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From the Courts »
  Vatsala Shenoy vs. JCIT (Supreme Court)
  Vatsala Shenoy vs. JCIT (Supreme Court)
 M.K.Overseas Pvt. Ltd. Vs. Pr.Commissioner Of Income Tax-06
 Arshia Ahmed Qureshi Vs. Pr. Commissioner Of Income Tax-21
 CHAUDHARY SKIN TRADING COMPANY Vs. PR. COMMISSIONER OF INCOME TAX-21
  Sushila Devi vs. CIT (Delhi High Court)
  Vatsala Shenoy vs. JCIT (Supreme Court)
 Deputy Director Of Income Tax Vs. Virage Logic International
 Commissioner Of Income Tax-3 International Taxation Vs. Virage Logic International India
 Pr. Commissioner Of Income Tax-06 Vs. Moderate Leasing And Capital Services Pvt. Ltd.
 ITO vs. Vikram A. Pradhan (ITAT Mumbai)

PEPSI FOODS PVT. LTD. (NOW MERGED WITH PEPSICO IND Vs. ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER OF INCOME TAX & ANR
July, 30th 2015
         IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI

%                         Judgment delivered on:19.05.2015
+ W.P.(C) 1334/2015 & CM 2337/2015
PEPSI FOODS PVT. LTD. (NOW MERGED WITH
PEPSICO INDIA HOLDING PVT. LTD     .... Petitioner
                             versus
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER OF INCOME
TAX & ANR                        .....Respondents

+ W.P.(C) 1934/2014 and CM 4053/2014
PEPSI FOODS LTD. (NOW PEPSICO INDIA
HOLDINGS PVT. LTD.                  ....Petitioner
                             versus
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF INCOME
TAX&ORS                                    ....Respondents
+ W.P.(C) 1935/2014 and CM 4054/2014
PEPSI FOODS LTD.                            ....Petitioner
                             versus
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF
INCOME TAX &ORS                            ....Respondents
+ W.P.(C) 2326/2014 and CM 4885/2014
ERICSSON AB                                ....Petitioner
                             versus
ADDL. DIRECTOR OF INCOME TAX, ORS ....Respondents
+ W.P.(C) 2465/2014 and CM 5130/2014
ERICSSON AB                                ....Petitioner
                             versus
ADDITIONAL DIRECTOR OF



WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                 Page 1 of 37
INCOME TAX &ORS                                          ...Respondents
+ W.P.(C) 3650/2014 and CM 7417/2014
PEPSI FOODS LTD. (NOW PEPSICO INDIA
HOLDINGS                            ...Petitioner
                         versus
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER OF INCOME
TAX &ANR                            ...Respondents
+ W.P.(C) 4280/2014 and CM 8604/2014
ASPECT SOFTWARE INC                                      ....Petitioner
                                        versus
ASTT. DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL
TAXATION & ORS                                           ....Respondents
Advocates who appeared in this case:-
For the Petitioner in Pepsi Foods Ltd. : Mr Deepak Chopra with Mr Piyush Singh,
                                         Mr Amit Shrivastava, Mr Harpreet Ajmani,
                                         Ms Rashi Khanna and Ms Ananya Kapoor
For the Petitioner in Ericsson Ab      : Mr M.S. Syali, Sr. Adv.with Mr Mayank
                                         Nagi, Harkunal Singh and Mr Tarun Singh
For the Petitioner in WPC 4280/2014 : Ms Rashmi Chopra
For the Respondent/Revenue             : Mr Rohit Madan, Mr N.P. Sahni, Mr Ruchir
                                         Bhatia & Mr Akash Vajpai
For the Respondent/UOI                 : Mr Vivek Goyal and Mr Rohan Khare


CORAM:
HON'BLE MR JUSTICE BADAR DURREZ AHMED
HON'BLE MR JUSTICE SANJEEV SACHDEVA

                                    JUDGMENT

BADAR DURREZ AHMED, J

1.      These writ petitions are taken up together because they raise a

common issue and, that is, the challenge to the constitutional validity of the




WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                                Page 2 of 37
third proviso to Section 254(2A) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (hereinafter

referred to as `the said Act'). An alternative prayer has also been made to

read down the provisions of the said proviso to Section 254 (2A) of the said

Act to mean that the power of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal to grant

interim relief is co-terminus with the main power of disposal of the appeal,

as stipulated in Section 254(1) of the said Act. In each of these petitions,

initially stay was granted by the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal. But, the

period of 365 days from the grant of initial stay has elapsed and in view of

the provisions of Section 254(2A), as it stands now, the Tribunal cannot

grant any further extension of the stay even though the appeals filed by the

petitioners before the Tribunal are pending. The delay in the disposal of the

appeals is also not on account of any conduct attributable to the petitioners.


2.      The Constitutional validity of the third proviso to Section 254(2A)

and, particularly, to the amendment introduced therein by virtue of the

Finance Act, 2008, with effect from 01.08.2008, which added the words ­

`even if the delay in disposing of the appeal is not attributable to the

assessee'­ is in question before us. The case of the petitioners is that prior to

the said amendment, in a decision of the Bombay High Court in the case of




WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                           Page 3 of 37
Narang Overseas Private Limited v. Income Tax Appellate Tribunal: 295

ITR 22 (Bombay), the third proviso to Section 254(2A) had been read down

in such a manner that even if the period of 365 days from the initial grant of

stay had expired, the Tribunal could extend the stay granted, provided the

delay was not attributable to the assessee. The amendment brought about by

the Finance Act, 2008 sought to nullify this reading of the third proviso to

Section 254(2A) of the said Act by introducing the words ­ `even if the

delay in disposing of the appeal is not attributable to the assessee '. It was

urged on the part of the petitioners that the right of appeal is not inherent, but

once it has been granted, it has to be construed as one which effectively

redresses the grievances. It was further contended that the right to obtain a

stay of demand/ penalty was integral and cardinal to an effective right of

appeal. It was also contended that the introduction of the above mentioned

words by virtue of the amendment of 2008 has made the right of appeal

illusory and the amendment is, therefore, clearly arbitrary and contrary to the

provisions of the Article 14 of the Constitution of India.           It was also

contended that the said amendment introduces a classification which has no

nexus with the object sought to be achieved. In the first place, it clubs

assessees belonging to two different categories as one class.                   It was




WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                            Page 4 of 37
contended that the assessees, who are not responsible for any delay in the

hearing of the appeal, have been clubbed together with those assessees to

whom the delay was attributable.            Therefore, the persons belonging to

different groups/ classes have been clubbed together in one category and this

has caused hostile discrimination against those assessees who are law

abiding and did not cause any delay in the hearing of their respective

appeals. This, in itself, was violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of

India and, therefore, the amendment introduced by virtue of the Finance Act,

2008 was liable to be struck down, as being invalid.


