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Condonation of delay-Appeal to tribunal - Reasonable cause
November, 16th 2007

Babu Lal Jain vs ITO
Citation 200 Taxation 183
 
Condonation of delay-Appeal to tribunal - Reasonable cause
There was delay of 12 days in filing the appeal. The delay was due to a strike by the bank employees and the assessee could not fill the appeal with the fees. The short delay was directed to be condoned there being a reasonable cause; and decide the appeal on merit.

High Court of Madhya Pradesh

Babu Lal Jain vs ITO

MAIT No. 33 of 2007

Dipak Misra and R.K. Gupta, JJ

28 February 2007

Sanjay Mishra, Adv. for the Appellant
Mohit Arya, Adv. for the Respondent

JUDGMENT

The present appeal has been preferred under Section 260-A of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (for short 'the Act') assailing the correctness of the order passed by the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal, Jabalpur (in short 'the Tribunal') in ITA No. l06/JAB/2006 whereby the tribunal in the absence of the counsel for the appellant dismissed the appeal in the ground that the appeal was barred by 12 days.

Submission of Mr. Sanjay Mishra, learned counsel for the appellant is that due to unavoidable circumstance he could not appear before the Tribunal and further the Tribunal should have either adjourned the matter or should have afforded an opportunity to putforth the case of the appellant with regard to condonation of delay of 12 days. Learned counsel further submitted that the Tribunal has taken recourse to hyper technical view in regard to the sufficient cause, though application explaining the condonation of delay of 12 days was filed.

Mr. Rohit Arya, learned senior counsel appearing for the revenue left it to the discretion of this Court.

The question of law in this appeal under section '260-A of the Act is framed as under:

"Whether in the facts and circumstanc'es of the case the Tribunal is justified in not condoning the delay of only 12 days on the ground that no sufficient cause has been seeking condonation of delay and whether such finding tantamount to perversity of approach?

To appreciate the facts in entirety, we have carefully perused the order of the Tribunal. From paragraph 3 of the said order it is perceptible that the delay occurred as there was strike of SBI and the payment of the assessee could not be received and the after strike was over he arranged the money and came to Jabalpur for depositing the fees of the appeal and hence, he was prevented by the sufficient cause. The Tribunal did not accept the contention of the assessee on the ground that no documentary evidence was produced. The Tribunal as is manifest has not held that there was no strike in the State Bank of India. The tribunal has decided the matter in the absence of both the parties.

In our considered opinion, the tribunal has adopted a taken hyper technical view. The assessee has proffered adequate reasons. We have no hesitation in holding that the rejection of the appeal on the ground of delay when sufficient cause has been shown amounts to perversity of approach. Accordingly, we set aside the order passed by the Tribunal and remit the matter to the Tribunal to hear the appeal on merits.

The appeal is allowed to the extent indicated above. There shall be no order as to costs.

 
 
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