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S U P R E M E C O U R T O F I N D I A
RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS

SUO MOTO WRIT PETITION (C) NO. 3/2020

IN RE COGNIZANCE FOR EXTENSION OF LIMITATION Petitioner(s)

VERSUS

Respondent(s)

IA No. 48672/2020 – APPROPRIATE ORDERS/DIRECTIONS
IA No. 48375/2020 – CLARIFICATION/DIRECTION
IA No. 48461/2020 – CLARIFICATION/DIRECTION
IA No. 48673/2020 – EXEMPTION FROM FILING AFFIDAVIT
IA No. 48374/2020 – INTERVENTION APPLICATION
IA No. 48416/2020 – INTERVENTION APPLICATION
IA No. 48408/2020 – INTERVENTION APPLICATION
IA No. 48671/2020 – INTERVENTION/IMPLEADMENT)
ALONG WITH IAS. 48574/2020 49221/2020, 51078,
51082,50977,50985, 55276, 55277, 58914, 58910/2020 AND 60198/2020

Date : 10-07-2020 These applications were called on for hearing today.

CORAM :
HON’BLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE R. SUBHASH REDDY
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE A.S. BOPANNA

By Courts Motion, AOR

Counsel for the parties:

Mr. Dushyant Dave, Sr.Adv.(AC)(Not Joined)
Mr.KK Venugopal, AG
Mr.Tushar Mehta, SG
Mr.Ankur Talwar, Adv.
Mr.Kanu Agrawal, Adv
Mr.B.V.Balram Das, AOR
Mr.Divyakant Lahoti, AoR
Mr.Parikshit Ahuja, Adv.
Ms.Praveena Bisht, Adv.
Ms.Vindhya Mehra, Adv.
Ms.Madhur Jhavar, Adv.
Mr.Kartik Lahoti, Adv.
Mr.Rahul Maheshwari, Adv.
Mr.Bhanu Pant, Adv.
Mr.Apoorv Kurup, Adv.
Ms.Upama Bhattacharjee, Adv.
Mr.C.M.Lall, Sr.Adv.
Mr.Gurvinder Singh, Adv.
Mr.Gaurav Miglani, Adv.
Mr.Rahul Vidhani, Adv.
Ms.Nancy Roy, Adv.
Ms.Archana Sahadeva, AOR
Mr.Shyam Divan, Sr.Adv.
Mr.Sameer Pandit, Adv.
Mr.Nikhil Ranjan, Adv.
Mr.Utkarsh Kulvi, Adv.
Mr.Govind Manoharan, Adv.
Ms.Sarrah Khambati, Adv.
Mr.Pranaya Goyal, AOR
Mr.V.Giri, Sr.Aadv.
Mr.Ramesh Babu M.R., Adv.
Ms.Aruna Mathur, AOR
Mr.Avneesh Arputham, Adv.
Ms.Anuradha Arputham, Adv.
Ms.Geetanjali, Adv.

For M/s.Arputham Aruana & Co.
Mr.Pravin H.Parekh, Sr.Adv.
Mr.Sameer Parekh Adv
Mr.Kshatrshal Raj Adv
for M/S.Parekh & Co., AOR
Mr.Yashvardhan, Adv,
Mr.Apoorv Shukla, AOR,
Ms.Ishita Farsaiya, Adv.
Ms.Prabhleen Kaur, Adv.
Mr.Arjun Garg, AOR
Mr.Rati Tandon, Adv
Ms.Anannya Ghosh, AOR
Mr.Vivek Narayan Sharma, AOR
Mr.Sarvam Ritam Khare, AOR
Mr.Arvind Kumar Sharma, AOR
Mr.A.Lakshminarayanan, AOR
Mr.Sidharth Luthra, Sr.Adv.
Mr.Arshdeep Singh Khurana, Adv.
Mr.Varun K Chopra, Adv.
Mr.Akshat Gupta, Adv.
Ms.Rajshree Sharma, Adv.
Mr.Gurtejpal Singh, Adv.
Mr.Ayush Luthra, Adv.
Mr.Shivanshu Singh, Adv.
Mohd.Shakei Naru, Adv.

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For M/s.VKC Law Offices, AOR
Mr.Anilendra Pandey, AOR
Mr.Abhimanyu Tewari, AOR
Ms.Binu Tamta, AOR
Mr.V.N.Raghupathy, AOR
Mr.S.Thananjayan, AOR
Mr.Mayank Kshirsagar, AOR

UPON hearing the counsel the Court made the following

O R D E R

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.

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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 List after six weeks.

[ CHARANJEET KAUR ] [ INDU KUMARI POKHRIYAL ]

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