The Sub Registrar/ Jt.Sub Registrar, Solan v. Director of Income Tax (CIB), Chandigarh

ITA 905/CHANDI/2016 | 2006-2007
Pronouncement Date: 28-09-2016 | Result: Dismissed

Appeal Details

RSA Number 90521514 RSA 2016
Bench Chandigarh
Appeal Number ITA 905/CHANDI/2016
Duration Of Justice 1 month(s) 16 day(s)
Appellant The Sub Registrar/ Jt.Sub Registrar, Solan
Respondent Director of Income Tax (CIB), Chandigarh
Appeal Type Income Tax Appeal
Pronouncement Date 28-09-2016
Appeal Filed By Assessee
Order Result Dismissed
Bench Allotted SMC
Tribunal Order Date 28-09-2016
Assessment Year 2006-2007
Appeal Filed On 12-08-2016
Judgment Text
IN THE INCOME TAX APPELLATE TRIBUNAL SMC BENCH CHANDIGARH BEFORE SHRI BHAVNESH SAINI JUDICIAL MEMBER ITA NO.905 TO 908/CHD/2016 A.YS : 2006-07 TO 2009-10 THE SUB REGISTRAR/JT.SUB REGISTRAR VS TH E DIT(CIB) KANDAGHAT DISTT. SOLAN CHANDIGARH. SOLAN (HP). PAN/TAN : PTLT10280E (APPELLANT) (RESPONDENT) APPELLANT BY : SHRI RISHI TANDON ADVOCATE RESPONDENT BY : SHRI MANJIT SINGH DR DATE OF HEARING : 26.09.2016 DATE OF PRONOUNCEMENT : 28.09.2016 O R D E R ALL THE APPEALS BY ASSESSEE ARE DIRECTED AGAINST COMMON ORDER OF LD. CIT(APPEALS) SHIMLA DATED 12.01.2016 FOR ASSESSMENT YEARS 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 AND 2009-10 CHALLENGING THE LEVY OF PENALT Y UNDER SECTION 271FA OF THE INCOME TAX ACT. 2. ACCORDING TO THE ASSESSEE THE IMPUGNED ORDER WA S RECEIVED ON 15.01.2016. HOWEVER APPEALS ARE FILED BEFORE THE TRIBUNAL ON 12.08.2016 THEREFORE ALL T HE APPEALS ARE TIME BARRED BY 150 DAYS. 2 3. THE ASSESSEE FILED APPLICATIONS FOR CONDONATION OF DELAY OF 150 DAYS WHICH IS SUPPORTED BY AFFIDAVIT O F SHRI SANJEET SHARMA SUB REGISTRAR TEHSIL KANDAGHAT. THE ASSESSEE IN THE APPLICATION FOR CONDONATION OF DELAY ALSO ADMITTED THAT THE IMPUGNED ORDERS WERE RECEIVE D IN HIS OFFICE ON 15.01.2016. IT IS ALSO STATED THAT T HE APPLICANT BEING GOVERNMENT OFFICER WAS REQUIRED PRI OR SANCTION/APPROVAL OF SUPERVISING AUTHORITIES BEFORE TAKING ANY ACTION IN THE MATTER. THE ASSESSEE ON RECEIPT OF THE IMPUGNED ORDER TOOK UP THE MATTER W ITH THE REGISTRAR ( DY. COMMISSIONER SOLAN) AND REFERR ED THIS CASE FOR OBTAINING NECESSARY APPROVAL THROUGH INSPECTOR GENERAL OF REGISTRATION GOVERNMENT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH AND THEREAFTER THE ADDITIONAL CH IEF SECRETARY (REVENUE) TO THE GOVERNMENT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH AFTER CONSULTING THE MATTER WITH THE LAW DEPARTMENT HAD CONVEYED THE APPROVAL OF THE GOVERNMENT FOR FILING APPEAL. THEREAFTER APPLICAN T APPROACHED THE LAW DEPARTMENT FOR PROVIDING GOVERNMENT ADVOCATE AND THEREAFTER THE APPEAL WAS FILED. IT IS THEREFORE STATED THAT ASSESSEE HAS SUFFICIENT GROUND/PREVENTED HIM FROM FILING THE APP EAL WITHIN THE PERIOD OF LIMITATION. THE ASSESSEE THE REFORE PRAYED THAT DELAY OF 150 DAYS IN EACH APPEAL MAY BE CONDONED. 