The Apex Court of India on 06.05.2020 by invoking its power under Article 141 & 142 of the Constitution of India, 1950 by referring to an Interlocutory Application seeking an extension of limitation under Section 29A of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act and Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, filed in Suo Moto Writ Petition (Civil) No. 3/2020 extended all periods of limitation prescribed under the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996 and under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 with effect from 15.03.2020 until further orders.
The full bench of Supreme Court headed by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India had earlier passed an order dated 23.03.2020 wherein, the Apex court had extended the limitation period for filing of Petitions/ Applications/ Suits/ Appeals/ all other proceedings within the period of limitation prescribed under the General law of limitation or under Special laws due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
The Hon’ble Court has directed an extension of 15 days after lifting of lockdown in case the limitation has expired after 15.03.2020.
Section 29A of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act deals with the time limit for passing of the arbitral award and Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act deals with the limitation for initiation of prosecution in case of cheque bouncing.