Brief of the Case: Kolkata ITAT held In the case of DCIT vs. M/s Presidency Exports & Industries Ltd. that following the order of the Coordinate Bench of this Tribunal in the case of DCIT –vs.- M/s. G.V.N. Fuels Limited in ITA No. 563/Kol/2012, dated 22.05.2015 and that of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Office of the Chief Post Master General & Another –vs.- Living Media India Limited & Another in Civil Appeal No. 2474-2475 of 2012, dated 24.02.2012 , we are of the view that it is not a case where the Revenue has been prevented by sufficient cause to file the appeal within the permitted time. The law of limitation binds not only the assessee but also the Revenue.
Facts of the Case: In this case, revenue has late filed the appeal by 158 days. As per records , the Revenue has received the order of the CIT(A) on 17-8-2010, while the appeal was filed on 23-03-2011. As per condonation application received , there was a delay at every stage from application for filing the second appeal to CIT and the approval from the office of the CIT, while approving the appeal to be filed before the Tribunal.
Contention of the Revenue: It was stated in the condonation application that within a span of one week they have received 93 Appellate Orders from the Office of CIT (A) relating to several months batches, apart from having 19 old Appellate Order of which Appeal Scrutiny reports are being prepared and sent to the office of CIT, Kol-II, Kolkata. The delay is not deliberate and the revenue does not gain in any manner by delay committed. There was sufficient cause for the delay and it is prayed that the same may be condoned.
Held by ITAT: Revenue has filed the condonation petition in a mechanical manner. There is delay at every stage from application for filing the Second Appeal to the CIT and the approval from the Office of the CIT, while approving the appeal to be filed before the Tribunal. The reasons mentioned by the Revenue are not plausible. The delay cannot be condoned mechanically merely because the Revenue is a party before us.
We do agree that in a matter of condonation of delay when there is no negligence or deliberate inaction or lack of bonafide approach, the liberal approach has to be adopted to advance substantial justice. In the fact s and circumstances of the case it cannot be said that there was no negligence or inaction on behalf of the Revenue. This, in our opinion, is a clear case of gross negligence on the part of the Revenue. The machinery is not supposed to be active for filing the appeal just on the last date of filing of the appeal and then took more than five months in deciding of the filing of the appeal. The law of limitation binds not only the assessee but also the Revenue.
The facts involved in this case are also identical to the facts in the case of Office of the Chief Post Master General & Another vs. Living Media India Limited & Another in Civil Appeal No. 2474 – 2475 of 2012 dated 24.02.2012, wherein the government machinery has worked in a particular fashion and in all the delay there is no explanation whatsoever. Similar view has been taken by this Tribunal in ITA No. 563/Kol/2012 in the case of DCIT vs. M/s. G.V.N. Fuels Limited , dated 22.05.2015.
Accordingly, appeal of the revenue dismissed.