4. I HAVE HEARD LD. REPRESENTATIVES OF BOTH THE PAR TIES ON QUESTION OF LIMITATION. THE LD. COUNSEL FOR THE 3 ASSESSEE REITERATED THE FACTS STATED IN THE APPLICA TION FOR CONDONATION OF DELAY AND FILED COPY OF THE LETT ER DATED 12.06.2016 OF DY. SECRETARY ( REVENUE ) TO TH E GOVERNMENT OF HIMACHAL PRADESH IN WHICH PRAYER WAS MADE FOR FILING APPEAL BECAUSE DISTRICT ATTORNEY HA S REFUSED TO FILE THE APPEAL. IT IS ALSO STATED THAT APPEAL SHALL HAVE TO BE FILED BEFORE ITAT AT CHANDIGARH A ND OPINION OF THIS DEPARTMENT WAS SOUGHT AS TO WHO WOU LD BE APPROPRIATE PERSON TO FILE THE APPEAL. THEREFOR E SHRI RISHI TANDON ADVOCATE WAS ALLOWED TO BE ENGAGED FO R FILING THE APPEAL. THE LD. COUNSEL FOR THE ASSESSE E ALSO PLACED ON RECORD COPY OF THE ORDER DATED 26.07.2016 ISSUED BY SHRI RAKESH KANWAR IAS DY. COMMISSIONE R SOLAN WITH REGARD TO FILING OF THE APPEAL ON BEHALF OF SUB REGISTRAR KANDAGHAT BEFORE THE TRIBUNAL AND IT WAS CONVEYED TO THE ASSESSEE THAT APPEAL WOULD BE FILED BY SHRI RISHI TANDON ADVOCATE WHO HAS BEEN ENGAGED IN THIS REGARD. THE LD. COUNSEL FOR THE ASSESSEE TH EREFORE SUBMITTED THAT ASSESSEE WAS PREVENTED BY SUFFICIENT CAUSE IN NOT FILING THE APPEAL WITHIN THE PERIOD OF LIMITATION. 4(I) ON THE OTHER HAND LD. DR SUBMITTED THAT ASSE SSEE HAS NOT TAKEN THE STEPS ON TIME AND NO REASONABLE CAUSE HAVE BEEN DISCLOSED FOR NOT FILING THE APPEAL WITHIN PERIOD OF LIMITATION. THE LD. DR OPPOSED THE REQUEST OF CONDONATION OF DELAY IN THE MATTER. 4 5. I HAVE CONSIDERED RIVAL CONTENTIONS. IT IS ADMI TTED FACT THAT THE IMPUGNED ORDER WAS RECEIVED BY ASSESS EE ON 15.01.2016. THE APPEAL BEFORE THE TRIBUNAL SHAL L HAVE TO BE FILED WITHIN 60 DAYS OF THE RECEIPT OF T HE IMPUGNED ORDER. THE LD. COUNSEL FOR THE ASSESSEE REFERRED TO LETTER DATED 26.07.2016 ISSUED BY SHRI RAKESH KANWAR DY. COMMISSIONER DISTRICT SOLAN TO THE ASSESSEE WHICH WAS IN REFERENCE TO THE LETTER OF TH E ASSESSEE DATED 17.03.2016 FOR FILING THE APPEAL BEF ORE THE TRIBUNAL. WHEN LD. COUNSEL FOR THE ASSESSEE WA S ASKED TO EXPLAIN AS TO WHY ASSESSEE HAS NOT TAKEN S TEPS WITHIN TIME NO EXPLANATION HAVE BEEN GIVEN. THE AFORESAID LETTER THEREFORE SHOWS THAT ASSESSEE HA S WRITTEN A LETTER ONLY ON 17.03.2016 FOR FILING APPE AL BEFORE THE TRIBUNAL AND ON THAT DAY THE 60 DAYS HA VE ALREADY EXPIRED FOR FILING OF THE APPEAL BEFORE THE TRIBUNAL. IT WOULD THEREFORE PROVE THAT ASSESSEE DID NOT TAKE ANY STEP FOR FILING OF THE APPEAL BEFORE T HE TRIBUNAL EVEN WITHIN THE PERIOD OF LIMITATION PROVI DED UNDER THE INCOME TAX ACT TO THE ASSESSEE. THE COPY OF ANOTHER LETTER DATED 12.06.2016 HAVE BEEN PLACED ON RECORD OF