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Case Law Details

Case Name : Pradeep Kumar Jindal  Vs PCIT (Delhi High Court)
Appeal Number : W.P.(C) 2229/2021
Date of Judgement/Order : 19/02/2021
Related Assessment Year : 2008-09
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Pradeep Kumar Jindal  Vs PCIT (Delhi High Court)

In the present case, admittedly, there is no adjudication by the ITAT on merits. In our opinion, the order dated 10th December, 2015 of the ITAT, dismissing the appeal of the petitioner for non-prosecution and not on merits, as the ITAT was required to do notwithstanding the non-appearance of the petitioner when the appeal was called for hearing, is violative of Rule 24 supra and thus void. Though the petitioner applied as aforesaid to the ITAT, not once but twice, for hearing of his appeal on merits but the ITAT refused to correct the illegality committed. In the circumstances, notwithstanding the delay on the part of the petitioner in impugning the order dated 10th December, 2015, the same has but to be quashed and cannot be sustained.

10. We are unable to agree with the contention of the counsel for the respondent, that the action of the ITAT, of dismissing the appeal for non-prosecution instead of on merits and of refusal to restore the same notwithstanding applications of the petitioner, is merely an irregularity.

We have enquired from the counsels, whether the Rules aforesaid provide for any limitation for applying under the proviso to Rule 24, for setting aside/recall of an ex parte order albeit on merits. The counsels are unanimous, that for making an application under the proviso to Rule 24, no limitation is provided.

Even otherwise, the first application aforesaid of the petitioner, filed in or about March, 2017, for restoration of the appeal dismissed for non-prosecution on 10th December, 2015, was within three years and the ITAT erred in dismissing the same invoking the amendment to Section 254(2) requiring application thereunder to be filed within six months and in not going into the sufficiency of the reasons given by the petitioner for non­appearance.

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