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2023 (5) TMI 882 - HC - GST
Maintainability of appeal before the appellate authority - barred by time limitation or not - Short payment of GST - Covid-19 pandemic situation - HELD THAT:- Hon’ble Supreme Court in IN RE: COGNIZANCE FOR EXTENSION OF LIMITATION [2022 (1) TMI 385 - SC ORDER], considering the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic have excluded the period during Covid-19 pandemic period with which the entire country was suffering i.e. from 15.03.2020 to 28.02.2022. In the order Hon’ble Supreme Court has observed that all persons shall have a limitation period of 90 days from 01.03.2022. Even if the submission of learned counsel for petitioner is accepted that First Appellate Authority erred in observing in the impugned order that there was delay of 536 days in the light of the order of Hon’ble Supreme Court to be wrong then also whether excluding the period as observed by Hon’ble Supreme Court will bring the appeal filed by petitioner within limitation. The period of limitation of 90 days, which was extended by Hon’ble Supreme Court starts from 01.03.2022 and will come to an end on 30-31st of May, 2022.
The submission of learned counsel for petitioner that as the period of delay has wrongly been assessed by Appellate Authority in the light of the order of Hon’ble Supreme Court in case of Re-cognizance for extension of limitation, the matter be remitted back to the First Appellate Authority is also not sustainable as even after excluding the period between 15.03.2020 to 28.02.2022, filing of an appeal would not come within the extended period of limitation as ordered by Hon’ble Supreme Court and therefore, said exercise would serve no purpose.
Further in the decision of High Court of Orissa at Cuttack relied on by petitioner in M/S. SHREE UDYOG VERSUS COMMISSIONER OF STATE TAX ODISHA, CUTTACK AND OTHERS [2021 (6) TMI 636 - ORISSA HIGH COURT], the appeal was filed within time limitation, however, the certified copy of the impugned order was filed after expiry of period of limitation and considering the Covid-19 pandemic situation and also the fact that the counsel and the client were infected with Covid-19, the order was passed extending the period of limitation. In the instant case period of limitation expired after normalization of Covid-19 pandemic situation.