DY. SECRETARY (REVENUE) GOVT. OF HIMACHA L PRADESH IN WHICH THE ADVICE OF LEGAL DEPARTMENT HAV E BEEN TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION TO SHOW THAT DISTRICT ATTORNEY HAS REFUSED TO FILE THE APPEAL. SINCE IT IS INCOME TAX MATTER THEREFORE DISTRICT ATTORNEY MAY NOT BE AUTHORIZED TO FILE THE APPEAL IN THE INCOME TAX 5 MATTER. THE LD. COUNSEL FOR THE ASSESSEE DID NOT EX PLAIN AS TO HOW DISTRICT ATTORNEY WAS COMPETENT TO FILE A PPEAL IN THE INCOME TAX MATTER. ULTIMATELY THE CRUX OF BOTH THE LETTERS FILED ON RECORD SHOWS THAT SHRI RISHI T ANDON ADVOCATE HAS BEEN ENGAGED ON BEHALF OF THE ASSESSEE TO FILE THE PRESENT APPEAL. HOWEVER IT IS NOT EXPLAI NED AS TO WHY THE APPEAL WAS NOT FILED EVEN ON INFORMATION SO RECEIVED FROM THE CONCERNED AUTHORITIES. WHAT STEP S HAVE BEEN TAKEN DURING THIS PERIOD HAVE ALSO NOT BE EN EXPLAINED. THESE FACTS THEREFORE WOULD CLEARLY P ROVE THAT ASSESSEE WAS AWARE OF THE ORDER OF THE CIT(A) AGAINST WHICH THE APPEAL SHALL HAVE TO BE FILED BEF ORE THE TRIBUNAL. THE OFFICE OF THE SUB REGISTRAR (ASS ESSEE) WAS WELL AWARE OF FILING OF THE APPEAL WITHIN PERIO D OF LIMITATION. IN THE ABSENCE OF PLAUSIBLE AND ACCEPT ABLE EXPLANATION DELAY CANNOT BE CONDONED MECHANICALLY MERELY BECAUSE ONE OF THE WINGS OF THE HIMACHAL PRADESH GOVERNMENT WAS A PARTY BEFORE THE TRIBUNAL. THE GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS ARE UNDER SPECIAL OBLIGATION TO ENSURE THAT THEY PERFORM THEIR DUTIES WITH DILIGENCE AND COMMITMENT. THE CONDONATION OF DELAY IS AN EXCEPTION AND SHOULD NOT BE USED AS AN ANTICIPAT ED BENEFIT FOR THE GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS. I RELY UPO N DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT IN THE CASE OF O/O TH E CHIEF POST MASTER GENERAL & OTHERS VS LIVING MEDIA INDIA LTD. & ANOTHER 348 ITR 7 (S.C) IN WHICH IT WAS 6 HELD AS UNDER : HELD DISMISSING AND APPLICATIONS THE DEPARTMENT HAD ITSELF MENTIONED IN ITS AFFIDAVIT AND WAS AWARE OF THE DAT E OF THE JUDGMENT OF THE DIVISION BENCH OF THE HIGH COURT AS SEPTEMBE R 11 2009. EVEN ACCORDING TO THE DEPONENT ITS COUNSEL HAD AP PLIED FOR THE CERTIFIED COPY OF THE JUDGMENT ONLY ON JANUARY 8 2 010 AND THE COPY WAS RECEIVED BY THE DEPARTMENT ON THE VERY SAME DAY . THERE WAS NO EXPLANATION FOR NOT APPLYING FOR CERTIFIED COPY OF THE JUDGEMENT ON SEPTEMBER 11 2009 OR AT LEAST WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME. THE FACT REMAINS THAT THE CERTIFIED COPY WAS APPLIED FOR ONL Y ON JANUARY 8 2010 I.E. AFTER A PERIOD OF NEARLY FOUR MONTHS. NE ITHER THE DEPARTMENT NOR THE PERSON INCHARGE HAD FILED AN EXP LANATION FOR NOT APPLYING FOR THE CERTIFIED COPY WITHIN THE PRESCRIB ED PERIOD. THE OTHER DATES MENTIONED IN THE AFFIDAVIT CLEARLY SHOWED THA T THERE WAS