HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
Commissioner of Income-tax, Kol-I
Peerless General Finance & Investment Co.
ITAT NO. 128 OF 2012
G.A. NOS. 1526 & 1527 OF 2012
Date of pronouncement – 05.07.2012
The Court – This is an application for condonation of delay for 2197 days. On 21st June, 2012 the learned Advocate for the respondent appeared and obtained direction to file affidavit.
2. Today, none appeared on behalf of the respondent, not to speak of filing of affidavit-in-opposition. However, Mr. Nizumuddin, learned Advocate appearing for the appellant, informed this Court that a copy of the affidavit-in-opposition has been served upon him.
3. We are of the view that mere supply of copy of the affidavit-in-opposition to the appellant does not tantamount to filing of the same. So, when do not find any contest, either by document or by filing affidavit, we take up this application for final hearing.
4. We have gone through the explanation given in the application. It appears that the entire statements and averments constitute culpable laches and negligence on the part of the departmental official. There is no whisper as to what steps have been taken against the negligent officials. The Supreme Court has cautioned not to give any undue and unlimited concession to the appellant, who happens to be a Government department. In a recent pronouncement the Supreme Court has stated that time has come to reexamine the aspect of extending latitude to the Government department. The Supreme Court has observed that in the era of modern technology there is no difficulty on the part of the department to take reasonably prompt action.
5. The lawyer’s laches and negligence is obviously pardonable. However, laches and negligence on the part of the officials, which is culpable one, cannot be accepted and pardoned by this Court.
6. In one paragraph it is mentioned casually that the lawyer engaged has committed default for not drafting the papers, and rather returned the same after holding the same for a long time. Not a single document has been annexed in support of this statement.
7. Accordingly, this application is dismissed. Consequently, the appeal stands dismissed.
8. This appeal is dismissed not on merit, but because this Court has declined to condone the delay and obviously, there is no pronouncement of the legality and acceptability of the issue involved in the matter by this Court.