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M/s Premier Motor Garage, Chandigarh Versus Commissioner, Central Excise Commissionerate, Chandigarh & another

2016 (5) TMI 567 - PUNJAB AND HARYANA HIGH COURT

Condonation of delay - Whether there was sufficient cause for condonation of delay in filing the appeal - Demand of Service tax alongwith interest and penalty - Authorized Service Station and Business Auxiliary Service - Held that:- the explanation furnished by it cannot be held to be plausible. It cannot be said that there was sufficient cause for condonation of delay. The Tribunal had decided the appeal on 6.12.2013. However, the appeal before this Court was required to be filed on or before 5 .....

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r by producing other material on record. - Further, this version does not appear to be natural and cannot be said to be reasonable and logical as a litigant would always like to keep his record complete in case the lis had been decided either in his favour or against him by obtaining certified copy of the order and other relevant papers from its counsel which had not been done here. The story put forth by the appellant is a camouflage to cover the inordinate and unexplained delay in filing .....

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een filed by the assessee under Section 35G of the Central Excise Act, 1994 (in short the Act ) read with Section 83 of the Finance Act, 1994, against the order dated 6.12.2013 (Annexure A-4) passed by the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal, New Delhi (hereinafter referred to as the Tribunal ), claiming the following substantial questions of law:- A. Whether a litigant can be made to suffer dire consequences on account of mistake of counsel? B. Whether a litigant can be condemned .....

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. It provided services, namely, Authorized Service Station and Business Auxiliary Service and discharged service tax liabilities from time to time. A show cause notice dated 4.10.2006 (Annexure A-1) was issued to the appellant demanding service tax to the tune of ₹ 15,29,240/- ( ₹ 4,08,297/- + ₹ 4,26,409/- + ₹ 6,86,972/- + ₹ 7562/-) inclusive of education cess along with interest and penalty. The appellant filed reply dated 28.11.2006 to the said show cause notice. .....

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allowed the appeal and quashed the service tax demand of ₹ 11,13,381/- (Rs. 6,86,972/- + ₹ 4,26,409/-). Against the order, Annexure A-3, respondent No.1 filed an appeal bearing STA No. 426 of 2008 before the Tribunal. The Tribunal vide order dated 6.12.2013 (Annexure A-4) allowed the appeal exparte and set aside the order, Annexure A-3, passed by the Commissioner (Appeals) and restored the order of the adjudicating authority. On receiving information from the department, the appella .....

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n bearing CM No. 6800-CII of 2016 has been filed for condonation of 638 days' delay in filing the instant appeal. 3. We have heard learned counsel for the appellant. 4. The primary question that arises for consideration in the appeal is whether there was sufficient cause for condonation of delay in filing the appeal. 5. Examining the legal position relating to condonation of delay under Section 5 of the Limitation Act, 1963 (in short, the 1963 Act ) it may be observed that the Supreme Court .....

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actics and seek remedy without delay. The idea is that every legal remedy must be kept alive for a period fixed by the legislature. To put it differently, the law of limitation prescribes a period within which legal remedy can be availed for redress of the legal injury. At the same time, the courts are bestowed with the power to condone the delay, if sufficient cause is shown for not availing the remedy within the stipulated time. 15. The expression sufficient cause employed in Section 5 of the .....

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urthy and Vedabai v. Shantaram Baburao Patil. 6. It was further noticed by the Apex Court in R.B. Ramlingam v. R.B. Bhavaneshwari 2009(1) RCR (Civil) 892 as under:- .....It is not necessary at this stage to discuss each and every judgment cited before us for the simple reason that Section 5 of the Limitation Act, 1963 does not lay down any standard or objective test. The test of sufficient cause is purely an individualistic test. It is not an objective test. Therefore, no two cases can be treate .....

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in each and every case the Court has to examine whether delay in filing the special leave petition stands properly explained. This is the basic test which needs to be applied. The true guide is whether the petitioner has acted with reasonable diligence in the prosecution of his appeal/petition.... 7. From the above, it emerges that the law of limitation has been enacted which is based on public policy so as to prescribe time limit for availing legal remedy for redressal of the injury caused. The .....

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ntial justice between the parties. The existence of sufficient cause depends upon facts of each case and no hard and fast rule can be applied in deciding such cases. 8. The Apex Court in Oriental Aroma Chemical Industries Ltd. and R.B. Ramlingam's cases (supra) noticed that the courts should adopt liberal approach where delay is of short period whereas the proof required should be strict where the delay is inordinate. Further, it was also observed that judgments dealing with the condonation .....

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nd was inevitable. 9. Adverting to the factual matrix in this case, we do not find any merit in the application for condonation of delay. The question regarding whether there is sufficient cause or not depends upon each case and primarily is a question of fact to be considered taking into totality of events which had taken place in a particular case. According to the learned counsel for the appellant, the appellant engaged a counsel, namely, Shri Joy Kumar before the Tribunal to defend the appea .....

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ure A-4. On receiving such information, the appellant inquired about the status of the appeal from its earlier counsel wherein he came to know that the appeal stood allowed on 6.12.2013. Thereafter, the appellant asked its earlier counsel to handover the case file and certified copy of the order which were not supplied. Accordingly, the appellant applied for the certified copy of the order dated 6.12.2013 from the Tribunal on 14.3.2016. It was urged that the delay, if any, has occurred in the af .....

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