SC extends limitation period for filing appeals until further orders

SC extends limitation period for filing appeals until further orders

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said the second wave of COVID-19 has created an 'alarming situation' and extended the period of limitation for filing appeals from courts or tribunals by litigants until further orders.

Observing that resurgence of COVID-19 cases has put the litigants in a 'difficult situation', the bench extended all periods of limitation ending on March 14, 2021 until further orders.

The top court on March 8 noted that country is "returning to normalcy and decided to end the extension of limitation period which was granted for filing appeals in March, 2020 to litigants due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, due to the second wave of coronavirus, the newly appointed Chief Justice N V Ramana today again extended the period of limitation for litigants after the matter was put before it.

The bench asked Attorney General K K Venugopal to submit a note in this regard for passing formal orders.

The apex court also issued notice to all High Courts on the application filed by Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association(SCAORA).

The bench also comprising Justices Surya Kant and A S Bopanna said for the last few weeks there has been an alarming situation across the country due the second wave of COVID-19 putting litigants to hardship.

The apex court had on March 23 last year invoked its plenary power under Article 142 of the Constitution to extend the limitation period of appeals from courts or tribunals on account of the pandemic with effect from March 15, 2020. The top court had been extending the limitation period by interim orders and finally decided to put an end to this keeping in mind the improved situation in the country and the fact that courts have started functioning.

"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. We are of the opinion that the order 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 apex court had said in its order.

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