1. There is a delay of 536 days in filing the appeal against the order of the Customs Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal. Repeatedly, it has come to the notice of this Court that appeals in revenue matters involving indirect taxation are being filed with a gross delay.
2 In the present case, the submission which has been urged before the Court by Mr S A Haseeb, learned counsel, is that there was some mis-apprehension on the part of the Commissionerate as a result of which the appeal was filed before the Gujarat High Court and after the appeal was dismissed, this Court was moved.
3 The legal position that the appeal would lie before this Court cannot be a matter of doubt. Certainly it would not be open to the Department to contend that they were unaware of the legal position. Such appeals are being filed with a gross delay. In the event this Court does not allow the application for condonation of delay, the officers may seek to justify their inaction by contending that they had moved this Court with an application for condonation of delay which was not entertained. The Union government, in the Department of Revenue must find an answer to this state of affairs by ensuring that matters which are required to be litigated are litigated with all necessary dispatch and matters not worthy of being pursued are set to rest.
4 We, therefore, are of the view that it would be appropriate to request Mr Tushar Mehta, learned Solicitor General of India to appear to assist the Court and apprise it of the steps which would be taken by the Union government.
5 List the appeal on 15 February 2021.