3.          The learned counsel for the petitioners referred to several decisions in

support of their contentions. They were:-


     (i)       ITO v. M. K. Mohammed Kunhi: 71 ITR 815 (SC);

     (ii)      Wire Netting Store, Delhi & Another v. Regional Provident Fund
               Commissioner & Others: (1984) 1 ILR 76 (Delhi) (DB);
     (iii)     Mardia Chemicals Limited & Others v. Union of India and
               Another: (2004) 4 SCC 311;
     (iv)      Narang Overseas Private Limited v. Income Tax Appellate
               Tribunal: (2007) 295 ITR 22 (Bombay) (DB) ;
     (v)       PML Industries Limited v. CCE & Another: 2013 (30) STR 113
               (Punjab and Haryana High Court) (DB);




WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                               Page 5 of 37
     (vi)   CIT v. Maruti Suzuki (India) Limited:         (2014) 362 ITR 215
            (Delhi) (DB); and
     (vii) Dr Subramanian Swamy v. Director, CBI: (2014) 8 SCC 682(SC)


4.      On the other hand, the learned counsel for the revenue submitted that

there was nothing wrong with the amendment brought about in 2008

inasmuch as all it did was to clarify the legislative intent and make it explicit.

What was already provided under the said Act in the third proviso to Section

254(2A) has merely been clarified. It was contended that there has been no

class treatment given by the legislature and that the said provision is not

discriminatory. The intention behind the amendment was to clarify that the

period of stay cannot be extended beyond 365 days under any circumstances.

A reference was also made to this Court's decision in Maruti Suzuki (India)

Limited (supra). Reliance was also placed on a decision of the Bombay

High Court in the case of Jethmal Faujimal Soni v. Income Tax Appellate

Tribunal: (2011) 333 ITR 96 and V. M. Salgaocar and Brothers v. Board

of Trustees of Port of Mormugao and Another: (2005) 4 SCC 613.


5.      At this point, it would be relevant to set out the provisions of Section

254 (2A), including its provisos, which reads as under:-




WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                            Page 6 of 37
        "254. Orders of Appellate Tribunal.

        (1)     xxxx        xxxx          xxxx        xxxx
        (1A) xxxx           xxxx          xxxx        xxxx

        (2)     xxxx        xxxx          xxxx        xxxx

        (2A) In every appeal, the Appellate Tribunal, where it is
        possible, may hear and decide such appeal within a period of
        four years from the end of the financial year in which such
        appeal is filed under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) or sub-
        section (2A) of section 253:

        Provided that the Appellate Tribunal may, after considering the
        merits of the application made by the assessee, pass an order of
        stay in any proceedings relating to an appeal filed under sub-
        section (1) of section 253, for a period not exceeding one
        hundred and eighty days from the date of such order and the
        Appellate Tribunal shall dispose of the appeal within the said
        period of stay specified in that order:

        Provided further that where such appeal is not so disposed of
        within the said period of stay as specified in the order of stay,
        the Appellate Tribunal may, on an application made in this
        behalf by the assessee and on being satisfied that the delay in
        disposing of the appeal is not attributable to the assessee,
        extend the period of stay, or pass an order of stay for a further
        period or periods as it thinks fit; so, however, that the aggregate
        of the period originally allowed and the period or periods so
        extended or allowed shall not, in any case, exceed three
        hundred and sixty-five days and the Appellate Tribunal shall
        dispose of the appeal within the period or periods of stay so
        extended or allowed:

        Provided also that if such appeal is not so disposed of within
        the period allowed under the first proviso or the period or
        periods extended or allowed under the second proviso, which




WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                            Page 7 of 37
        shall not, in any case, exceed three hundred and sixty-five days,
        the order of stay shall stand vacated after the expiry of such
        period or periods, even if the delay in disposing of the appeal is
        not attributable to the assessee.

        (2B) xxxx          xxxx          xxxx         xxxx

        (3)     xxxx       xxxx          xxxx         xxxx

        (4)     xxxx       xxxx          xxxx         xxxx"

                                                   (underlining added)


6.      Section 254 (2A) stipulates that the Appellate Tribunal, where it is

possible, may hear and decide the appeal within a period of four years from

the end of the financial year in which such appeal is filed under Section

253(1), (2) or (2A). Initially, there was no proviso to Section 254(2A). The

provisos were added, for the first time, by virtue of the Finance Act, 2001.

At that point of time, the provisos inserted by the Finance Act, 2001 read as

under:-


        "Provided that where an order of stay is made in any
        proceedings relating to an appeal filed under sub-section (1) of
        section 253, the Appellate Tribunal shall dispose of the appeal
        within a period of one hundred and eighty days from the date of
        such order:




WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                           Page 8 of 37
        Provided further that if such appeal is not so disposed of
        within the period specified in the first proviso, the stay order
        shall stand vacated after the expiry of the said period."


7.      It is clear from the above that with effect from 01.06.2001, it was

stipulated that where an order of stay had been granted, the Appellate

Tribunal was required to dispose of the appeal within a period of 180 days

from the date of said order. It was further provided that if appeal was not

disposed of within the specified period of 180 days, the stay order would

stand vacated after the expiry of the said period. As pointed out by the

learned counsel for the revenue, the Courts, while interpreting the said

provisos, as they stood with effect from 01.06.2001, did not limit the powers

of the Tribunal to pass fresh orders of stay on expiration of the period of 180

days. Consequently, by virtue of the Finance Act of 2007, with effect from

01.06.2007, the three provisos, as they stand today, except the last portion of

the third proviso, which reads as ­ `even if the delay in disposing of the

appeal is not attributable to the assessee'­, were substituted for the provisos

which had earlier been inserted by the Finance Act of 2001. Thereafter, by

virtue of the Finance Act, 2008, the third proviso was substituted by the

existing proviso with effect from 01.10.2008, the difference being that the




WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                          Page 9 of 37
expression ­ `even if the delay in disposing of the appeal is not attributable

to the assessee'­ was now added by virtue of the amendment of 2008.


