A Bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice NV Ramanna has indicated that it will recall its order of April 27 this year extending the period of limitation for filing cases in the courts and other legal forums owing to the second wave of Corona pandemic.

The Bench on Thursday stated that the limitation period will be withdrawn with effect from October 1. However, as indicated by the Bench, a buffer period of 90 days is likely to be given. The Bench informed that it will issue a detailed order in this regard containing the terms and conditions.

On March 23, 2020, in Suomotu case of 'In RE Cognizance For Extension of Limitation', the Court had extended the limitation period for filing cases till March 15, 2021 with effect from March 15, 2020 due to onset of Corona pandemic and subsequent nationwide lockdown imposed by the government.

When the situation returned to normalcy, the Court, on March 8 this year, recalled its order issued on March 23, 2020. However, it was restored on April 27, 2021 following an Interlocutory Application filed by the Supreme Court Advocate on Record Association (SCAORA) highlighting the daily surge in COVID cases in Delhi and other parts of the country (during the second wave of Corona).

The Bench was considering a pela by the Election Commission seeking to fix the timeline for filing election petitions relating to the assembly polls of Assam, Kerala, Delhi, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal, saying that the extension of the limitation period has led to a situation where it cannot order re-use of the EVMs and VVPAT machines in upcoming polls.

The EC has to preserve EVMs and VVPAT as it has evidentiary value and will not be able to use them in the upcoming polls in other states.

While hearing the petition, the Bench, also consisting of Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice Surya Kant, conveyed their views. Agreeing to the view, Attorney General KK Venugopal also supported restoring the order issued on March 8, 2021. However, a request made by Shivaji Yadav, President of SCAORA to keep the order in force till the end of the year apprehending the third wave of Corona was declined by the Bench.

With PTI inputs