India has been witnessing a surge in Omicron cases in many States. Same as the situation occurred in 2 waves, there is an increase in case that can be currently seen in large cities. Considering rising cases of Covid-19 in the country, the Supreme Court on 10th Jan 2021 agreed to revive the Suo moto orders extending the limitation period for filing cases in Courts and Tribunals. This is the 3rd extension given by the Supreme court since March 2020.
What it the Limitation Period?
The word Limitation itself say it limits or restricts. In legal context it means the rules or circumstances are limited. A Limitation period is a maximum periodlaid by statute within which a legal action can be brought or a right accomplished.
Reason for reviving Suo Moto orders
Last week, the applicationfiled through Advocate Abhinav Ramakrishna specified that there has been a sudden and radical change in the situation concerning pandemic, as a new variant pointing Omicron has seen a drastic rise and considering the frightening increase in mortality rate due to Coronavirus and also the rise in new cases, it becomes imperative to restore the relaxation with regard to the period of limitation.
Also, it has been specified by the bench toconsider a great number of the staff of the Supreme Court have also been affected by the Omicron variant and it is now necessary to take someprecautionary measures and it now need of an hour to extend the period of limitation.
Also, the President of SCAORA- Advocate Shivaji Jadhav,has submitted that the case of Omicron is rising like the wind across the country over the past few days and pleaded the court to reinstate the limitation extension orders.
Facts related to the reviving of Suo Moto orders
Attorney General K.K. Venugopal agreed with the facts and
supported the SCAORA (Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association
) plea by saying that “I think your Lordships should accept and in response to that CJI NV Raman said “We are accepting” the same.
Further, The SCAORA had moved the top court, pleading restoration of a March 2020 order through which, the court had directedthe suspension of the limitation period in the situation of difficulties faced by the plaintiffs/ participants amid the Covid-19 pandemic.The application is filed by the SCAORA in the Suo Motto Case“In Re Cognizance for Extension of Limitation”.
Also, The Supreme Court in March 2020, had taken Suo moto observance of the Covid-19 situation and consequent difficulties that may be met by litigants across the country in filing their pleadings within the stipulated period of limitation.That is why several orders were passed, further extending the limitation period.
Earlier on March 8, 2021, The Supreme Court ended the extension of limitation that was effective from March 14, 2021, as India was “Returning to Normalcy”. But again, the orders got revived in the roused of the second wave of Covid-19 in April 2021 and relaxed the statutory period for filing petitions under the Representation of People Act, 1951.The same was withdrawn by order on September 23 with effect from October 2, 2021.
the order given by Supreme Court said that the relaxation in the Limitation period has been given after considering the arguments advanced by learned counsel and the impact of the rise of the virus on public health and difficulties faced by litigants in the prevalent conditions