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Case Law Details

Case Name : Adithya Ferro Alloys Pvt Limited Vs ITO (ITAT Chennai)
Appeal Number : ITA No.1115/Chny/2023
Date of Judgement/Order : 18/12/2023
Related Assessment Year : 2013-14

Adithya Ferro Alloys Pvt Limited Vs ITO (ITAT Chennai)

Adithya Ferro Alloys Pvt Limited (the assessee) filed appeals for various quarters of Assessment Years (AY) 2013-14 & 2014-15 against fees levied under section 234E by the TDS, CPC for late filing of quarterly TDS returns. The appeals were delayed by more than 3000 days, leading to their dismissal by the first appellate authority due to the failure to condone the delay. The assessee sought further appeal before the ITAT Chennai.

Key Points:

Inordinate Delay: The first appellate authority rejected the assessee’s appeals due to an inordinate delay of more than 8 years, noting the lack of sufficient cause for such delay.

Appeal to ITAT: The assessee approached the ITAT Chennai with a delay of 177 days in each of the appeals, seeking condonation based on affidavits from the Managing Director. The reasons cited for the delay included time taken to collate data and processes involving the company’s Chartered Accountants and advocates.

ITAT’s Analysis:

  • The ITAT observed that the delay in filing TDS returns and the subsequent appeals was not addressed timely by the assessee.
  • The assessee did not provide any documentary evidence, apart from an affidavit, to substantiate the reasons for the delay.
  • The ITAT referenced the Supreme Court’s perspective on condonation of delay, emphasizing the need for a satisfactory explanation over the length of the delay. It highlighted that negligence and inaction on the appellant’s part do not warrant leniency.

Decision: The ITAT dismissed the appeals due to the absence of sufficient cause to condone the inordinate delay of more than 8 years. It stressed that the appeals lacked a timely assertion of rights and were affected by the assessee’s deliberate inaction.

Conclusion: All appeals by Adithya Ferro Alloys Pvt Limited were dismissed, underscoring the importance of timely legal action and the consequences of neglecting statutory obligations.


1. All these appeals have been filed by the assessee for various quarters of Assessment Years (AY) 2013-14 & 2014-15. The Assessment Year has wrongly been mentioned at few places in impugned orders as well as in Form 36 which appears to be merely typographical errors. Nevertheless, we proceed with adjudication of these appeals. It is admitted fact that the impugned order is pari-materia the same for all the years.

2. The assessee was saddled with impugned fees u/s 234E by TDS, CPC for late filing of quarterly TDS returns. The assessee assailed the same with inordinate delay of more than 3000 days in each of the appeal which resulted into dismissal of the appeals by first appellate authority for want of condonation of delay. The Ld. CIT(A) noted that there was no sufficient cause for such an inordinate delay of more than 8 years and accordingly, the appeals were not admitted. Aggrieved, the assessee is in further appeal before us.

3. Even before us, the registry has noted delay of 177 days in each of the appeal, the condonation of which has been sought by Ld. AR on the strength of identical worded affidavits of Managing Director of Assessee Company. It has been submitted that the delay was neither willful nor deliberate but due to the time involved in collating the relevant data since Chartered Accounts were busy with the year-end book closure, return filings and other audit engagements. It has also been submitted that delay was further caused due to the time involved in collecting the papers from Chartered Accountants and delivering it to the advocates. The Ld. Sr. DR, on the other hand, pleaded for dismissal of all the appeals at its threshold. Having heard rival submissions and after perusal of impugned orders, our adjudication would be as given in succeeding paragraphs.

4. It is undisputed fact that there was delay in filing of quarterly TDS returns and accordingly, while processing TDS returns, CPC (TDS) has levied fees u/s 234E. The assessee remained silent for more than 8 years and suddenly assailed the same before first appellate authority which got dismissed for want of condonation of delay. The Ld. CIT(A) noted that the assessee did not furnish any documentary evidence in support of sufficient cause except filing an old affidavit repeating the same statement of resignation of staff Upon perusal of the same, it was to be concluded that the assessee did not have any sufficient cause seeking condonation of delay and it was conscious decision of the assessee not to contest the levy of impugned fees since the same was mandatory in nature.

5. The Hon’ble Supreme Court, in the case of Perumon Bhagvathy Devaswom, Perinadu Village Vs. Bhargavi Amma (Dead) by LRs, (2008) (8 SCC 321), has pertinently observed that the decisive factor in condonation of delay is not the length of delay but sufficiency of a satisfactory explanation. The degree of leniency to be shown by a court depends on the nature of application and facts and circumstances of the case. The expression “sufficient cause” should receive a liberal construction so as to advance substantial justice, when the delay is not on account of any dilatory tactics, want of bona fides, deliberate inaction or negligence on the part of the appellant. In a situation where there exists inordinate delay and the same is attributable to the party’s inaction and negligence, the Courts have to take a strict approach so as to protect the substantial rights of the parties. The courts would refuse to exercise discretionary powers if it is found that the applicant had neglected / omitted to assert its rights in a timely manner. A distinction has to be made between inordinate delay and delay of few days.

6. In the present case, we are of the considered opinion that the assessee has remained negligent in filing the appeals before first appellate authority as well as before us. It is clear that the statutory right to appeal which was vested with the assessee has not been exercised within the stipulated time as provided under law. It is a case of lapses which is directly the result of deliberate inaction on the part of the assessee. Therefore, we dismiss all the appeals at its threshold for want of condonation of delay. Even otherwise, there is no sufficient cause with the assessee seeking condonation of inordinate delay of more than 8 years before first appellate authority.

7. In the result, all the appeals are dismissed as aforesaid.

Order pronounced in open court on 18th December, 2023.

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