×Latest Case Laws on Income Tax by various Income Tax Appellate Tribunals in India
These are the latest case laws decided by various Income Tax Appellate Tribunals (ITAT) of India on Income Tax which have been published recently. The case laws are open for discussion and we invite expert comments from our members on its applicability and effect on relevant issues.
12-06-2019, Fair Field Developments, Section 144C, 253(2), Tribunal Hyderabad
The appeal is filed by the Revenue against the order of the CIT (A)-V, Hyderabad dated 16.06.2014 for the A.Y 2011-12 whereas the C.O is filed by the assessee.
2. At the outset, it is seen that the Revenue’s appeal is filed with a delay of 1159 days and an application for condonation of delay is filed. In the application filed initially for the condonation of delay, the Revenue had stated that the assessment order u/s 143(3) r.w.s. 144C of the Act was passed on 27.03.2014 and aggrieved by the same, the assessee filed an appeal before the CIT (A) which was disposed off vide order dated 16.06.2014 along with the appeal of the assessee. He submitted that the order of the CIT (A) was received in the office of the CIT (IT & TP) Hyderabad on 25.08.2014 and that the due date of filing of appeal before the ITAT was 25.10.2014. It is also submitted that the AO had recommended for filing of further appeal before the ITAT and accordingly directions u/s 253(2) of the Act were issued vide orders dated 16.10.2014. He submitted that these directions were duly forwarded to the AO and the Range Head Office, however, the same was not filed before the ITAT within the due date. It was submitted that during the year 2014, cadre restructuring of the I.T. Deptt. had taken place which resulted in a drastic change in the jurisdiction of various offices at Hyderabad and this led to large cross movement of files and folders across various offices and there was loss of communication between the Officers of the I.T. Department directly. It was submitted that the appeal was filed after a delay of 1154 days and prayed for condonation of appeal.
3. The learned Counsel for the assessee objected to this condonation of delay when the matter was heard on 20.11.2018 and the learned Counsel for the assessee took serious objections to the condonation of delay. He submitted that the application filed by the Revenue was incomplete as it does not give any details, such as the person responsible for the misplacement of the file, action taken by the Department against such person and as to when the file was misplaced etc., He submitted that the trigger point for filing of this appeal by the Revenue with a delay of 1159 days was the proceedings in the assessee’s case for the A.Y 2014-15 and not the reasons stated by the Department in the application filed for condonation of delay. The learned DR at that point of time sought time to file the chronological events regarding the delay of 1159 days and on 26.12.2017 he filed detailed explanation for filing the appeal with a delay. The learned Counsel for the assessee wanted to go through and sought time and accordingly the matter was adjourned till today.
4. The learned DR relied upon the submissions made by the AO i.e. Dy. CIT-I(IT&TP) vide letter dated 28.11.2018 stating that the relevant CIT i.e. Dy. DIT was holding three charges during the relevant period and also that the file had got misplaced due to cadre restructuring of the I.T. Department and movement of files from one office to other. He, therefore, prayed that the delay of 1159 days be condoned and appeal be disposed of on merit.
5. The learned Counsel for the assessee, on the other hand, placed reliance upon the decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of Union of India vs. Vidarbha Veneer Industries reported in (1994) SCC, Supl.(2)696 dated 13.08.1993 wherein the Hon'ble Supreme Court took note of similar reasons given therein that the relevant file was misplaced for quite sometime in the office of the Central Agency and that the SLP was filed for some delay, even though the file could not be traced. The Hon'ble Supreme Court observed that there is nothing in the application for condonation of delay to indicate the action was taken to find out how the file got misplaced or to fix the responsibility on the person who should be accountable for the same. Therefore, the Hon'ble Supreme Court refused to condone the delay. He has filed before us the instructions regarding the standard operating procedure to be followed by the Department to file an appeal before the ITAT and has drawn our attention to the procedures to keep track of the file for filing of the appeal and pursuing the same before the ITAT. He has also filed a detailed chart on the various procedures which should have been adopted by the Department even in the assessee’s case and submitted that there is clear dereliction of the duty by the Department and that the delay is clearly withou any reasonable cause. He, therefore, submitted the inordinate delay of 1159 days in filing of the appeal should not be condoned. He also reiterated the submissions that the AO filed appeal against the order of the CIT (A) only with an intent to the anticipated benefit for Revenue due to substantial tax effect arising in the year 2014-15.
6. Having regard to the rival contentions and the material on record, we find that in the case before us, the Revenue is explaining, the cadre restructuring in the Department and also holding of different charges by the Dy.CIT (IT) during the relevant period, as a reasonable cause for misplacement of the files and retracing after a period of two years necessitating the filing of the