8.      Prior to the amendment of 2008, the provisos clearly stipulated that, in

the first instance, a stay order could be passed for a period, not exceeding

180 days from the date of said order, and that the Tribunal was required to

dispose of the appeal within that period. The second proviso stipulated that

in case the appeal was not so disposed of within the period initially stipulated

by the Tribunal, the Tribunal could, on an application made on this behalf by

the assessee and on being satisfied that the delay in disposing of the appeal

was not attributable to the assessee, extend the period of stay for a period or

periods, provided that the aggregate of the period originally allowed and the

period or periods so extended, would not, in any case, exceed 365 days. The

Tribunal was also required to dispose of the appeal within the period or

periods of stay so extended or allowed. The third proviso stipulated that if

the appeal had not been disposed of within the period of 365 days, the order

of stay would stand vacated after the expiry of such period. This provision

came up for consideration before the Bombay High Court in Narang

Overseas (supra). The exact question which was considered by the Bombay




WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                           Page 10 of 37
High Court was whether the third proviso to Section 254(2A) of the said Act

had the effect of denuding the Tribunal of its incidental power to grant

interim relief.         A Division Bench of the Bombay High Court, after

considering various provisions and decisions, observed as under:-


        "20. It would not be possible on the one hand to hold that
        there is a vested right of appeal and on the other hand to hold
        that there is no power to continue the grant of interim relief
        for no fault of the assessee by divesting the incidental power
        of the Tribunal to continue the interim relief. Such a reading
        would result in such an exercise being rendered unreasonable
        and vilative of Article 14 of the Constitution. Courts must,
        therefore, construe and / or give a construction consistent with
        the constitutional mandate and principle to avoid a provision
        being rendered unconstitutional."
        xxxx             xxxx      xxxx         xxxx

        "23. We are of the respectful view that the law as enunciated
        in Kumar Cotton Mills (P) Ltd. (supra) should also apply to
        the construction of the third proviso as introduced in Section
        254(2A) by the Finance Act, 2007. The power to grant stay or
        interim relief being inherent or incidental is not defeated by
        the provisos to the sub-section. The third proviso has to be
        read as a limitation on the power of the Tribunal to continue
        interim relief in a case where the hearing of the appeal has
        been delayed for acts attributable to the assessee. It cannot
        mean that a construction be given that the power to grant
        interim relief is denuded even if the acts attributable are not of
        the assessee but of the revenue or of the Tribunal itself. The
        power of the Tribunal, therefore, to continue interim relief is
        not overridden by the language of the third proviso to Section
        254(2A). This would be in consonance with the view taken in
        Kumar Cotton Mills (P) Ltd. (supra). There would be power
        in the Tribunal to extend the period of stay on good cause



WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                             Page 11 of 37
        being shown and on the Tribunal being satisfied that the
        matter could not be heard and disposed of for reasons not
        attributable to the assessee."


9.      From the above extract, it is evident that the Bombay High Court was

of the view that if it were to be held that the Tribunal, while it had the power

to pass an order in an appeal, did not have the power to continue the grant of

interim relief for no fault of the assessee, the result would be rendered

unreasonable or violative of Article 14 of the Constitution. In other words,

the Bombay High Court took the view that the Tribunal had the power to

extend the stay beyond the period of 365 days, provided the delay in disposal

of the appeal was not attributable to the assessee. The Bombay High Court

also took the view that if the third proviso to Section 254(2A) were not

interpreted in such manner and it was to be held that the Tribunal had no

power to extend the period of stay beyond a period of 365 days even though

the delay was not attributable to the assessee then, the provision would run

afoul of Article 14 of the Constitution and would have to be struck down as

such. While observing this, the Bombay High Court was mindful that the

Courts are required to construe and/ or to give a construction to a provision

which was consistent with the constitutional mandate so as to avoid a

provision being rendered unconstitutional. It is in this light that the Bombay






WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                          Page 12 of 37
High Court read down and interpreted the third proviso (prior to the

amendment of 2008) to not take away the power of the Tribunal to extend

the period of stay beyond 365 days, provided, of course, that the delay in

disposing of the appeal was not attributable to the assessee.


10.     The Notes on Clauses pertaining to the Finance Bill, 2008, to the

extent relevant, read as under:-


        "Clause 46 seeks to amend section 254 of the Income-tax Act,
        relating to orders of the Appellate Tribunal.

              Sub-section (2A) of the said section provides that the
        Income-tax Appellate Tribunal, where it is possible, may hear
        and decide an appeal within a period of four years from the end
        of the financial year in which such appeal is filed under sub-
        section (1) or sub-section (2) of section 253.

               The first proviso to this sub-section provides that the
        said Appellate Tribunal may, on merit, pass an order of stay in
        any proceedings relating to an appeal. However, such period
        of stay cannot exceed 180 days from the date of such order and
        the said Appellate Tribunal shall dispose of the appeal within
        the specified period of stay.

               The second proviso to this sub-section provides that
        where the appeal has not been disposed of within the said
        specified period and the delay in disposing of the appeal is not
        attributable to the assessee, the Appellate Tribunal can further
        extend the period of stay originally allowed. However, the
        aggregate of period originally allowed and the period so



WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                           Page 13 of 37
        extended should not exceed 365 days. The Appellate Tribunal
        is required to dispose of the appeal within the extended period.

               The third proviso to this sub-section provides that if such
        appeal is not decided within the period allowed originally or
        the period or periods so extended or allowed, the order of stay
        shall stand vacated after the expiry of such period or periods.

               The intention behind these provisions have been very
        clear that the Appellate Tribunal cannot grant stay either under
        the original order or under any subsequent order, beyond the
        period of 365 days in aggregate.

