2020 to February 28, 2022, then litigants will be given at least 90 days starting from March 1, 2022, to file their case. If the limitation period ended more than 90 days after March 15, 2020, then they would be given that same period starting March 1, 2022 to file it.
The court’s ruling applies to general as well as special laws and judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings, such as tribunals.
This is the third time the court has extended the limitation period.
On March 23, 2020, taking suo motu cognisance of difficulties litigants might face in filing cases in light of Covid-19, the court had extended the limitation period till further orders, starting March 15, 2020. As Covid-19 cases dipped early last year, the court put an end to that order from March 15, 2021.
However, as soon as the second wave hit, pleas were filed seeking to extend the limitation period again. On April 27, 2021, the court had extended the limitation period from March 2020 till further notice. The court had again put an end to this order from October 2, 2021, as the second wave subsided.