Lahoti Overseas Ltd vs. DCIT (ITAT Mumbai)

DATE: March 18, 2016 (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: May 20, 2016 (Date of publication)
AY: 2002-03
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A liberal view must be taken in matters of condonation of delay. A delay of 2191 days caused by an employee leaving the services of the assessee and not handing over papers to the assessee deserves to be condoned

There was a delay of 2191 days in filing the instant appeal. In the affidavit, the assessee stated that the employee concerned, who was handling with the taxation matter left the assessee company and due to inadvertent mistake, the papers and documents, related to the appeal remained to be handed over, which caused the delay.

Held, if a litigant satisfies the Courts that there was sufficient reason for availing the remedy after the expiry of limitation, delay could be condoned. In every case of delay, there can be some lapses on the part of the litigant concern. That alone is not enough to turn down the plea and to shut the doors against him, unless and until, it makes a mala-fide or a dilatory statutory, the court must show utmost consideration to such litigant. In matters concerning the filing of appeals, in exercise of the statutory right, a refusal to condone the delay can result in a meritorious matter being thrown out at the threshold, which may lead to miscarriage of justice. Since the employee who was earlier handling the tax matters of the assessee company, while leaving the job of the assessee company, did not handover the relevant papers either to the assessee or to the next person, a fact which caused the delay, the delay was liable to be condoned by taking a lenient view.

(i) Collector, Land Acquisition vs Mst. Katiji & Ors. 167 ITR 471
(ii) Vedabai Alia Vaijayanatabai Baburao Patil vs. Shantaram Baburao Patil 253 ITR 798
(iii) N. Balakrishnan vs M. Krishnamuthy (1998) 7 SSC 123,
(iv) Mahaveer Prasad Jain vs CIT (1988) 172 ITR 331 (MP)
(v) Artis Tree Pvt. Ld. vs CBDT & Ors. (2015) 273 CTR 0014(Bom.);
(2014) 369 ITR 691(Bom.) followed

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