Absolute extension of deadlines in view of COVID-19 withdrawn – Deadlines are effective from 15 March 2021

The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India had previously by their order dated 27 March 2020 had extended all deadlines for legal matters since 15 March 2020 till further order. Now, in view of changing scenario with regards to COVID19 in India, the Hon’ble Court via their order dated 08 March 2021 has now decided to end absolute extension of legal deadlines.

The Hon’ble Court held that:

  • In computing the period of limitation for any suit, appeal, application or proceeding, the period from 15/03/2020 till 14/03/2021 shall stand excluded. Consequently, the balance period of limitation remaining as on 15/03/2020, if any, shall become available with effect from 15/03/2021.
  • In cases where the limitation would have expired during the period between 15/03/2020 till 14/03/2021, notwithstanding the actual balance period of limitation remaining, all persons shall have a limitation period of 90 days from 15/03/2021. In the event the actual balance period of limitation remaining, with effect from 15/03/2021, is greater than 90 days, that longer period shall apply.
  • The period from 15/03/2020 till 14/03/2021 shall also stand excluded in computing the periods prescribed under any Indian laws which prescribe period(s) of limitation for instituting proceedings, outer limits (within which the court or tribunal can condone delay) and termination of proceedings.
  • For areas under containment zones regulated movement will also be allowed for legal purposes along with other listed activities.

At present, Office of Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks is yet to issue further guidelines on how deadlines will be followed and how extension under Rule 6(6) (which considers COVID19 under category of national disaster) will apply. However, in view of Hon’ble Supreme Court order, we strongly suggest to now abide by applicable deadlines while handling IP matters in India.


Contributor to present post is Ankush.

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