SC Orders Extending Period Of Limitation Applicable To Proceedings & Orders Passed Under Payment Of Gratuity Act: Delhi High Court

By – Alankriti Narayan

The Delhi High Court has stated that the Supreme Court’s judgment to extend the statute of limitations will apply to decisions made by authorities under the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972.

The Supreme Court, in In Re: Cognizance for Extension of Limitation, issued an order on September 23, 2021, extending the limitation term and excluding the time from March 15, 2020, to October 2, 2021, from the calculation of limitation.

Justice Pratibha M Singh clarified that the Supreme Court’s order extending the statute of limitations to decisions of the Appellate Authority under the Payment of Gratuity Act would apply to decisions of the Appellate Authority under the Payment of Gratuity Act while hearing an appeal against an order of the Appellate Authority dismissing an appeal filed by the Petitioner on the grounds that the appeal was barred by limitation.

It further ordered that the same be informed to all other authorities under the Act so that the benefit of the computation of the statute of limitations is extended to all and multiple processes, as in this case, are avoided.

The Delhi High Court states in this case that the Controlling Authority’s order is dated May 28, 2020, and it was issued during the pandemic. As a result, the statute of limitations under Section 7(7) would not run out until October 3, 2021. Furthermore, it is claimed that the appeal in this matter was submitted on September 17, 2021, and that it was dismissed on September 29, 2021.

As a result, the High Court reversed the Appellate Authority’s decision and ordered that the appeal be reviewed on the merits. The Appellate Authority is also directed to offer similarly situated petitioners the benefit of the statute of limitations extension.