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2021 (10) TMI 558 - Income Tax
Condonation of delay - delay of 366 days in filing the present appeal - sufficiency of cause for filing the appeals belatedly - HELD THAT:- As regards the sufficiency of cause for filing the appeals belatedly, it is settled principles of law that the Courts have to take liberal approach while interpreting the expression ‘sufficient cause’ for condonation of delay. In case of Collector, Land Acquisition Vs. Mst. Katiji [1987 (2) TMI 61 - SUPREME COURT] considering the matters for condonation of delay, the law must be applied in a meaningful manner which subserves ends of justice and technical considerations should not come in the way of cause of substantial justice. There is no quarrel that the explanation and reasons explained for delay must be bonafide and not merely a device to cover an ulterior purpose such as laches on the part of the litigant or an attempt to save limitation in the underhand way.
If we apply the settled principles as laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court as well as other courts on the facts of the present case we find that the assessee has explained cause of delay, therefore, in the facts and circumstances of the case, we condone the delay of 366 days in filing the present appeal and admit the appeal for hearing.
Non filing of E-appeal - mandatory requirement of e-filing of appeal have not been fulfilled by the assessee - appeal filed manually was not treated as valid appeal - HELD THAT:- We find that Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of ‘State of Punjab Vs. Shyamalal Murari and others [1975 (10) TMI 105 - SUPREME COURT] has categorically held that courts should not go strictly by the rulebook to deny justice to the deserving litigant as it would lead to miscarriage of justice. It has been reiterated by the Hon’ble Supreme Court that all the rules of procedure are handmaid of Justice.
From the facts of the present case, we gathered that the assessee had already filed the appeal in paper form, however only the e-filing of appeal has not been done by the assessee and according to us, the same is only a technical consideration. In this respect, we rely upon the judgement of Hon’ble Supreme Court, wherein the Hon’ble Supreme Court has reiterated that if in a given circumstances, the technical consideration and substantial Justice are pitted against each other, then in that eventuality the cause of substantial Justice deserves to be preferred and cannot be overshadowed or negatived by such technical considerations. Apart from above we have also noticed that the Coordinate Bench of Hon’ble ITAT Delhi Bench in appeal in case titled Gurinder Singh Dhillon [2017 (4) TMI 1359 - ITAT DELHI] had restored the matter to the file of Ld. CIT(A) under identical circumstances with a direction do decide appeal afresh on merit, after condoning the delay, if any.
Since in the present case, we find that appeal in the paper form was already with CIT(A), therefore in that eventuality the Ld. CIT(A) ought not to have dismissed the appeal solely on the ground that the assessee has not filed the appeal electronically before the appellate Commissioner.