On 10th July (Judgment copy made available on 14th July) Supreme court passed the order for the first time it will enable service of notice, summons and exchange of pleadings or documents via Email, Fax, commonly used instant message application (WhatsApp and Telegram) after considering the issue as to visit post offices and physical exchange of documents difficult during the pandemic and containment zones which effected the legal proceedings.
As the saying “Justice delayed is justice denied”, the supreme court passed an order for suo moto writ petition by the bench comprising of Chief Justice of India, S A Bobde and Justices R Subhash Reddy and AS Bopanna.
This pandemic is creating new pathways for the functionality of courts in India.
Time limit extended for filing cases by Supreme Court.
The same bench also allowed to extend the time-limit for filing cases under the same order.
The time limit was extended for the following: –
1. Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996
Section 29A which has no prescribed limit to make an arbitral award but fix the time to do a certain act. The order will apply to this section.
Section 23(4) provides a time limit of 6 months to complete statement of claim and defence. This is applicable to said extension under the order.
2. The Commercial Courts Act,2015.
Section 12A prescribed times limit to complete the compulsory process of pre-litigation, mediation and settlement will be liable to extend the time as per order. It also stated that if the period of lockdown plus 45 days has expired, no further the period shall be liable to be excluded.
Also, the order denied extending the period of validity of a cheque as no prescribed time limit by any statute and Section 35-A of the Banking Regulations Act, 1949 denotes a time limit for the same. The same issue may be directed by the Reserve Bank of India in its discretion powers.
The above changes made keeping mind that lockdown incurred due to Covid-19 pandemic.