In the matter of State of West Bengal v Rajpath Contractors & Engineers Ltd A June 30th, 2022, the arbitral award was the subject of the petition. It was entered on October 31. The fact that the statute of limitations started on July 1 was undeniable. The petitioner claimed that on October 1, the three-month limitation period had passed. They claimed that the benefit of the extended thirty-day timeframe applied to them because the court was closed for vacation beginning on October 1. The petition, which was submitted on the day of the reopening (October 31), was therefore maintainable.
If the award-debtor can demonstrate a good reason for the delay in filing, Section 34(3) of the act gives them a further thirty days to contest the arbitral judgement.
Conclusion of the Court
According to Justice Shekhar B. Saraf of the Calcutta High Court’s single-judge bench, even if the thirty-day grace period for the condonation of delay specified in Section 34(3) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act falls during a court break, it will still be taken into account when determining the period of limitation. While making the decision aware that the longer duration would be unnecessary in such a special case. The sole judge, therefore granted the petitioners permission to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court while delaying its implementation.
The bench order states that due to a gap in the law that the legislature may not have anticipated, the current case includes a legal issue of general significance that, in the opinion of this Court, requires resolution by the Supreme Court. The court stated at the outset that restrictions or procedural obstacles shouldn’t stand in the way of justice, but that doesn’t mean that traffic flow needs to be controlled to maintain orderly movement and avoid frequent accidents. Therefore, the Limitation Act of 1963 is not a barrier in and of itself; rather, it facilitates the administration of justice.
The bench was forced to point out that the petitioners should have submitted the current Section 34 application during the Puja Holidays if the limitation could be reduced to a matter of one day. As a result, the petition’s maintainability claim was rejected. However, the judgement was suspended until the outcome of an appeal to the highest court due to the particular circumstances of the case, which prevented the petitioner from receiving the advantage of the extendable time.