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‘In computing period of of limitation for any suit, the period from 15.03.2020 till 02.10.2021 shall stand excluded’: Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trademarks reiterates SC order via public notice [READ NOTICE]

 ‘In computing period of of limitation for any suit, the period from 15.03.2020 till 02.10.2021 shall stand excluded’: Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trademarks reiterates SC order via public notice [READ NOTICE]

The Controller General of Patents, Designs & Trademarks for the Office of CGPDTM, Mumbai, recently observed via public notice the Supreme Court’s order regarding the computation of the period of limitation for suits which stated that ‘in computing period of limitation for any suit, the period from 15.03.2020 till 02.10.2021 shall stand excluded’.

The Apex Court had previously extended the period of limitation prescribed under the general law or special laws with effect from 15 March 2020 till further orders. However, it later made specific observations and noted that only the period from 15 March 2020 till 2 October 2021 shall stand excluded and consequently, the balance period of limitation remaining as on 15.03.2021, if any, shall become available with effect from 03.10.2021.

The above observations were made while hearing an application by the Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SCAORA) demanding for the dated 23 March 2020 to be restored. An order to that effect was passed 23 September 2021.

Background:

The Apex Court, in the matter of Suo Motu Writ Petition (Civil) No. 3 of 2020 had previously extended the period of limitation prescribed under the general law or special laws with effect from 15 March 2020 via an order dated 23 March 2020. 

Keeping in mind the situation arising on account of Covid-19 and the resultant difficulties that may be faced by litigants across the country in filing their petitions and suits within the period of limitation the court had noted that a period of limitation in all such proceedings shall stand extended w.e.f. 15 March 2020 till further order/s to be passed by it. 

The stand was however, modified by the Supreme Court via its order dated 8 March 2021 which stated:

“In computing the period of limitation for any suit, appeal, application or proceeding, the period from 15 March 2020 till 14 March 2021 shall stand excluded. Consequently, the balance period of limitation remaining as on 15.03.2020, if any, shall become available with effect from 15 March 2021.”

The Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SCAORA) however intervened in the Suo Motu proceedings by filing Miscellaneous Application No.665 of 2021 seeking restoration of the order dated 23 March 2020.

However, the court rejected the application by stating the follows: “The order dated 23 March 2020 was passed in view of the extraordinary health crisis. On 08 March 2021, the order dated 23 March 2020 was brought to an end, permitting the relaxation of period of limitation between 15 March 2020 and 14 March 2021. While doing so, it was made clear that the period of limitation would start from 15.03.2021. As the said order dated 8 March 2021 was only a one-time measure, in view of the pandemic, we are not inclined to modify the conditions contained in the order dated 8 March 2021.”

Court’s Observations:

In dismissing the application for seeking restoration of the order dated 23 March 2020, the Court noted, the following: 

  1. 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 2020, if any, shall become available with effect from 03 October 2021.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.”

“It is accordingly notified to all the stakeholders that period of limitation shall be computed in accordance with the afore-cited order dated 23 September 2021 passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India”, it was further noted by the Office of CGPDTM, Mumbai Govt. of India via its public notice.

 

 [READ NOTICE]

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