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CONDONATION OF DELAY IN FILING APPEAL UNDER GST LAWS

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CONDONATION OF DELAY IN FILING APPEAL UNDER GST LAWS
Mr. M. GOVINDARAJAN By: Mr. M. GOVINDARAJAN
June 4, 2024
All Articles by: Mr. M. GOVINDARAJAN       View Profile
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Appeals to Appellate Authority

Under Section 98 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (‘Act’ for short) the Authority for Advance Ruling shall pass the Advance ruling on the application filed by the applicant. Any person or the officer of the concerned department is aggrieved by the order of the Authority for Advance Ruling may file an appeal under Section 100 of the Act before the Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling in Form No. GST APL 1 within a period of 30 days from the date of communication of the said order.

Condonation of delay

The Appellate Authority may, if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by a sufficient cause from presenting the appeal within the said period of thirty days, allow it to be presented within a further period not exceeding 30 days.

IN RE: M/S L&T HYDROCARBON ENGINEERING LIMITED [2024 (3) TMI 1262 - APPELLATE AUTHORITY FOR ADVANCE RULING, RAJASTHAN] – in the present case the Authority for Advance Ruling pronounced its Advance Ruling on 13.09.2021. The said order was communicated to the appellant on 21.09.2021. The appellant filed the appeal on 19.10.2021. The appellant filed an application for condonation of delay along with the appeal papers. Since the appeal was filed within 30 days from the date of communication of the order the Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling condoned the delay.

It is to be noted that the limitation of 30 days is to be counted from the date of receipt of the order of the Authority for Advance Ruling and no on the date of communication of the order.

IN RE: M/S. LIONS SEAT CUSHIONS PRIVATE LIMITED [2024 (3) TMI 742 - APPELLATE AUTHORITY FOR ADVANCE RULING, TAMILNADU], the subject appeal was filed under Section 100(1) of the Tamil Nadu Goods & Services Tax Act 2017 / Central Goods & Services Tax Act 2017 by Lions Seat Cushions Private Limited. The appeal was filed against the IN RE: M/S. LION SEAT CUSHIONS PRIVATE LIMITED - 2023 (12) TMI 508 - AUTHORITY FOR ADVANCE RULING, TAMILNADU passed by the Tamil Nadu State Authority for Advance Ruling on the Application for Advance Ruling filed by the Appellant.

The Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling observed that in this case, apart from the merits of the case, the appellant had also filed a petition for condonation of delay. Since the filing of appeal by the appellant in the instant case was beyond the prescribed time limit of 30 days from the passing of IN RE: M/S. LION SEAT CUSHIONS PRIVATE LIMITED - 2023 (12) TMI 508 - AUTHORITY FOR ADVANCE RULING, TAMILNADU, the Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling is of the opinion that this aspect as to whether the delay in filing the appeal could be condoned or not, needs to be ascertained, before proceeding to discuss the merits of the case. Accordingly, an opportunity of personal hearing was accorded to the appellant for the limited purpose of condonation of delay.

The appellant contended that the appeal could not be filed in time and that the same was filed on 03.11.2023, after a delay of 21 days. As per Section 100(2) of the CGST Act, 2017, 30 days is the time limit for filing the appeal from the date of receipt of the order. Hence, in the present case, the appeal should have been filed on or before 17.10.2023 as the order was reportedly received by the Appellant on 18,09.2023. They have stated that the reason for delay is due to the fact that Sh. M. Arumugam, Managing Director of the company, who is a heart patient, was advised to be in rest for 3 weeks, and therefore, the relevant documents could not be handed over to the consultant on time. As a result, the Appellant could not file the appeal within the time limit prescribed. Accordingly, the Appellant has prayed that a liberal approach may kindly be taken in view of the facts and circumstances and consider the case for condonation of delay.

The appellant claimed that Sh. M. Arumugam, Managing Director of the company, who is a heart patient, was advised to be in rest for 3 weeks, and therefore, the relevant documents could not be handed over to the consultant on time. Now the aspect as to whether the appellant was prevented by a sufficient cause from presenting the appeal, is required to be determined. From the documents furnished by the appellant relating to the medical condition of Sh. M. Arumugam, MD, it is seen that he was admitted to Apollo Hospitals, Chennai, underwent a CABG surgery on 09.02.2023, and was under medication thereafter, Meanwhile, under a medical certificate dated 11.10.2023 issued by Dr. S. Palanivel Rajan, Salem, it is seen that Sh. M. Arumugam has been advised to take rest for three weeks, as he had chest pain.

The Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling was convinced on the grounds of the appellant for condonation of the delay in filing appeal before the Appellate Authority. The appellant has presented sufficient cause that prevented them from filing the appeal within the normal period. Therefore, the Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling was of the considered opinion that the delay of 21 days beyond the normal time limit in filing the appeal is condonable as provided under the proviso to Section 100(2) of the Act. Accordingly, the Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling condoned the delay.

IN RE: M/S. ARUN COOLING HOME - 2024 (3) TMI 776 - APPELLATE AUTHORITY FOR ADVANCE RULING, TAMILNADU, the appeal was filed against the order of Authority for Advance Ruling, Tamil Nadu. The order was received by the appellant on 03.04.2021. Accordingly, the last date for filing of appeal is 02.05.2021. The last date for filing the appeal with a delay of 30 days with condonation petition (as per first proviso to Section 100(2) of the CGST Act, 2017) would be 01.06.2021. Whereas it is seen that the actual date of filing the appeal by the Appellant was on 07.11.2023. Clearly, there has been a delay of 920 days from the last date of filing the appeal under Section 100(2) of the CGST Act, 2017.

The Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling observed that as per the statute, the Appellate Authority can condone a delay of 30 days beyond the normal period of thirty days given for filing the appeal provided, sufficient cause is shown by the Appellant. In the present case, there is a delay of 920 days which is way beyond the power of the Appellate authority to condone, let alone examining as to whether sufficient cause was shown by the Appellant. The law of limitation in India identifies the need for limiting litigation by striking a balance between the interests of the state and the litigant - the filing of the appeal falls beyond the powers conferred under proviso to Section 100(2) of the Act.

The Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling held that the Appellate Authority being a creation of the statute is empowered to condone the delay of only a period of 30 days after the expiry of the initial period for filing appeal. As far as the language of section 100 of the Act is concerned, the crucial words are ‘not exceeding thirty days’ used in the proviso to sub-section (2) - further, to hold that this Appellate Authority could entertain this appeal beyond the extended period under the proviso would render the phrase ‘not exceeding thirty days’ wholly redundant. No principle of interpretation would justify such a result. Notwithstanding the above, the Appellate Authority is not a ‘Court’ and hence the power to condone beyond the prescribed period does not lie with it. The Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling held that the delay cannot be condoned.

 

By: Mr. M. GOVINDARAJAN - June 4, 2024

 

 

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