SHC suspends limit on period to file appeals for 25 days

Updated Mar 29 2020

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litigants will also avail this exemption before the district judiciary of the province as well as all other legal forums and offices under the control and subordination of the SHC. — Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons/File
litigants will also avail this exemption before the district judiciary of the province as well as all other legal forums and offices under the control and subordination of the SHC. — Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons/File

KARACHI: In the wake of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak and lockdown across the province, the Sindh High Court on Saturday waived the limitation on the period for filing appeals, petitions and other judicial proceedings from March 22 to April 15.

Besides the SHC, the litigants will also avail this exemption before the district judiciary of the province as well as all other legal forums and offices under the control and subordination of the SHC.

However, there will be no bar on filing appeals, petitions, applications etc within the period of limitation stipulated by the law.

According to a notification issued by SHC registrar Ghulam Rasool Samoon on Saturday, as the Sindh government has imposed a lockdown in the province from March 23 for 15 days because of the threat from Covid-19, it has become difficult for litigants to file suits, appeals, revisions, applications, petitions and other judicial proceedings either civil or criminal or invoking constitutional jurisdiction for the reasons beyond their control. Therefore, in the larger interest of justice it becomes imperative to help the litigants file such litigations before the SHC and at a number of legal forums subordinate to the SHC whose statutory period of limitation may expire during this period, it added.

“For the purpose of Section 4 of the Limitation Act, 1908 (“the Act”) as to computing the period of limitation stipulated in the ‘Act’ and its ‘Schedules’, or any other law of the time being in force, this court and its offices which include the institution branches at the principal seat, its bench at Sukkur, circuit courts at Larkana and Hyderabad; and district courts, ex-cadre courts and all other legal forums and their offices; under the control and sub-ordination of this court, shall be deemed to be closed from 22-03-2020 till 15-04-2020 (both days inclusive); for the litigants who are unable to approach on account of lockdown announced by the federal/provincial government,” it said. “Notwithstanding the above, there shall be no bar on filing suits, appeals, revisions, reviews, applications etc within the period of limitation stipulated by the act or any other law.”

Screening of suspects

In order to avoid spread of Covid-19 in prisons and lockups of the province, the SHC directed all the district and sessions judges that if any suspect/accused was remanded to judicial custody by any magistrate/court, it should be subject to his/her screening/test for the coronavirus by mentioning the same in the remand order.

Release orders of 232 prisoners issued

On the directive of the SHC chief justice, the district judiciary has ordered the release of 232 more prisoners from the detention centres of the metropolis.

According to a statement issued by the SHC, the subordinate judiciary sent release orders of 232 inmates to the jail authorities on Saturday.

Published in Dawn, March 29th, 2020