The Delhi High Court consisting of the Single Bench of Justice Pratibha M. Singh ruled that the period of limitation provided for filing written statements in CPC and Commercial Courts Act, 2015 would also be applicable to written statements filed under Section 8 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act.

In the matter that was in dispute, the maintainability of an application under sec. 8 of the Act was the issue of conflict. The main contentions by both the parties were that the application filed to refer the dispute to arbitration was maintainable as was argued by the Petitioners. On the other hand, the Defendants argued that there was no arbitrable dispute existing between the parties because the period of limitation for filing under sec. 8 had expired.

The issues before the court were that firstly, whether the law of limitation was applicable to sec. 8 of the said Act and whether the prescribed limitation for filing written statements under CPC and Commercial Courts Act would be applicable to the present section.

The Court observed the abovementioned questions in the light of the various amendments in the provisions under CPC, the Commercial Courts Act and in the Arbitration Act and it concluded that the said amendment was a conscious step towards prescribing a limitation period for filing application with regard to sec. 8 of the Act. The Court also noted that the very purpose for such provisions was to enable parties to take up arbitration in an efficient manner and avoid all unnecessary delays.

Thus, the petition was dismissed, and it was held that the provision for filing written statements under sec. 8 of the Act would be governed by the law of limitation.

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Link for Judgement: SSIPL Lifestyle v. Vama Apparels