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Parliament to pass new Act to provide relief to the parties affected by Covid - 19

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Parliament to pass new Act to provide relief to the parties affected by Covid - 19 Screen48

CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID - 19)
(TEMPORARY PROVISIONS)

Ordered to be published by the Minister of Justice
A Bill to make temporary provisions in relation to situations where persons were unable to perfom certain actions required by law to be performed within the prescribed time periods due to Covid - 19 circumstances; to assign alternative courts where a court cannot function due to Covid - 19 circumstances; to conduct court proceedings using remote communication technology to facilitate the control of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid - 19); to grant relief in relation to parties to certain contracts who were unable to perform contractual obligations due to Covid - 19


RELIEF OF MINIMUM 12 MONTHS

GENERAL
9. (1) Any period excluded as a relief under section 2 or subsection (2) of section 6 of this Act shall not exceed a period of twelve months:

Provided that, a period exceeding twelve months may be excluded as a relief where the court, tribunal or any other authority established by or under any law is satisfied that it is just and equitable to do so and the period so excluded shall not exceed a period of further six months:
Provided further, that the period excluded as a relief shall not exceed eighteen months in the aggregate.

(2) Any relief granted under Part IV of this Act shall not
apply where any moratorium has been granted by the Central Bank or any other regulatory authority as a relief in relation to circumstances arising out of Coronavirus


PART IV
TEMPORARY RELIEF IN RESPECT OF CONTRACTS


7. (1) An application made under section 6 by any party to a Scheduled contract who is subject to any Covid - 19 circumstance and unable to perform any obligation or exercise any right under such contract due to such Covid -  circumstance, shall not prevent any other party to such contract from instituting any action specified in subsection

(2), in relation to such inability.

Provided however, the fact that such inability was due to a Covid - 19 circumstance shall be a defence available to the party who was unable to perform such obligation or exercise such right in such action.

(2) The actions referred to in subsection (1) include-
(a) an action in a court against the party who is unable to perform the contractual obligation or a guarantor or surety of such party;
(b) proceedings under the Arbitration Act, No. 11 of 1995 against the party who is unable to perform the contractual obligation or a guarantor or surety of such party;
(c) an action to enforce any security over any immovable property;
(d) an action to enforce any security over any movable property used for the purpose of a trade, business or profession;
(e) an application under the Companies Act, No. 7
of 2007 for a meeting of creditors to be summoned to approve a compromise or an arrangement in relation to the party who is unable to perform the contractual obligation or
the guarantor or surety of such party;
(f) an application for a judicial management order in relation to the party who is unable to perform the contractual obligation or the guarantor or surety of such party;
(g) an application for the winding up of the party who is unable to perform the contractual obligation or the guarantor or surety of such party;
(h) a bankruptcy application in relation to the party who is unable to perform the contractual obligation or the guarantor or surety of such party;
(i) an action to appoint a receiver or manager over any undertaking in relation to the party who is unable to perform the contractual obligation or the guarantor or surety of such party;
(j) an action to commence or levy execution, distress or other legal process against any property in relation to the party who is unable to perform the contractual obligation or the guarantor or surety of such party, except with the leave of the court;
(k) an action to repossess any goods under any chattels lease agreement, hire-purchase agreement or retention of title agreement, being goods used for the purpose of a trade, business or profession;
(l) an action to terminate a Scheduled contract, being a lease or licence of immovable property, where the obligation unable to be performed is the non-payment of rent or other moneys;
(m) an action to exercise a right of re-entry or forfeiture under a Scheduled contract, being a lease or licence of immovable property, or the exercise of any other right that has a similar outcome;
(n) an action to enforce a judgment of a court or an award made by arbitral proceedings conducted under the Arbitration Act, No. 11 of 1995 against the party who is unable to perform the contractual obligation or a guarantor or surety of such party;
(o) the forfeiture of any part of any consideration paid to the party who is unable to exercise the right; or
(p) any other action as may be prescribed. or other business purposes;


FIRST SCHEDULE
Scheduled contracts

1. Scheduled contracts include-
(a) a contract for the grant of a loan facility by a bank licensed under the Banking Act, No. 30 of 1988 or a finance company licensed under the Finance Business Act, No. 42 of 2011 to an enterprise, where such facility is secured, wholly or partially, against any commercial or industrial immovable property located in Sri Lanka;
(b) a contract for the grant of a loan facility by a bank licensed under the Banking Act, No. 30 of 1988 or a finance company licensed under the Finance Business Act, No. 42 of 2011 to an enterprise-
(i) where such facility is secured, wholly or partially, against any plant, machinery or fixed asset located
in Sri Lanka; and
(ii) where such plant, machinery or fixed asset, as the case may be, is used for manufacturing, production or other business purposes;
(c) a performance bond or equivalent that is granted pursuant to a construction contract or supply contract;
(d) a hire-purchase agreement within the meaning of the Consumer Credit Act, No. 29 of 1982, where the good hired or conditionally sold under the agreement is —
(i) any plant, machinery or fixed asset located in Sri Lanka, where such plant, machinery or fixed asset is used for manufacturing, production or other business purposes; or
(ii) a commercial vehicle;
(e) a lease of -
(i) any plant, machinery or fixed asset located in Sri Lanka, where such plant, machinery or fixed asset is used for manufacturing, production or other business
purposes; or
(ii) a commercial vehicle;
(f) a finance lease within the meaning of the Finance Leasing Act, No. 56 of 2000, where the equipment provided under the finance lease is-
(i) any plant, machinery or fixed asset located in Sri Lanka, where such plant, machinery or fixed asset is used for manufacturing, production or other business
purposes; or
(ii) a commercial vehicle;
(g) an event contract;
(h) a tourism-related contract;
(i) a construction contract or supply contract;
(j) a lease of non-residential immovable property;
(k) an option given by a housing developer to an intending purchaser for the purchase of one or more units of housing accommodation;
(l) an agreement between a housing developer and a purchaser for the sale and purchase of one or more units of housing accommodation;
(m) an option given by a commercial property developer to an intending purchaser for the purchase of one or more units of commercial property;
(n) an agreement between a commercial property developer and a purchaser for the sale and purchase of one or more units of commercial property.

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