|CORAM:||Manoj Kumar Aggarwal (AM), Saktijit Dey (JM)|
|CATCH WORDS:||limitation period, rectification of mistake|
|DATE:||April 25, 2017 (Date of pronouncement)|
|DATE:||August 1, 2017 (Date of publication)|
|FILE:||Click here to download the file in pdf format|
|S. 254(2): The amendment by the Finance Act 2016 w.e.f. 01.06.2016 to specify the time limit of 6 months to file a rectification application applies even to applications filed with respect to appeal orders passed prior to the date of the amendment. The Tribunal has no power to condone the delay in filing a Miscellaneous Application|
(i) The date of order passed by the Tribunal is 22/03/2013 and the revenue has filed these applications on 28/02/2017 which are clearly beyond a period of six months as provided in Section 254(2). At this juncture, it would be prudent to reproduce the relevant provisions as contained in Section 254(2) of the Income Tax Act, 1961:-
Orders of Appellate Tribunal.
254. (1) The Appellate Tribunal may, after giving both the parties to the appeal an opportunity of being heard, pass such orders thereon as it thinks fit.
(2) The Appellate Tribunal may, at any time within six months from the end of the month in which the order was passed, with a view to rectifying any mistake apparent from the record, amend any order passed by it under sub-section (1), and shall make such amendment if the mistake is brought to its notice by the assessee or the Assessing Officer:
(ii) It is to be noted that the earlier period of ‘four years’ has been substituted with ‘six months’ by the Finance Act, 2016 with effect from 01/06/2016. However, we find that no distinction has been made in this section between orders passed before 01/06/2016 and orders passed after 01/06/2016. Moreover, the Tribunal order was dated 22/03/2013 and therefore, the Revenue had ample time to go through the same and pin point the mistakes in the order but it has failed to do so. Therefore, we find no force in these miscellaneous petitions primarily because of the reason that the Statute does not authorize us to entertain any petition which has been filed u/s 254(2) at any time beyond a period of six months from the date of the order. The Tribunal has been given power to admit an appeal after the expiry of the relevant period, if it is satisfied that there was sufficient cause for not presenting it within that period as per Section 253(5). However, this Tribunal is not enshrined with such powers in respect of a miscellaneous petition filed u/s 254(2) of the Income Tax Act. If we are not given that power, then it is not expected from us to exercise such power which is not provided in the Act. The Tribunal, being creation of law, is bound by the statutory provisions and our jurisdiction is simply to interpret and follow the Statute. There is no scope for us to import any word into the Statute which is not there. Such importation would be nothing but to amend the Statute. We therefore hold that the condonation of delay of these petitions is beyond our jurisdiction, hence rejected. Similar view has been taken by the Mumbai Tribunal in the cited order. Hence, finding the petitions time barring, we dismiss the same.