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2018 (1) TMI 565

Head Note:
Condonation of delay in filing appeal - power to condone the delay than what is prescribed under Section 85(3A) of the Finance Act, 1994 - Held that: - There can be no quarrel about the legal position that when a statute prescribes a outer time limit for the purpose of condonation of delay then the statutory authority exercising jurisdiction under particular statute cannot suo motu extend the period of limitation prescribed in the statute. This being the settled legal position, it may not be necessary for the Court to refer to the various decisions on the point.

Firstly, the petitioner Municipality, a local authority who is vested with a constitutional obligation to take care of the citizens residing in its locality and every service done by the Municipality has an element of public interest attached to it and therefore, some latitude can be granted to such a local authority. Secondly, the petitioner Municipality has paid the entire tax as demanded and also complied with the conditional order passed by this Court at the time of entertaining the writ petition by remitting a sum of ₹ 5 lakhs towards penalty. However, the learned Senior Standing Counsel would submit that it is not clear as to whether the petitioner has paid the entire tax. Thus indulgence is being granted to the petitioner to go before the Appellate Authority to contest the appeal petition on merits as the right of appeal is a very valuable right subject to the condition that the petitioner Municipality pays the entire tax and the payment of ₹ 5 lakhs towards penalty can be reckoned as partial compliance of the order passed by the second respondent. If that be so, till the appeal is heard and decided by the first respondent, further amount of penalty shall not be demanded from the petitioner.

Matter is remanded to the first respondent for fresh consideration.


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