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2015 (9) TMI 951 - ITAT CHANDIGARH

2015 (9) TMI 951 - ITAT CHANDIGARH - TMI - Condonation of delay rejected - appeals have been filed late by almost 12 years and the reason is stated to be that the assessee was not keeping up good health, was in severe depression due to various issues and the lenders were asking for money. - Whether CIT (Appeals)-2, Chandigarh was right in holding that the appeals filed by the assessee were barred my limitation? - Held that:- In the instant case, the assessee has miserably failed to prove the suf .....

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from filing the appeals within time.

Section 249(3) of the Act provides that the learned CIT (Appeals) may, on good and sufficient cause for the delay being shown, admit an appeal after the expiry of the period of limitation. Thus, the appellant/assessee has to show that he had "sufficient cause" for not preferring the appeal within the period of limitation. It is well settled law that in essence, the phrase "sufficient cause" is not a question of principle, but is a question of fact .....

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ndoned. - Decided against assessee. - ITA NOS. 352 TO 356/CHD/2015 - Dated:- 3-7-2015 - SHRI H.L.KARWA, JJ For The Appellant : Shri Parikshit Aggarwal For The Respondent : Shri S.K. Mittal, DR ORDER PER H.L.KARWA, VP : These appeals are filed by the assessee under section 253 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (in short 'the Act') challenging the separate orders of the learned Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals)-2, Chandigarh, all dated 16.1.2015 for assessment years 1994-95 to 1998-99, raisin .....

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period relevant to the assessment years under consideration. During the course of inquiry proceedings on the basis of some information received by the Department to the effect that the assessee had taxable income during the previous years relevant to the assessment years under consideration, notices under section 148 of the Act were issued to the assessee, which were duly served upon him. In response to the said notices, the assessee filed the returns of income. Thereafter, statutory notices un .....

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; and made certain additions/disallowances in the said orders. For the assessment year 1998-1999, the assessee submitted his original return of income on 8.2.1999 declaring the taxable salary income at ₹ 89,657/-. This return was processed under section 143(1) of the Act on 18.1.2000. Subsequently, on the basis of information received by the Department, inquiries were conducted and it came to the notice of the Assessing Officer that the assessee had sold his House No.116, Sector 38-A, Chan .....

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the Act calling for the bank accounts, passport, information in respect of investment in the House No.116, Sector 38-A, Chandigarh and evidence of the sources of expenditure on the education of the daughter. The assessee did not comply with the notice, nor sought any adjournment. According to the Assessing Officer, summons under section 131 of the Act were issued to the assessee on 27.2.2002. After affording due and reasonable opportunity of being heard to the assessee, the Assessing Officer fr .....

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limine by the learned CIT (Appeals) vide his order dated 23.5.2013. The assessee preferred the appeals against the orders of the learned CIT (Appeals) dated 23.5.2013 before the Tribunal and the Tribunal vide its order dated 7.11.2013 set aside the orders of the learned CIT (Appeals) and remanded the matter to him with a direction to give an adequate opportunity to the assessee to explain the delay as well as explain the merits of the appeals. In pursuance to the order of the Tribunal dated 7.11 .....

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e Revenue. Shri Parikshit Aggarwal, learned counsel for the assessee reiterated the submissions made before the learned CIT (Appeals) and submitted that the jurisdiction to condone the delay should be exercised liberally. The matter relating to condonation of delay should be judged broadly and not in a pedantic manner. He further submitted that the learned CIT (Appeals) dismissed the appeals of the assessee as time barred without proper application of mind to the cause shown by the assessee in r .....

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or late filing of the appeals before the learned CIT (Appeals). He further submitted that in granting the indulgence and condoning the delay the appellate authority must be satisfied that there had been diligence on the part of the appellant and the latter was not guilty of negligence whatsoever. He further submitted that the delay in filing the appeals cannot be extended simply because the assessee's case is hard and calls for sympathy. Further more, the assessee could not establish that th .....

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. 6. The question arises in this case for determination is as under : "Whether, on the facts and in the circumstances of the case, the CIT (Appeals)-2, Chandigarh was right in holding that the appeals filed by the assessee were barred my limitation?" 7. Now, there is no dispute that the assessment orders (for the assessment years 1994-95 to 1997-98) were passed on 26.12.2000. However, the Assessing Officer passed the assessment order for the assessment year 1998-99 on 22.3.2002. In all .....

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he appeal relates to any assessment or penalty, the date of service of the notice of demand relating to the assessment or penalty: [Provided that, where an application has been made under section 146 for reopening an assessment, the period from the date on which the application is made to the date on which the order passed on the application is served on the assessee shall be excluded, or] (c) in any other case, the date on which intimation of the order sought to be appealed against is served.&q .....

