Sapna Packaging Industries (the Appellant) received an Order-In-Original on August 17, 2013 and preferred an appeal against the said order before the Ld. Commissioner (Appeals) on November 18, 2013.The Ld. Commissioner (Appeals) rejected the appeal on the ground of being time barred under Section 35(1) of the Central Excise Act, 1944 (the Excise Act) as the appeal was filed beyond 60 days plus 30 days, being his permissible period of condonation.
Being aggrieved the Appellant preferred an appeal before the Hon’ble CESTAT, Chennai and argued that 90 days expired on November 15, 2013, which was holiday due to Muhurram (Friday) and 16th and 17thwere holidays, being Saturday and Sunday.Hence, appeal could be filed on November 18, 2013.
The Hon’ble CESTAT, Chennaiafter discussing Section 9 of the General Clause Act, 1897 read with Section 4 of the Limitation Act, 1963 and relying upon the finding of the Hon’ble CESTAT, Bangalore in the case of Aarti TechnopacksVs. CCE[2008 (225) ELT 501 (Tri.-Bang.)] held that if court is closed on last day of prescribed period, next working day is to be treated as last date of limitation. Thus, in view of 15th, 16thand 17thNovember being holidays, appeal filed on November 18, 2013 was within permissible period of condonation of Commissioner (Appeals).
The Hon’ble Tribunal accordingly remanded the matter back to the Commissioner (Appeals) to decide application of the condonation of delay in filing the appeals on merit in accordance with law.