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Ritha Sabapathy vs. DCIT (Madras High Court)

COURT:
CORAM: ,
SECTION(S): ,
GENRE:
CATCH WORDS:
COUNSEL:
DATE: February 19, 2019 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: June 26, 2019 (Date of publication)
AY: -
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CITATION:
S. 254: Surprised that how, after so much of case laws on the issue and amendment of Rule 24 itself, the ld Members of the Tribunal, even now commit the folly of dismissing appeals for want of prosecution and for default of appearance on the part of the assessees. Dismissal of appeal for want of prosecution is not only illegal but also entails further litigation by compelling the assessee to move for setting aside the ex parte order. Tribunals should not shirk their responsibility to decide the cases on merits. Copy of this judgment may be sent to the President of the ITAT & Law Secretary in Ministry of Law and Justice so that the same may be brought to the notice of all Members of the ITAT and new appointees in at the time of their recruitment itself. The President may also get it circulated to all existing Members of the ITAT so that such orders resulting in serious miscarriage of justice should not be repeated by any Member of the Tribunal

We reiterate that the fact finding Tribunals should not shirk their responsibility to decide the cases on merits because the view and reasons given by such Tribunals are important for the Constitutional Higher Courts to look into while deciding the substantial questions of law under Section 260-A of the Act arising from Tribunal’s orders. Obviously, such cryptic orders, not touching the merits of the case, would not give any rise to any substantial question of law for consideration by the High Courts under Section 260-A of the Act. The Assessee’s valuable rights of getting the issues decided on merits by the final fact finding body viz., the Tribunal cannot be given a short shrift in the aforesaid manner. A legal and binding responsibility, therefore, lies upon the Tribunal to decide the appeal on merits irrespective of the appearance of the Assessee or his counsel before it or not

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