              To make this intention clear, it is proposed to amend
        section 254 of the Income-tax Act and further provide that the
        aggregate of the period originally allowed and the period or
        periods so extended or allowed shall not, in any case, exceed
        three hundred and sixty five days, even if the delay in
        disposing of the appeal is not attributable to the assessee.

              This amendment will take effect from 1st October,
        2008."

From the above, it is evident that the object behind the introduction of the

words ­ `even if the delay in disposing of the appeal is not attributable to the

assessee'­ was to make it clear that the aggregate of the period originally

allowed and the period or periods so extended or allowed was not to, in any

case, exceed 365 days, even if the delay in disposing of the appeal was not

attributable to the assessee.




WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                            Page 14 of 37
11.     It is evident that the amendment introduced by virtue of the Finance

Act, 2008 had nullified the effect of the decision of the Bombay High court

in Narang Overseas (supra). The said provision, after its amendment by

virtue of the Finance Act, 2008, came up for consideration before this Court

in Maruti Suzuki (India) Limited (supra). The following observations made

by a Division Bench of this Court in that case are relevant:-


        "26. In view of the aforesaid discussion, we have reached the
        following conclusion:-

        (i)    In view of the third proviso to Section 254(2A) of the Act
        substituted by Finance Act, 2008 with effect from 1st October,
        2008, tribunal cannot extend stay beyond the period of 365 days
        from the date of first order of stay.

        (ii) In case default and delay is due to lapse on the part of the
        Revenue, the tribunal is at liberty to conclude hearing and
        decide the appeal, if there is likelihood that the third proviso to
        Section 254 (2A) would come into operation.

        (iii) Third proviso to Section 254 (2A) does not bar or
        prohibit the Revenue or departmental representative from
        making a statement that they would not take coercive steps to
        recover the impugned demand and on such statement being
        made, it will be open to the tribunal to adjourn the matter at the
        request of the Revenue.

        (iv) An assessee can file a writ petition in the High Court
        pleading and asking for stay and the High Court has power and
        jurisdiction to grant stay and issue directions to the tribunal as
        may be required. Section 254(2A) does not prohibit/bar the




WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                            Page 15 of 37
        High Court from issuing appropriate directions, including
        granting stay of recovery.

        27. We have not examined the constitutional validity of the
        provisos to Section 254 (2A) of the Act and the issue is left
        open."
                                                 (underlining added)



12.     From the above extract, it is evident that the Division Bench was not

called upon and did not examine the constitutional validity of the provisos to

Section 254(2A) of the said Act and left the issue open. It is only on a plain

reading of the provisos, as they existed, that the Division Bench came to the

conclusion that the Tribunal had no power to extend stay beyond a period of

365 days from the date of the first order of stay but that an assessee could

file a writ petition in the High Court asking for stay even beyond the said

period of 365 days and the High Court had the power and jurisdiction to

grant stay and issue directions to the Tribunal and that Section 254(2A) did

not prohibit / bar the High Court from issuing appropriate directions,

including grant of stay of recovery.      A similar view was taken by the

Bombay High Court in Jethmal Faujimal Soni (supra). But that decision

was also rendered on a plain meaning of the provisos, as they stood. There

was no challenge to the constitutional validity of the third proviso to Section




WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                          Page 16 of 37
254(2A) of the said Act after the amendment introduced by the Finance Act,

2008. No decision of any High Court has been brought to our notice by the

learned counsel for the parties, wherein the constitutional validity of the third

proviso to Section 254(2A) of the said Act has been examined.


13.     At this point, we may also refer to certain other observations of the

Division Bench in Maruti Suzuki (India) Limited (supra). The Court had

examined various data with regard to the filing of appeals, pendency of

appeals and stay orders granted by the Tribunal etc.. Paragraphs 21, 22 and

23 are of material importance and they are reproduced herein below:-


        "21. Information/data in this regard was received vide letter dated
        30th January, 2014 written by Assistant Registrar, Tribunal. The
        relevant portion of the said letter reads as under:-

              "a) Number of appeals filed before the Tribunal by the
              assessee and the revenue is as under:-

                        Year    Assessee   Revenue      Total
                        2011      3359      3013         6372
                        2012      3593      3462         7055
                        2013      3975      3102         7077
                        Total    10927      9577        20504


                b) No data is available with regard to average time taken
                for disposal of the appeal before the Tribunal.




WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                           Page 17 of 37
                c)    (i) The year-wise details of the stay orders passed by
                the Tribunal are as under:-

                        Year                     Number of stay orders

                        2011                            173

                        2012                            278

                        2013                            321

                (ii) The complete details in respect of each and every appeal
                where stay order was passed is annexed as Annexure-1, 2 & 3.

                d) The year-wise details of the cases/appeals which
                remained pending beyond 365 days of the stay order are as
                under:-

                Year           Number of appeals disposed-off after 365
                               days or pending for more than 365 days

                2011           90 Appeals

                2012           131 Appeals

                2013           36 Appeals

                 e) The year-wise details of the number of appeals
                 disposed of within 365 days from the date of grant of stay
                 are as under:-

                Year           Number of appeals disposed-off within 365
                               days or pending within 365 days

                 2011          83 Appeals

                 2012          147 Appeals

                 2013          285 Appeals"




WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                            Page 18 of 37
        22. The aforesaid data does not mention the quantum of
        demand, which was subject matter of stay, but the position is
        certainly not bleak and unpalatable. Most of the appeals in which
        stay had/has been granted, were/are being disposed of within 365
        days. Number of appeals, which were not disposed of within 365
        days of grant of stay, have come down sharply in the year 2013.
        Grant of stay by the tribunal is not a matter of right, but is decided
        by a speaking order, recording prima facie view on merits. In case
        there is an error or the tribunal has erred in granting stay, Revenue
        is not without remedy and can approach the High Court in
        accordance with law.


        23. We do not have figures or data on whether the demands
        raised, which was subject matter of stay, was sustained/upheld or
        were deleted by the tribunal. Merits and justification of additions
        is examined by the appellate forums and demands raised have
        relevance when they are sustained by the tribunal/High Court and
        the Supreme Court."


14.     From the above data, it is evident that the number of stay orders

granted by the Tribunal in the years 2011, 2012 and 2013 do not even

amount to 10% of the appeals filed by assessees before the Tribunal.

