Taking into consideration the chronic unstable situation prevailing in the nation, on March 23, 2020, the Apex Court of India took Suo Motu cognizance of the situation and by an order extended the limitation period in respect of filing of suits/appeals/applications and all other documents in all proceedings before any courts/tribunals/authorities in India. As per the order, the limitation period has been extended from March 15, 2020, for an indefinite period, until further orders of the Hon’ble Court. To be more precise, in the ordinary course, the period of limitation ends on March 15, 2020, such period is now deemed to be extended until further orders are passed by the Hon’ble Court in this regard.
On March 24, 2020, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued an order of lockdown of the entire nation except for those establishments providing health and essential services. The lockdown started from March 25, 2020, and will remain in force 21 days, since then. Incidentally, all IP Offices in India suspended their activities from March 25 to April 15, subject to the further orders of the Home Ministry. According to a public notice issued on the 25th day of March 2020 by the Head of IP Offices in India (Controller General of Patents, Designs, Trademarks, Geographical Indication, and Copyright), all due dates for filing documents/replies, payment of fees, and completion of any action in respect of any IP application filed in India shall now be the date of the re-opening of IP Offices. The notice issued by the Head of IP Offices in India is a follow-up, in compliance of the law laid down by the Supreme Court of India by the aforesaid Order dated March 23, 2020.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India will observe the situation and pass orders accordingly, from time to time, concerning the extension of the limitation period. The Hon’ble Court has also decided to take a considerate view to grant sufficient time for filing after the commencement of the regular course of business.