Case Law Details

Case Name : Principal Commissioner of Income Tax Vs Devendranath G. Chaturvedi (Gujarat High Court)
Appeal Number : Civil Application (oj) No. 166 of 2017
Date of Judgement/Order : 03/04/2017
Related Assessment Year :
Courts : All High Courts (3525) Gujarat High Court (295)

Present application under section 5 of the Limitation Act has been preferred by the applicant – Revenue requesting to condone delay of 68 days caused in preferring Tax Appeal against the impugned order passed by the learned Income Tax Appellate Tribunal dated 29.01.2016 passed in ITA No. 385/Ahd/2011 for A.Y. 2004- 05 by which the learned Tribunal has dismissed the said Appeal as not entertained the said Appeal and has consequently dismissed the said Appeal considering the Circular issued by the CBDT dated 10.12.2015 being Circular No. 21 of 2015 i.e. on the ground that the tax effect in all in the Appeal is below the monetary limits prescribed by the CBDT to prefer an Appeal before the ITAT (Tribunal).

2. To satisfy ourselves, prima facie whether there is any merits in the case and/ or to prima facie satisfy ourselves whether in the facts and circumstances of the case, the learned Tribunal has committed any error in not entertaining and/ or dismissing the Appeal relying upon Circular of the CBDT No. 21 of 2015 dated 10.12.2015. We have heard Shri Mehta, learned counsel appearing for the Revenue. We have also perused the impugned order passed by the learned Tribunal as well as the order passed by the learned CIT(A) which was before the learned Tribunal. From the material on record it appears that the tax effect involved in the Appeal before the learned Tribunal for A.Y. 2004-05 was Rs. 9,45,630 only, which shall be less than the monetary limits prescribed by the CBDT in its Circular No.21 of 2015 dated 10.12.2015 to prefer the Appeal before the learned Tribunal. Under the circumstances, as such the learned Tribunal has rightly not entertained the said Appeal and has rightly dismissed the said Appeal without entering into merits and after following/ considering Circular No. 21 of 2015 dated 10.12.2015 issued by the CBDT.

However, Shri Mehta, learned counsel appearing on behalf of Revenue, has heavily relied upon clause 5 of the Circular No.21 of 2015 dated 10.12.2015 and has submitted that as common question/issue has arisen with respect to another Appeal with respect to another Assessment Year and therefore, the learned Tribunal ought to have entertained the said Appeal. However, considering clause 5 of the Circular No.21 of 2015 dated 10.12.2015, the aforesaid is not substantiated. It is required to be noted that the order passed by the learned CIT(A), which was before the learned Tribunal, was not a composite order passed by the learned CIT(A), but was an independent and separate order passed with respect to the Assessment Year 2004-05. As per the clause 5 of the Circular No.21 of 2015 dated 10.12.2015, no Appeal shall be filed in respect of an assessment year or years in which the tax effect is less than the monetary limits specified in para 3. It also further provides that if in the case of Assessee, the disputed issues arise in more than one assessment year, Appeal can be filed in respect of such assessment year or years in which tax effect in respect of the disputed issues exceeds the monetary limits specified in para 3. In other words, Appeals can be filed only with reference to the tax effect in the relevant assessment year. However, there is an explanation to the aforesaid and in case of a composite order of any High Court or any Appellate Authority, which involves more than one assessment year and common issues in more than one assessment year, Appeal shall be filed in respect of all such assessment years even if the tax effect is less than the prescribed monetary limits in any of the years. As observed herein in the present case, it is not a case of a composite order passed by the learned CIT(A) which was before the learned Tribunal. It was a separate and independent order passed by the learned CIT(A) with respect to each different assessment year, more particularly in the present case for A.Y. 2004-05. Under the circumstances, the learned Tribunal has rightly dismissed the Appeal on the ground that the tax effect involved in the Appeal is less than the monetary limit prescribed by the CBDT to prefer an Appeal before the learned Tribunal. Under the circumstances, as such there is no merits in the Appeal. Under the circumstances, to issue notice upon the respondent and thereafter to condone the delay and thereafter to dismiss the Appeal (which as observed above lacks merits) will cause undue harassment to the respondent – Assessee and for no reason the Assessee will have to incur expenditure to appear in the delay condone application.

3. In view of the above, more particularly, when the Appeal lacks merits, we refuse to condone the delay caused in preferring the Appeal. Under the circumstances, present application stands dismissed. In view of the dismissal of present Civil Application, Tax Appeal being Stamp No. 7 of 2017 also stands dismissed on the ground of limitation. However, it goes without saying that dismissal of the Appeal by the learned Tribunal and dismissal of the present Application/Appeal by us, shall not come in the way of the Revenue in other pending Appeal/s in which the tax effect could be more than the monetary limits prescribed by the CBDT, as neither the learned Tribunal nor we have expressed anything on merits with respect to the issues involved in the Appeal.

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