Kerala H.C : Whether there was sufficient cause for condonation of delay or not is a matter within the discretion of the Board. The Board considered the matter and found that there was no ground for condonation of the delay

High Court Of Kerala

A.P. Sivaraman & Ors. vs. ITO & Ors.

Sections 119(2)(b), 154

Om Prakash, C.J. & J.B. Koshy, J.

WA No. 847 of 1994-A

21st August, 1998

Counsel Appeared

S.A. Nagendran & Premjith Nagendran, for the Appellants : V.V. Asokan, for the Respondent.

JUDGMENT

OM PRAKASH C.J. :

This is appeal is preferred by the assessees against the judgment dt. 17th March, 1994, [reported as A.P. Shivaraman & Ors. vs. ITO & Ors. (1994) 119 CTR (Ker) 379 : TC 53R.634], passed by the learned single Judge. The assessees sought rectification under s. 154 of the IT Act, 1961 (for short ‘the Act’) by the applications which were made belatedly. Condonation of delay was sought by applications made under s. 119(2)(b) of the Act. The CBDT (for short ‘the Board’) taking into consideration the report of the CIT, Cochin, which was forwarded to it by the Chief CIT, Bangalore, rejected the applications for condonation of delay. Such rejection was challenged in the Original Petition before this Court.

The learned single Judge rejected the Original Petition observing as under: “…….The question whether there was sufficient cause for condonation of delay or not is a matter within the discretion of the Board. The Board considered the matter and found that there was no ground for condonation of the delay”. Before the Board, the assessees contended that the Board had lost its jurisdiction to consider the applications for condonation of delay, inasmuch as the files had been transferred to the Chief CIT, Bangalore. Rejecting such contention of the assessees, the learned single judge observed that there was no evidence to show that the files had been transferred to the Chief CIT at Bangalore, and that the Board thereby divested itself of its jurisdiction. We sent for the original record which has been produced by the learned senior standing counsel. Upon perusal of the report which was considered by the Board, it clearly appears that the Chief CIT at Bangalore simply forwarded the report of the CIT, Cochin. There is nothing to indicate that the proceedings had been transferred to the Chief CIT at Bangalore thereby divesting the jurisdiction of the Board in the matter.

5. We fully agree with the learned single Judge that it was purely within the discretion of the Board to condone or not to condone the delay. In this case it cannot be said that the Board acted arbitrarily, inasmuch the Board rejected the application for condonation of delay only after taking into consideration the report called for from the CIT, Cochin, which were duly forwarded to Chief CIT at Bangalore. In the result, the appeal fails and is dismissed.

[Citation : 239 ITR 532]

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