Case Law Details

Case Name : In re Cognizance for Extension of Limitation (Supreme Court)
Appeal Number : Suo Moto Writ (Civil) No. 3 of 2020
Date of Judgement/Order : 10/07/2020
Related Assessment Year :
Courts : Supreme Court of India (1279)

In re Cognizance for Extension of Limitation (Supreme Court)

With reference to the prayer, that the period of validity of a cheque be extended, we find that the said  period has  not  been  prescribed by  any Statute but  it  is  a  period  prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India under Section 35A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. We do not consider it appropriate to interfere with the period prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India, particularly, since the entire banking system functions on the basis of the period so prescribed.

FULL TEXT OF THE SUPREME COURT JUDGEMENT

Parties have prayed to this Court for extending the time where limitation is to expire during the period when there is a lockdown in view of COVID-19  or the  time to  perform a  particular act  is to expire during the lockdown.

I.A. No. 49221/2020 -Section 29A of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996

Taken on Board.

In  Suo  Moto  Writ  Petition  (C)  No.  3/2020,  by our order dated 23.03.2020 and 06.05.2020, we ordered that all periods of limitation prescribed under the Arbiration and Conciliation Act, 1996 shall be extended w.e.f. 15.03.2020 till further orders.

Learned Attorney General has sought a minor modification in the aforesaid orders.

Section 29A of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 does not prescribe a period of limitation but fixes a time to do certain acts, i.e. making an arbitral award within a prescribed time. We, accordingly, direct that the aforesaid orders shall also apply for extension of time limit for passing arbitral award under Section 29A of the said Act. Similarly, Section 23(4) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 provides for a time period of 6 months for the completion of the statement of claim and defence. We, accordingly, direct that the aforesaid orders shall also apply for extension of the time limit prescribed under Section 23(4) of the said Act.

The application is disposed of accordingly.

Pre-Institution Mediation and Settlement under Section 12A of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015.

Under Section 12A of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015, time is prescribed for completing the process of compulsory pre-litigation, mediation and settlement. The said time is also liable to be extended. We, accordingly, direct that the said time shall stand extended from the time when the lockdown is lifted plus 45 days thereafter. That is to say that if the above period, i.e. the period of lockdown plus 45 days has expired, no further period shall be liable to be excluded.

I.A. No. 48461/2020- Service of all notices, summons and exchange of pleadings 

Service of notices, summons and exchange of pleadings/documents, is a requirement of virtually every legal proceeding. Service of notices, summons and pleadings etc. have not been possible during the period of lockdown because this involves visits to post offices, courier companies or physical delivery of notices, summons and pleadings. We, therefore, consider it appropriate to direct that such services of all the above may be effected by e-mail, FAX, commonly used instant messaging services, such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal etc. However, if a party intends to effect service by means of said instant messaging services, we direct that in addition thereto, the party must also effect service of the same document/documents by e-mail, simultaneously on the same date.

Extension of validity of Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881-I.A. Nos. 48461 and 48672/2020 (IA. No. 48671/2020, 48673/2020)

I.A. No. 48671/2020 for impleadment is allowed

With reference to the prayer, that the period of validity of a cheque be extended, we find that the said  period has  not  been  prescribed by  any Statute but  it  is  a  period  prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India under Section 35-A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. We do not consider it appropriate to interfere with the period prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India, particularly, since the entire banking system functions on the basis of the period so prescribed.

The Reserve Bank of India may in its discretion, alter such period as it thinks fit. Ordered accordingly.

The instant applications are disposed of accordingly.

I.A. Nos. 48374/2020 and 48375/2020

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