19 January 2022| NHAI v. Avinash Purushottam Supe | Arbitration Appeal No 105 of 2020 & connected matters | Bharati Dangre JJ | Bombay High Court | 2022 SCC OnLine Bom 202
Following Assam Urban Water Supply (2012) 2 SCC 624 and Sagufa Ahmed (2021) 2 SCC 317, the Bombay High Court has reiterated that the expression “prescribed period” of limitation under Section 4 Limitation Act does not include the discretionary period provided by the proviso to Section 34 (3) ACA.
So, the benefit of Section 4 of the Limitation Act that relaxes the limitation if the “prescribed period” for filing any suit, appeal or application expires when the court is closed, is not available where the prescribed period of three months got over before the court holidays began.
Section 34 (3) ACA sets the limitation period to file a set-aside application. It is three months, but the proviso gives another 30 days at the court's discretion.
In this case, the set-aside petition was not filed during the prescribed period of three months. The discretionary period of 30 days expired during the summer holidays of the court. The set-aside application was filed once the court reopened, but it dismissed it as time-barred. In appeal, the High Court found nothing wrong with the dismissal. It said that the law was not res integra.
Referring to the period under the proviso to Section 34 (3) ACA, the court noted that the function of a proviso is to qualify or exclude something from what is provided in the enactment which, but for the proviso, would be under the proviso’s purview.
Read the decision here.
Categories: Application for Setting Aside Arbitral Award | Condonation of Delay | Expiry of Prescribed Period When Court is Closed | Extension of Prescribed Period | Limitation | Limitation for Setting Aside | Limitation Under Section 34 ACA | Prescribed Period | Section 29 Limitation Act | Section 3 Limitation Act | Section 34 ACA | Section 4 Limitation Act