Furthermore, even a fewer number of appeals, in which stay orders have

been passed, remain pending beyond the period of 365 days. It is in this

light that the Division Bench observed that most of the appeals in which stay

had/has been granted were/are being disposed of within 365 days.                 The

Division Bench also observed that the grant of stay by the Tribunal was not a

matter of right but was decided by a speaking order, recording the prima



WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                            Page 19 of 37
facie view on merits. Furthermore, in case there was an error, the revenue

was not without remedy and could approach the High Court in accordance

with law. From the above figures, it is evident that there is a very small

percentage of appeals before the Tribunal which remain pending beyond the

period of 365 days in which stay orders were granted.


15.     We may also refer to paragraph 17 of the decision in Maruti Suzuki

(India) Limited (supra) which was relied upon by the revenue. The said

paragraph reads as under:-


        "17. In these circumstances, we have examined whether we
        can read down the third proviso, by applying principles of
        equity, justice and fair play and also the principle that the court
        should interpret a provision in a manner that it does not lead to
        arbitrary results or make it violative of Article 14 or would
        render it unconstitutional. However, it is clear to us that the
        legislative mandate has to be respected and the courts do not
        legislate but interpret the statute as a legislative edict. The third
        proviso after amendment, undoubtedly bars and prohibits the
        tribunal from extending interim stay order beyond 365 days. It
        stipulates deemed vacation and imposes no fault consequences
        in strict terms. The language is clear and therefore has to be
        respected. However, the provision does not bar or prohibit an
        assessee from approaching the High Court by way of writ
        petition for continuation, extension or grant of stay. Fairly, the
        standing counsel for Revenue accepts and admits that in spite of
        Section 254(2A), the High Court has power to grant and extend
        stay where the appeal is pending before the tribunal. The
        constitutional power and right is available and has not and
        cannot be curtailed. The powers of the High Court under




WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                              Page 20 of 37
        Articles 226 and 227 form a part and parcel of the basic
        structure of the Constitution and cannot be over written and
        nullified as held by the Constitutional Bench in L. Chandra
        Kumar versus Union of India, (1997) 3 SCC 261. Thus, the
        High Court in appropriate matters can grant or extend stay even
        when the tribunal has not been able to dispose of an appeal
        within 365 days from the date of grant of initial stay.     This
        perhaps appears to be and apparently is the intention of the
        Parliament. High Court while granting or rejecting the writ
        petition will examine the factual matrix, record reasons as to
        who is to be blamed and is responsible for the default and can
        also issue appropriate directions or orders for expeditious and
        early disposal of the appeal. The provision will propel and
        ensure that the tribunal will try and dispose of and decide
        appeals within 365 days of the grant of stay order. The Bombay
        High Court in Jethmal Faujimal Soni vs. Income Tax
        Appellate Tribunal [2011] 333 ITR 96, had occasion to deal
        with a similar situation and entertained the writ petition. In the
        said case constitutional validity of the third proviso inserted in
        Section 254(2A) of the Act by Finance Act, 2008, w.e.f. 1 st
        October, 2008 was challenged It was observed that the proviso
        enacted a stringent provision as a result of which even if the
        delay in disposing of the appeal was/is not attributable to the
        assessee, the stay stands vacated after 365 days. Thus, the
        tribunal was/is under binding duty and obligation to dispose of
        the appeal within the said time, particularly when the fault was
        not on the part of the assessee. In the said case, directions were
        issued for expeditious disposal of the appeal and it was also
        directed that the Revenue shall not take coercive steps for
        enforcing demand subject matter of the appeal."

                                                    (underlining added)


16.     At this juncture itself, we may reiterate that the decision of the

Division Bench in Maruti Suzuki (India) Limited (supra) was based on an




WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                           Page 21 of 37
interpretation of the third proviso to Section 254(2A) as it stands. The

constitutional validity of the same had not been examined. It only spelt out

the legislative intent and that was more than clear that no stay could be

granted by the Tribunal beyond the period of 365 days under any

circumstances.          The question that we have to examine is whether this

intention of the legislature is not hit by Article 14 of the Constitution of

India. We may also point out that the fact that judicial review was available

to an assessee under Article 226 of the Constitution, would not, in any way,

add to or subtract from the issue of constitutional validity of the third proviso

to Section 254(2A).


17.     It would now be relevant to examine the decision of the Supreme

Court in Mohammed Kunhi (supra). The question before the Supreme

Court was whether the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal had power under the

relevant provisions of the said Act to stay the recovery of the realization of

the penalty imposed by the departmental authorities on an assessee during

the pendency of an appeal before it. In that case, the Tribunal had declined

to order any stay holding that it had no power to grant such a prayer. We

must be mindful of the fact that at that point of time Section 254(2A) was not




WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                           Page 22 of 37
there in the said Act. The said provision was introduced with effect from

01.06.1999 by the Finance Act, 1999.           In the absence of any specific

provision, permitting the Tribunal to grant stay, the question arose as to

whether the Tribunal had the power to stay the proceedings as also the

collection of penalties pending the appeal. The High Court of Kerala held

that the Tribunal had such power and that the power was incidental and

ancillary to its appellate jurisdiction. The Supreme Court observed that the

powers, which had been conferred by Section 254 on the Appellate Tribunal,

were of the widest possible amplitude and, therefore, must carry with them,

by necessary implication, all powers and duties incidental and necessary to

make the exercise of those fully effective.        Finally, the Supreme Court

concluded by holding:-


        "13. Section 255(5) of the Act does empower the Appellate
        Tribunal to regulate its own procedure, but it is very doubtful if
        the power of stay can be spelt out from that provision. In our
        opinion the Appellate Tribunal must be held to have the power
        to grant stay as incidental or ancillary to its appellate
        jurisdiction. This is particularly so when Section 220(6) deals
        expressly with a situation when an appeal is pending before the
        Appellate Assistant Commissioner, but the Act is silent in that
        behalf when an appeal is pending before the Appellate Tribunal.
        It could well be said that when Section 254 confers appellate
        jurisdiction, it impliedly grants the power of doing all such acts,
        or employing such means, as are essentially necessary to its
        execution and that the statutory power carries with it the duty in



WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                            Page 23 of 37
        proper cases to make such orders for staying proceedings as
        will prevent the appeal if successful from being rendered
        nugatory.