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e appeals before the CIT (Appeals), which reads as under : "1. The appellant was not keeping up good health and was in severe depression due to various family issues. Copies of documents regarding his medical history are attached. 2. The appellant had various family issues during this period. His two daughters left India for study. The appellant had arranged funds for their studies but could not, repay the loans in time. Even the children did not send any money from abroad. The lenders aske .....

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d. It is prayed that the delay in filing of the appeals may please be condoned u/s 249(3) of the Income Tax Act. We shall be highly obliged." 9. The learned CIT (Appeals) rejected the aforesaid application of the assessee for the following reasons (the orders of the CIT (Appeals) are similar for all the assessment years under consideration): '3. I have considered the application of the appellant regarding condonation of delay in filing the present appeal. The appeal has been filed late .....

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urt in the case of Brijbandhu Nanda (44 ITR 688). The facts in this case were that the assessee had sent three appeals on 2nd April 1954, the 56th day of the receipt of order, by registered post to Income Tax Tribunal, then at Bombay, in one packet. These appeals were received by the Tribunal on 7th April, 1954. The last date by which the appeals were to be filed was 6th April, 1954 and so the appeals were out of time by one day. The delay was not condoned by the Tribunal and on further appeal, .....

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eived the order on February 5, 1954, as aforesaid. It further appears from a letter dated April 9, 1954, from the Assistant Registrar of the Appellate Tribunal, Bombay, that the appeals were received by him on April 7, 1954, that is to say, one day beyond the period of limitation. In view of sub-rule (2) of rule 7, which provides that a memorandum of appeal, sent by post, shall be deemed to have been presented to the Registrar or to the officer authorised by the Registrar, on the day on which it .....

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ellip;………………………………. …………………………………………………………………….………………………… In the present case, the assessee appears to have no justification for the delay in sending the appeals no .....

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of his argument relied on the said Madras case, which, in my opinion, has also no application to the facts and circumstances of the present case. There is no question of mistake in law in the present case." 3.2 Thus, even the delay of one day was not condoned by the Hon'ble Orissa High Court. There is sanctity attached to the limitation prescribed under the law, since the finality of a decision is a valuable right which vests in a party not aggrieved by the order and the expiry of peri .....

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not condoned u/s 249(3) of the Act and the appeal is dismissed in-limine. 4. In the result, the appeal is dismissed.' 10. On perusal of the application for condonation of delay, it would be clear that the appeals have been filed late by almost 12 years and the reason is stated to be that the assessee was not keeping up good health, was in severe depression due to various issues and the lenders were asking for money. On failure of the assessee to repay, the criminal elements were behind him d .....

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ned CIT (Appeals). At the outset, I may point out that the medical reports available at pages 44 to 51 of the Paper Book are dated 18/19.11.2014. These documents relate to HBA, Hemogram tests. These reports are not relevant because the appeals were filed before the learned CIT (Appeals) on 17.1.2013. The documents placed at pages 3 to 13 of the Paper Book are reports of Sugar/Blood tests, and these reports pertain to the years 2003 and 2004. The documents placed at pages 14 to 17 of the Paper Bo .....

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hat the assessee was in severe depression due to various issues. There is no evidence on record to show that the assessee has ever taken a treatment from Psychiatrist. There is nothing on record to show that the assessee was admitted for a single day in the hospital. The assessee has also failed to prove that the lenders were asking for money. He has not mentioned the name and address of a single lender. In my considered opinion, the reasons stated by the assessee are not tenable for want of sup .....

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dustries & Commerce Punjab. Later on, he was promoted as Assistant in the year 1983, further promoted as Superintendent Grade-II on 19.3.2002 and then promoted as Superintendent Grade-I on 11.12.2008 and finally he retired from the above office as Superintendent Grade-I on 31.3.2009. From the aforesaid affidavit, it is clear that he was in active service with the Department of Industries & Commerce, Punjab. The assessee has worked as Assistant from 1983 to March, 2002. He was promoted as .....

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ime of expiry of limitation. If the assessee/appellant was ill but got alright, there cannot be any excuse for delay in filing the appeal. At this stage, it would be worthwhile to refer to the decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Ajit Singh Thakur Singh v. State of Gujarat AIR 1981 SC 733, 735, wherein the Hon'ble Supreme Court has made following important observations : "It is true that a party is entitled to wait until the last day of limitation for filing an appea .....

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ut that the limitation has been allowed to expire without the appeal being filed must be traced to a cause arising within the period of limitation." 11. In the instant case, the assessee has miserably failed to prove the sufficient cause to the effect that because of some event or circumstance arising before limitation expired, it was not possible to file appeals before the learned CIT (Appeals) within time. It is relevant to observe here that the assessee was retired from the government se .....

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