DELAY AT EVERY STAGE AND THERE WAS NO EXPLANATION AS TO WHY SUCH DELAY HAD OCCASIONED. THE DEPARTMENT OR THE PERSON CONCERNED HAD NOT EVINCED DILIGENCE IN PROSECUTING THE MATTER TO THE COURT BY TAKING APPROPRIATE STEPS. THE PERSONS CONCERNED WERE WELL AWARE OR CON VERSANT WITH THE ISSUES INVOLVED INCLUDING THE PRESCRIBED PERIOD OF LIMITATION FOR TAKING UP THE MATTER BY WAY OF FILING A SPECIAL LEAVE PETI TION IN THE SUPREME COURT. IN THE ABSENCE OF PLAUSIBLE AND ACCEPTABLE E XPLANATION THE DELAY COULD NOT BE CONDONED MECHANICALLY MERELY BECAUSE T HE GOVERNMENT OR A WING OF THE GOVERNMENT WAS A PARTY BEFORE THE COU RT. THOUGH IN A MATTER OF CONDONATION OF DELAY WHEN THERE WAS NO GR OSS NEGLIGENCE OR DELIBERATE INACTION OR LACK OF BONAFIDE A LIBERAL CONCESSION HAD TO BE ADOPTED TO ADVANCE SUBSTANTIAL JUSTICE IN THE FACT S AND CIRCUMSTANCES THE CLAIM ON ACCOUNT OF IMPERSONAL MACHINERY AND INHERI TED BUREAUCRATIC METHODOLOGY OF MAKING SEVERAL NOTES COULD NOT BE AC CEPTED IN VIEW OF THE MODERN TECHNOLOGIES BEING USED AND AVAILABLE. CONSI DERING THE FACT THAT THERE WAS NO PROPER EXPLANATION OFFERED BY THE DEPA RTMENT FOR THE DELAY EXCEPT MENTIONING OF VARIOUS DATES THE DEPARTMENT HAD FAILED TO GIVE ACCEPTABLE AND COGENT REASONS SUFFICIENT TO CONDONE SUCH A HUGE DELAY. BY THE COURT : UNLESS GOVERNMENT BODIES THEIR AGENCIES AND INST RUMEN- TALITIES HAVE REASONABLE AND ACCEPTABLE EXPLANATION FOR THE DELAY AND THERE 7 WAS BONAFIDE EFFORT THERE IS NO NEED TO ACCEPT THE USUAL EXPLANATION THAT THE FILE WAS KEPT PENDING FOR SEVERAL MONTHS OR YEA RS DUE TO CONSIDERABLE DEGREE OF PROCEDURAL RED-TAPE IN THE PROCESS. GOVER NMENT DEPARTMENTS ARE UNDER A SPECIAL OBLIGATION TO ENSURE THAT THEY PERFORM THEIR DUTIES WITH DILIGENCE AND COMMITMENT. CONDONATION OF DELAY IS AN EXCEPTION AND SHOULD NOT BE USED AS AN ANTICIPATED BENEFIT FOR GO VERNMENT DEPARTMENTS. THE LAW SHELTERS EVERYONE UNDER THE SA ME LIGHT AND SHOULD NOT BE SWIRLED FOR THE BENEFIT OF FEW. THE LAW OF LIMITATION BINDS EVERYBODY INCLUDING THE GOVERNMENT . 6. CONSIDERING THE TOTALITY OF THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES I AM OF THE VIEW THAT ASSESSEE HAS F AILED TO EXPLAIN ANY REASONABLE CAUSE FOR NOT FILING THE APPEAL WITHIN PERIOD OF LIMITATION. THUS DELAY IN FILING APPEALS CANNOT BE CONDONED. I THEREFORE REJECT THE APPLIC ATIONS FOR FILING CONDONATION OF DELAY. RESULTANTLY ALL T HE APPEALS OF THE ASSESSEE ARE TREATED AS TIME BARRED. 7. IN THE RESULT ALL THE APPEALS OF THE ASSESSEE A RE DISMISSED IN LIMINE BEING TIME BARRED. ORDER PRONOUNCED IN THE OPEN COURT. SD/- (BHAVNESH SAINI) JUDICIAL MEMBER DATED : 28 TH SEPTEMBER 2016. POONAM COPY TO: 1. THE APPELLANT 2. THE RESPONDENT 3. THE CIT(A) 4. THE CIT DR ASSISTANT REGISTRAR ITAT/CHD