        14. A certain apprehension may legitimately arise in the
        minds of the authorities administering the Act that if the
        Appellate Tribunals proceed to stay recovery of taxes or
        penalties payable by or imposed on the Assessees as a matter of
        course the revenue will be put to great loss because of the
        inordinate delay in the disposal of appeals by the Appellate
        Tribunals. It is needless to point out that the power of stay by
        the Tribunal is not likely to be exercised in a routine way or as
        a matter of course in view of the special nature of taxation and
        revenue laws. It will only be when a strong prima facie case is
        made out that the tribunal will consider whether to stay the
        recovery proceedings and on what conditions, and the stay will
        be granted in most deserving and appropriate cases where the
        tribunal is satisfied that the entire purpose of the appeal will be
        frustrated or rendered nugatory by allowing the recovery
        proceedings to continue during the pendency of the appeal."

                                                      (underlining added)


18.     From this decision, it is evident that the power to grant a stay is

incidental or ancillary to the appellate jurisdiction of the Tribunal. It is also

clear that the power of stay exercised by the Tribunal is not likely to be

exercised in a routine way or as a matter of course in view of the special

nature of taxation and revenue laws and it is only when a strong prima facie

case is made out that the Tribunal would consider whether to stay the

recovery proceedings and on what conditions. The stay is also granted in




WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                            Page 24 of 37
deserving and appropriate cases where the Tribunal is satisfied that the entire

purpose of the appeal would be frustrated or rendered nugatory by allowing

the recovery proceedings to continue during the pendency of the appeal.

These words of the Supreme Court were indeed prophetic, as can be

discerned from the data which has been referred to by a Division Bench of

this Court in Maruti Suzuki (India) Limited (supra), which shows that in

less than 10% of the appeals filed by assessees, the Tribunal has granted stay

orders and in a very few of such cases, the appeals are pending beyond the

period of 365 days stipulated under the provisions, as they now stand.


19.      A reference has been made to Mardia Chemicals Limited (supra).

The passages referred to were paragraphs 55, 61 and 80, which read as

under:


         "55. We may then turn to the arguments raised on behalf of
         the petitioners that the remedy before the Debts Recovery
         Tribunal under Section 17 of the Act is illusory, burdened with
         onerous and oppressive condition of deposit of 75% of the
         amount of the demand notice before an appeal can be
         entertained by the Tribunal. We feel that it would be difficult to
         brush aside the challenge made to the condition of such a
         deposit. Sub-section (2) of Section 17 itself says that no appeal
         shall be entertainable unless the borrower has deposited the
         aforesaid sum of amount claimed. Much stress has been given
         in reply to the proviso to sub-section (2) of Section 17,
         according to which the Tribunal has power to waive or reduce



WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                            Page 25 of 37
        the amount. While waiving the condition of depositing the
        amount or reducing it, the Tribunal is required to record reasons
        for the same. It is submitted for the respondents that in an
        appropriate case, DRT which is presided over by a Member of a
        Higher Judicial Service, would exercise its discretion and may
        waive or reduce the amount required to be deposited in
        deserving cases. It is, therefore, not an absolute condition which
        must in all cases and all circumstances be fulfilled irrespective
        of the special features of a particular case."
        xxxx            xxxx        xxxx         xxxx

        "61. In the case of Seth Nandlal (supra), while considering the
        question of validity of pre-deposit before availing the right of
        appeal the Court held:

                "right of appeal is a creature of the statute and while
                granting the right the legislature can impose
                conditions for the exercise of such right so long as
                the conditions are not so onerous as to amount to
                unreasonable restrictions rendering the right almost
                illusory."
                                              (emphasis supplied).

        While making said observation this Court referred to the
        decision in the case of Anant Mills Co. Ltd. (supra). In both the
        above noted decisions this Court had negated the plea raised
        against pre-deposit but in the case of Seth Nandlal (supra) it
        was found that the condition was not so onerous since the
        amount sought to be deposited was meager and that too was
        confined to the landholding tax payable in respect of the
        disputed area i.e. the area or part thereof which is declared
        surplus by the Prescribed Authority (emphasis supplied) after
        leaving the permissible area to the appellant. In the above
        circumstances it was found that even in the absence of a
        provision conferring discretion on the appellate authority to
        waive or reduce the amount of pre- deposit, it was considered to




WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                             Page 26 of 37
        be valid, for the two reasons indicated above. The facts of the
        case in hand are just otherwise."

        xxxx            xxxx       xxxx         xxxx

        "80. Under the Act in consideration, we find that before
        taking action a notice of 60 days is required to be given and
        after the measures under Section 13(4) of the Act have been
        taken, a mechanism has been provided under Section 17 of the
        Act to approach the Debts Recovery Tribunal. The above noted
        provisions are for the purpose of giving some reasonable
        protection to the borrower. Viewing the matter in the above
        perspective, we find what emerges from different provisions of
        the Act, is as follows :-

                1.     Under sub-section (2) of Section 13 it is
                incumbent upon the secured creditor to serve 60 days
                notice before proceeding to take any of the measures
                as provided under sub-section (4) of Section 13 of the
                Act. After service of notice, if the borrower raises
                any objection or places facts for consideration of the
                secured creditor, such reply to the notice must be
                considered with due application of mind and the
                reasons for not accepting the objections, howsoever
                brief they may be, must be communicated to the
                borrower. In connection with this conclusion we have
                already held a discussion in the earlier part of the
                judgment. The reasons so communicated shall only
                be for the purposes of the information/knowledge of
                the borrower without giving rise to any right to
                approach the Debts Recovery Tribunal under Section
                17 of the Act, at that stage.

                2.    As already discussed earlier, on measures
                having been taken under sub-section (4) of Section



WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                            Page 27 of 37
                13 and before the date of sale/auction of the property
                it would be open for the borrower to file an appeal
                (petition) under Section 17 of the Act before the
                Debts Recovery Tribunal.

                3.     That the Tribunal in exercise of its ancillary
                powers shall have jurisdiction to pass any
                stay/interim order subject to the condition as it may
                deem fit and proper to impose.

