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

2016 (5) TMI 567 - PUNJAB AND HARYANA HIGH COURT - 2016 (43) S.T.R. 340 (P & H), [2016] 94 VST 241 (P&H) - 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 dec .....

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Nothing had been produced to substantiate the said plea either in the form of an affidavit of the counsel or 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. Th .....

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AHUL GARG, JJ. For The Appellant : Mr. Sanyan Malhotra, Advocate AJAY KUMAR MITTAL, J. 1. This appeal has been 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 b .....

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sed motor cars from the manufacturer on principal to principal basis and sold the same to respective buyers. 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 .....

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llant filed an appeal before the Commissioner (Appeals) who vide order dated 4.4.2008 (Annexure A-3) partly 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 .....

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13. Accordingly, the appellant filed the present appeal. Since the appeal was barred by time, an application 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 .....

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with the object of destroying the rights of the parties but to ensure that they do not resort to dilatory tactics 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 availi .....

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a stricter approach where the delay is inordinate-Collector (L.A.) v. Katiji N. Balakrishnan v. M. Krishnamurthy 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 .....

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be dealt with by the Court as such. It was also recorded that:- For the aforestated reasons, we hold that 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 pu .....

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to the expression sufficient cause occurring in Section 5 of the 1963 Act should be such so as to do substantial 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 stric .....

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spite of acting with due care and caution, the delay had occurred due to circumstances beyond his control and 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 .....

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a call from the department enquiring if any appeal had been filed by the appellant against the order, Annexure 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 .....

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