Madhya Pradesh H.C : No sufficient cause has been shown seeking condonation of delay and whether such finding tantamounts to perversity of approach

High Court Of Madhya Pradesh

Babulal Jain vs. Income Tax Officer & Anr.

Section 253(5)

Asst. Year 1999-2000

Dipak Misra & R.K. Gupta, JJ.

MAIT No. 33 of 2007

2nd March, 2007

Counsel Appeared : Sanjay Mishra, for the Appellant : Rohit Arya with Sanjay Lal, for the Respondent

ORDER

By the court :

The present appeal has been preferred under s. 260A of the IT Act, 1961 (for short ‘the Act’) assailing the correctness of the order passed by the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal, Jabalpur (in short ‘the Tribunal’) in ITA No. 106/Jab/2006 whereby the Tribunal in the absence of the counsel for the appellant dismissed the appeal on the ground that the appeal was barred by 12 days.

2. Submission of Mr. Sanjay Mishra, learned counsel for the appellant is that due to unavoidable circumstances he could not appear before the Tribunal and further the Tribunal should have either adjourned the matter or should have afforded an opportunity to put forth the case of the appellant with regard to condonation of delay of 12 days. Learned counsel further submitted that the Tribunal has taken recourse to hypertechnical view in regard to the sufficient cause, though application explaining the condonation of delay of 12 days was filed.

3. Mr. Rohit Arya, learned senior counsel appearing for the Revenue left it to the discretion of this Court.

4. The question of law in this appeal under s. 260A of the Act is framed as under:

“Whether, in the facts and circumstances of the case, the Tribunal is justified in not condoning the delay of only 12 days on the ground that no sufficient cause has been shown seeking condonation of delay and whether such finding tantamounts to perversity of approach ?”

5. To appreciate the facts in entirety, we have carefully perused the order of the Tribunal. From para 3 of the said order it is perceptible that the delay occurred as there was strike of SBI and the payment of the assessee could not be received and after the strike was over he arranged the money and came to Jabalpur for depositing the fees of the appeal and hence, he was prevented by the sufficient cause. The Tribunal did not accept the contention of the assessee on the ground that no documentary evidence was produced. The Tribunal as is manifest has not held that there was no strike in the State Bank of India. The Tribunal has decided the matter in the absence of both the parties.

6. In our considered opinion, the Tribunal has adopted a taken hypertechnical view. The assessee has proffered adequate reasons. We have no hesitation in holding that the rejection of the appeal on the ground of delay when sufficient cause has been shown amounts to perversity of approach. Accordingly, we set aside the order passed by the Tribunal and remit the matter to the Tribunal to hear the appeal on merits.

7. The appeal is allowed to the extent indicated above. There shall be no order as to costs.

[Citation : 296 ITR 380]

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