|CORAM:||D. Manmohan VP, Sanjay Arora (AM)|
|CATCH WORDS:||Non-service of s. 143(2) notice, service of notice|
|DATE:||July 17, 2015 (Date of pronouncement)|
|DATE:||July 21, 2015 (Date of publication)|
|FILE:||Click here to download the file in pdf format|
|S. 282: Law on validity of service of notices by "Speed Post" instead of "Registered Post A/D" explained|
Section 282B of the Act clearly provides for service by post as one of the accepted modes of service of any communication (as defined therein) under the Act. Accordingly, section 27 of the General Clauses Act shall apply. What, therefore, we are required to see is if the parameters of the said section are met or not. We say so as, even though only the aspect of the timeliness of service stands objected to, invoking the deeming of section 27 of the General Clauses Act could only be where all its elements are satisfied. In the present case, the service has been made by ‘speed post’. The issue as to whether the same constitutes ‘registered post’, the species of post referred to in section 27 of the General Clauses Act, and to which only, therefore, the said provision is applicable, stands, as noted with approval in Milan Poddar vs. CIT  357 ITR 619 (Jharkhand), clarified by the Tribunal, whose order was under challenge before it, applying the principle of updating construction, that registered post would take within its sweep not only ‘speed post’ but also all other mails forming part of the establish system of mails in which their receipt and movement is recorded to assure safe delivery (para 21). All the principal attributes of ‘registered post’ were inherently present in ‘speed post’, so that the two were of the same genus (para 14). The term registered post being not defined, it could only be so in terms of its elements, which the tribunal gathered from the dictionary meaning of the word ‘registered’; its common parlance meaning; and its substance. How could, we wonder, a different view of the matter be taken or adopted? In other words, ‘speed post’ was in substance only ‘registered post’ and, consequently, the statutory presumption of section 27 shall hold in its respect as well. It was further noted by the tribunal that section 27 did not require the mail to be sent by registered post together with acknowledgment due (AD). The additional requirement of AD could not, therefore, be read into the provision (para 11). The legal fiction of section 27 would, therefore, imply service within the time by which a speed post is in the ordinary course of business, delivered.