                4.     In view of the discussion already held in this
                behalf, we find that the requirement of deposit of
                75% of amount claimed before entertaining an appeal
                (petition) under Section 17 of the Act is an
                oppressive, onerous and arbitrary condition against
                all the canons of reasonableness. Such a condition is
                invalid and it is liable to be struck down.

                5.     As discussed earlier in this judgment, we find
                that it will be open to maintain a civil suit in civil
                court, within the narrow scope and on the limited
                grounds on which they are permissible, in the matters
                relating to an English mortgage enforceable without
                intervention of the court."

20.     The learned counsel for the petitioners had also referred to a decision

of the Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in PML

Industries Limited (supra). Although that decision pertained to Section 35C

(2A) of the Central Excise Act, 1944, the provision under consideration was

somewhat similar. It pertained to the waiver of pre-deposit at the stage of an

appeal pending before the Central Excise Service Tax Appellate Tribunal.




WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                            Page 28 of 37
The provision indicated that the waiver would stand vacated after 180 days.

In that context, the question arose, as to whether the second proviso to

Section 2A of Section 35C was directory and that the Tribunal, in

appropriate circumstances, could extend the period of stay beyond 180 days.

While considering the said question, the Punjab and Haryana High Court

held as under:-


        "51. Though the right of appeal is a creation of Statute and it
        can be exercised only subject to the conditions specified
        therein, but the conditions specified have to be in relation to the
        assessee as something which is required to be complied with by
        the assessee. But where the assessee has no control over the
        functioning of the Tribunal, then the provision of vacation of
        stay cannot be sustained.

        52.    The assessee having preferred appeal and that Tribunal
        being satisfied that condition for dispensing with the pre-
        deposit of duty demanded and penalty levied is made out, is
        compelled to pay the duty demanded and penalty levied, if the
        appeal is not decided within 180 days. The assessee has no
        control in respect of matters pending before the Tribunal; in the
        matter of availability of infrastructure; the members of the
        Tribunal and the workload. Therefore, for the reason that the
        Tribunal is not able to decide appeal within 180 days, the
        vacation of stay is a harsh and onerous and unreasonable
        condition. The condition of vacation of stay for the inability of
        the Tribunal to decide the appeal is burdening the assessee for
        no fault of his. Such a condition is onerous and renders the right
        of appeal as illusory. An order passed by a judicial forum is
        sought to be annulled for no fault of assessee. Therefore, in
        terms of judgments in Anant Mills Ltd. and Seth Nandlal cases
        (supra), such condition of automatic vacation of stay on the



WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                            Page 29 of 37
        expiry of 180 days, has to be read down to mean that after 180
        days the Revenue has a right to bring to the notice of the
        Tribunal the conduct of the assessee in delay or avoiding the
        decision of appeal, so as to warrant an order of vacation of stay.
        If the provision is not read down in the manner mentioned
        above, such condition suffers from illegality rendering the right
        of appeal as redundant.

        xxxx            xxxx       xxxx         xxxx

        54. Consequently, the second proviso in sub-section (2A) of
        Section 35C is ordered to be read down to mean that after 180
        days, the Revenue has a right to seek vacation of stay on proof
        of the fact that the assessee is the one, who is defaulted or taken
        steps to delay the ultimate decision."

The said Court read down the provision in question in much the same

manner as did the Bombay High Court in the case of Narang Overseas

(supra). The object being that, if the provision were to be read strictly, it

would render the right of appeal to be illusory and for no fault of the

assessee.


21.     The decision in Wire Netting Store, Delhi (supra) was relied upon by

the learned counsel for the petitioners for the proposition that the availability

of a constitutional remedy would not remove the lacuna of a provision which

was inherently unconstitutional.        There can be no dispute with this

proposition. The provision which is challenged, as being violative of Article




WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                            Page 30 of 37
14 of the Constitution, would have to be tested on its own without recourse

to the availability of the remedy of judicial review under Article 226 of the

Constitution.


22.     In Dr Subramanian Swamy (supra), a Constitution Bench of the

Supreme Court, while considering the parameters which needed to be kept in

mind in determining whether a particular provision of a statute was violative

of Article 14 or not, made the following observations:-


        "46. In Air India v. Nergesh Meerza and Ors. : (1981) 4 SCC
        335, the three-Judge Bench of this Court while dealing with
        constitutional validity of Regulation 46(i)(c) of Air India
        Employees' Service Regulations (referred to as 'A.I.
        Regulations') held that certain conditions mentioned in the
        Regulations may not be violative of Article 14 on the ground of
        discrimination but if it is proved that the conditions laid down
        are entirely unreasonable and absolutely arbitrary, then the
        provisions will have to be struck down. With regard to due
        process clause in the American Constitution and Article 14 of
        our Constitution, this Court referred to State of West Bengal v.
        Anwar Ali Sarkar : (1952) SCR 284, and observed that the due
        process clause in the American Constitution could not apply to
        our Constitution. The Court also referred to A.S. Krishna v.
        State of Madras: 1957 S.C.R. 399 wherein Venkatarama Ayyar,
        J. observed:

            "13.     ....The law would thus appear to be based on
            the due process clause, and it is extremely doubtful
            whether it can have application under our Constitution."




WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                           Page 31 of 37
        47. In D.S. Nakara and Ors. v. Union of India: (1983) 1 SCC
        305, the Constitution Bench of this Court had an occasion to
        consider the scope, content and meaning of Article 14. The
        Court referred to earlier decisions of this Court and in para 15,
        the Court observed:

              "15. Thus the fundamental principle is that
              Article 14 forbids class legislation but permits
              reasonable classification for the purpose of legislation
              which classification must satisfy the twin tests of
              classification being founded on an intelligible
              differentia which distinguishes persons or things that
              are grouped together from those that are left out of the
              group and that differentia must have a rational nexus
              to the object sought to be achieved by the statute in
              question.""
        xxxx            xxxx       xxxx         xxxx

