M/s K.G.N.M.M.W. Educational research & Analysis Society vs. ITO (ITAT Jaipur)
March, 10th 2015
The affidavit and cavalier conduct of CA in support of application for condonation of delay raises serious questions on his professional competence and work ethics in giving such an affidavit which hides more than it explains
The assessee filed an application seeking condonation of delay of 347 days in filing the appeal. In support of the application, the CA filed an affidavit accepting responsibility for the delay on the ground that he had gone on a tax audit and the filing of the appeal had skipped his mind. Reliance was placed on Collector, Land Acquisition V. Mst. Katiji (1987) 167 ITR 471 (SC) and it was pleaded that the assessee should not be made to suffer for the mistake committed by the CA. HELD by the Tribunal dismissing the application for condonation of delay and the appeal:
(i) The assessee has only filed a vague and general affidavit from the CA which utterly lacks any specific contentions and fails to explain day to day delay in reasonable manner. The assessee has neither filed any evidence nor the affidavit of Shri Malik Parvej to corroborate the vague affidavit by the C.A.. It does not conform to general human conduct in such circumstances, preponderance of probabilities and surrounding circumstances which form sine qua non in the matters of condonation of delay;
(ii) It is unbelievable that an assessee, whose taxable income is claimed to be NIL is taxed for two years assessed at such a high income resulting in a huge tax and interest demand will not visit the C.A. office almost for a period of about one year to know about the filing of the appeals. There is no deposition in the affidavit that prior to TRO notice dated 02/3/2012, no other notice by way of telephone or writing was received either by assessee or the C.A. Thus, the depositions in affidavit remain vague, unsubstantiated and do not amount to explaining the sufficient cause;
(iii) The affidavit and cavalier conduct of Shri Kaushal Agarwal, C.A. raises serious questions on his professional competence and work ethics in giving such an affidavit which hides more than it explains. The burden is on the assessee to reasonably explain day to day delay and establish that there existed reasonable and sufficient cause in delaying the filing of appeals for about 1 year. If the proper dates or occasions are not mentioned with proper facts then the delay cannot be condoned. The law helps diligent and not the indolent as well as the axiomatic delay defeats equity. In our considered view that the condonation petitions filed by the assessee and material available on the record, fail to invoke any confidence, fail to explain reasonable and sufficient cause for condonation of long delay of 347 days in filing these appeals . The assessee has to come clean with all the relevant facts, which happened in the period of one year. The assessee has to explain all the events and be specific in the dates. The depositions made in the C.A. affidavit remain uncorroborated and there is no affidavit from the said Shri Malik Parvej in support of the affidavit of C.A.. Thus, the vague affidavit given by the C.A. remains uncorroborated and unreliable. In the entirety of facts and circumstances of the case, we decline to condone the delay of 347 days in filing these appeals.