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November, 22nd 2013
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Sl.         ITA No(s)      Assessment                 Appeal(s) by
No(s).                      Year(s)      Appellant      vs.    Respondent
                                              Appellant (s)          Respond-
  1.      2203/Ahd/2012      2004-05        Bank of Baroda             The
                                            Service Branch            Jt.CIT
                                            3rd Floor, Saifee          TDS
                                         Building, Dutch Road,        Range,
                                         Nanpura, Surat-395 001        Surat
  2.      2204/Ahd/2012      2005-06                 -do-              -do-
  3.      2205/Ahd/2012      2006-07                 -do-              -do-
  4.      2216/Ahd/2012      2003-04                 -do-              -do-

                  Assessee by :            Shri M.K.Patel, AR
                  Revenue by :          Shri K.C.Mathews, Sr.DR

               / Date of Hearing      : 19/11/2013
               /Date of Pronouncement : 19/11/2013
                              / O R D E R


         These four appeals by the Assessee-bank are directed against the
orders of the Ld.Commissioner of Income Tax(Appeals)-I, Surat
(`CIT(A)' for short) all identically dated 08/08/2012 pertaining to
Assessment Years (AYs) 2004-05, 2005-06,2006-07 & 2003-04. Since
common issues are involved, all these appeals were heard together and
are being disposed of by way of this consolidated order for the sake of
convenience. The common grounds raised by the Assessee are as under
(extracted from ITA No.2216/Ahd/2012, for AY 2003-04 ­ lead case):-
                                          ITA Nos.2203,2204,2205 & 2216/Ahd/2012
                                                          Bank of Baroda vs.Jt.CIT
                                AYs­2004-05,2005-06,2006-07 & 2003-04 respectively

      1. On the facts and in the circumstances of the case as well as law on
         the subject, the learned Commissioner of the Income Tax (Appeals)
         has erred in confirming the action of the assessing officer in levying
         penalty of Rs.2,56,281/- (for AY 2003-04), Rs.2,52,431/- (for AY
         2004-05), Rs.2,38,436/- (for AY 2005-06) and Rs.3,54,982/- (for AY
         2006-07) u/s.271C of the Income Tax Act, 1961.

      2. It is therefore prayed that the above addition may please be deleted
         as learned members of the Tribunal may deem it proper.

      3. Appellant craves leave to add, alter or delete any ground(s) either
         before or in the course of the hearing of the appeal.

2.   Briefly stated facts are that the ITO (TDS)-1, Surat noticed that the
assessee had not deducted TDS from the payments made to the State
Bank of India as MICR charges during the relevant year. On refrence,
proceedings for penalty u/s.271C of the Income Tax Act, 1961
(hereinafter referred to as "the Act") were initiated by the Jt.CIT TDS
Range, Surat and subsequently the order levying penalty of Rs.2,56,281/-
(for AY 2003-04). Against this, assessee filed an appeal before the
ld.CIT(A), who after considering the submissions of the assessee
dismissed the appeal on the ground of delay.

3.    The ld.counsel for the assessee Shri M.K.Patel submitted that the
assessee is a nationalized bank and for filing the appeal it requires
approval from the competent authority and this takes a lot of time in any
Government Organization. The ld.counsel for the assessee submitted that
the ld.CIT(A) ought to have a liberal approach while deciding the appeal.
                                          ITA Nos.2203,2204,2205 & 2216/Ahd/2012
                                                          Bank of Baroda vs.Jt.CIT
                                AYs­2004-05,2005-06,2006-07 & 2003-04 respectively

3.1.   On the contrary, ld.Sr.DR Shri K.C.Mathews strongly supported
the orders of the authorities below.

4.     We have heard the rival submissions, perused the material
available on record and gone through the orders of the authorities below.
We find that the ld.CIT(A) has decided this issue on the ground that
provisions of section 249(3) of the Act cannot be invoked in the present
case as the assessee has failed to establish existence of `sufficient cause'.
The appellant has given a general explanation for delay without giving
specific details like date-wise details       of movement of proposal for
seeking approval to file appeal.         Since the delay involved is of
approximately one year and appellant has failed to establish sufficient
cause, the delay is not condoned and appeal is dismissed. The ld.counsel
for the assessee has contended that the relevant details could have been
furnished, atleast a chance would have given to the assessee-bank. After
considering all the aspects of the matter, we are of the view that a liberal
approach ought to have been adopted by the ld.CIT(A) while deciding
the issue of limitation. Since the assessee is a nationalized bank and it is
not disputed by the authorities below that the assessee is required to
obtain permission/approval from the competent authority and this
consumes time thereby result into delay. Therefore, we hereby set aside
the order of the ld.CIT(A) and the assessee is directed to place on record
the reason for not filing the appeal within the period of limitation by way
of Affidavit along with supporting evidence. Hence, this appeal is
restored back to the file of ld.CIT(A) for fresh decision in accordance
with law. Since the facts are identical in all the cases, we allow all the
appeals filed by the assessee for statistical purposes only.
                                                         ITA Nos.2203,2204,2205 & 2216/Ahd/2012
                                                                         Bank of Baroda vs.Jt.CIT
                                               AYs­2004-05,2005-06,2006-07 & 2003-04 respectively

5.          In the result, all the appeals filed by the Assessee are allowed
but for statistical purposes.
       Order pronounced in Court on the date mentioned hereinabove at caption page

                       Sd/-                                                           Sd/-
                 (..)                                                            (  )
        ( N.S. SAINI )                                                     ( KUL BHARAT )
     ACCOUNTANT MEMBER                                                   JUDICIAL MEMBER

Ahmedabad;                    Dated         19/ 11 /2013

.., .../T.C. NAIR, Sr. PS

      Copy of the Order forwarded to :
1.          / The Appellant
2.         × / The Respondent.
3.            / Concerned CIT
4.          () / The CIT(A)-I, Surat
5.          ,   ,  / DR, ITAT, Ahmedabad

6.         [  / Guard file.
                                                                                        / BY ORDER,

                     ×  //True Copy//

                                                                  /  (Dy./Asstt.Registrar)
                                                          ,  / ITAT, Ahmedabad
      1.    Date of dictation .. 19.11.13(dictation-pad 7-pages attached at the end of this File)
      2.    Date on which the typed draft is placed before the Dictating Member ......19.11.13
      3.    Date on which the approved draft comes to the Sr.P.S./P.S.................
      4.    Date on which the fair order is placed before the Dictating Member for
      5.    Date on which fair order placed before Other Member............
      6.    Date on which the fair order comes back to the Sr.P.S./P.S.......20.11.13
      7.    Date on which the file goes to the Bench Clerk.....................20.11.13
      8.    Date on which the file goes to the Head Clerk..........................................
      9.    The date on which the file goes to the Assistant Registrar for signature
            on the order..........................
     10.    Date of Despatch of the Order..................
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