       "Court's approach

       49. Where there is challenge to the constitutional validity of a
       law enacted by the legislature, the Court must keep in view that
       there is always a presumption of constitutionality of an
       enactment, and a clear transgression of constitutional principles
       must be shown. The fundamental nature and importance of the
       legislative process needs to be recognized by the Court and due
       regard and deference must be accorded to the legislative
       process. Where the legislation is sought to be challenged as
       being unconstitutional and violative of Article 14 of the
       Constitution, the Court must remind itself to the principles
       relating to the applicability of Article 14 in relation to
       invalidation of legislation. The two dimensions of Article 14 in
       its application to legislation and rendering legislation invalid are
       now well recognized and these are (i) discrimination, based on
       an impermissible or invalid classification and (ii) excessive
       delegation of powers; conferment of uncanalised and unguided
       powers on the executive, whether in the form of delegated






WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                            Page 32 of 37
       legislation or by way of conferment of authority to pass
       administrative orders-if such conferment is without any
       guidance, control or checks, it is violative of Article 14 of the
       Constitution. The Court also needs to be mindful that a
       legislation does not become unconstitutional merely because
       there is another view or because another method may be
       considered to be as good or even more effective, like any issue
       of social, or even economic policy. It is well settled that the
       courts do not substitute their views on what the policy is."


It is clear that where a legislation is sought to be challenged, as being

unconstitutional or violative of Article 14 of the Constitution, the Court must

keep in mind the principles relating to the applicability of Article 14 in

relation to invalidation of a legislation. The two dimensions of Article 14 in

its application to legislation and for rendering legislation invalid are well

settled and these are ­ (i) discrimination, based on an impermissible or an

invalid classification and (ii) excessive delegation of powers; conferment of

uncanalised and unguided powers on the executive, whether in the form of

delegated legislation or by way of conferment of authority to pass

administrative orders. The Constitution Bench also cautioned that the Courts

need to be mindful that a legislation does not become unconstitutional

merely because there is another view or because another method may be




WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                          Page 33 of 37
considered to be as good or even more effective, like any issue of social, or

even economic policy.


23.     Keeping in mind the principles set out by the Supreme Court in

Dr Subramanian Swamy (supra), we need to examine whether the present

challenge to the validity of the third proviso to Section 254(2A) can be

sustained.      This is not a case of excessive delegation of powers and,

therefore, we need not bother about the second dimension of Article 14 in its

application to legislation. We are here concerned with the question of

discrimination, based on an impermissible or invalid classification. It is

abundantly clear that the power granted to the Tribunal to hear and entertain

an appeal and to pass orders would include the ancillary power of the

Tribunal to grant a stay. Of course, the exercise of that power can be

subjected to certain conditions. In the present case, we find that there are

several conditions which have been stipulated. First of all, as per the first

proviso to Section 254(2A), a stay order could be passed for a period not

exceeding 180 days and the Tribunal should dispose of the appeal within that

period. The second proviso stipulates that in case the appeal is not disposed

of within the period of 180 days, if the delay in disposing of the appeal is not

attributable to the assessee, the Tribunal has the power to extend the stay for



WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                          Page 34 of 37
a period not exceeding 365 days in aggregate. Once again, the Tribunal is

directed to dispose of the appeal within the said period of stay. The third

proviso, as it stands today, stipulates that if the appeal is not disposed of

within the period of 365 days, then the order of stay shall stand vacated, even

if the delay in disposing of the appeal is not attributable to the assessee.

While it could be argued that the condition that the stay order could be

extended beyond a period of 180 days only if the delay in disposing of the

appeal was not attributable to the assessee was a reasonable condition on the

power of the Tribunal to the grant an order of stay, it can, by no stretch of

imagination, be argued that where the assessee is not responsible for the

delay in the disposal of the appeal, yet the Tribunal has no power to extend

the stay beyond the period of 365 days. The intention of the legislature,

which has been made explicit by insertion of the words ­ `even if the delay

in disposing of the appeal is not attributable to the assessee'­ renders the

right of appeal granted to the assessee by the statute to be illusory for no

fault on the part of the assessee. The stay, which was available to him prior

to the 365 days having passed, is snatched away simply because the Tribunal

has, for whatever reason, not attributable to the assessee, been unable to

dispose of the appeal. Take the case of delay being caused in the disposal of




WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                          Page 35 of 37
the appeal on the part of the revenue. Even in that case, the stay would stand

vacated on the expiry of 365 days. This is despite the fact that the stay was

granted by the Tribunal, in the first instance, upon considering the prima

facie merits of the case through a reasoned order.


24.     Furthermore, the petitioners are correct in their submission that

unequals have been treated equally. Assessees who, after having obtained

stay orders and by their conduct delay the appeal proceedings, have been

treated in the same manner in which assessees, who have not, in any way,

delayed the proceedings in the appeal. The two classes of assessees are

distinct and cannot be clubbed together. This clubbing together has led to

hostile discrimination against the assessees to whom the delay is not

attributable.     It is for this reason that we find that the insertion of the

expression ­ `even if the delay in disposing of the appeal is not attributable

to the assessee'­ by virtue of the Finance Act, 2008, violates the non-

discrimination clause of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. The object

that appeals should be heard expeditiously and that assesses should not

misuse the stay orders granted in their favour by adopting delaying tactics is

not at all achieved by the provision as it stands. On the contrary, the

clubbing together of `well behaved' assesses and those who cause delay in



WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                          Page 36 of 37
the appeal proceedings is itself violative of Article 14 of the Constitution and

has no nexus or connection with the object sought to be achieved. The said

expression introduced by the Finance Act, 2008 is, therefore, struck down as

being violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. This would revert

us to the position of law as interpreted by the Bombay High Court in Narang

Overseas (supra), with which we are in full agreement. Consequently, we

hold that, where the delay in disposing of the appeal is not attributable to the

assessee, the Tribunal has the power to grant extension of stay beyond 365

days in deserving cases. The writ petitions are allowed as above.


25.     Consequently, the petitioners may approach the Tribunal for extension

of stay in each of the cases before us and till the Tribunal passes such orders,

the interim orders granted by us in these matters shall continue.              The

petitioners shall move the Tribunal within four weeks from the date of this

judgment. The parties are left to bear their own costs.



                                              BADAR DURREZ AHMED, J



                                               SANJEEV SACHDEVA, J
MAY 19, 2015
SR



WP(C) 1334/2015 & ORS                                          Page 37 of 37

 
 
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