Brief facts of the Case:
On 10-01-2008 search was conducted u/s 132 at the business place of appellants and all the documents ,papers books of accounts were seized. On 26-08-2008 the properties belonging to the appellants were in Kocthiparai village were attached and notice u/s 153A was served on assessee for block assessment on 29-08-2008.On 24-11-2008 appellants had made a representation to release the property document so that they can sell it off and pay the dues to respondant .On 05-08-2009 appellants have filed their return of income but tax was not paid on the admitted income.
AO has passed an assessment order after scrutinising the ROI filed by appellants and aggrieved by the assessment order of AO ,appellants filed appeals before CIT(A) who by order dt 27-10-2010 also made an order against appellants on the ground that they have not paid taxes on the admitted income.
Aggried by the order of CIT(A) ,assessees made an appeal to the ITAT along with the petition to condone the delay in filing the appeals .
Assessees filed an appeal against an order of ITAT Dt 17-04-2014 decling to condone the delay of 1100 days raising the following substantial question of laws-
“1)Is is not reasoning of the tribunal failing to condone the delay of 1100 days in filing the appeal before it ,is perverse and contrary to law?
2)whether on the facts and circumstances of the case,the appellant tribunal was right in dismissing the appeal on the point of limitation without appreciating the reasons stated in the affidavit filed by an appellant ?
3)Whether appellant tribunal is correct in not considering the “sufficient cause” for the delay which had been explained by the assessee in filing an appeal with the condonation of delay?
4) Whether the finding of the Tribunal is perverse especially after admission of the main case and after granting interim relief dismissed the main case in condonation application by overlooking the earlier decision of another Bench?
5. Whether on the facts and circumstances of the case, the Tribunal was right in not considering the submission made by the counsel for the appellant at the time of argument?”
In the meantime government of TamilNadu had deposited a sum of Rs 16,79,59,743/-on the land of assessee .Assessee filed a writ petition before Hon’ble High Court of Madras on the ground that his property was seized by the department because of which appellants were not able to pay the admitted taxes ,moreover husband of one the appellant was admitted to hospital undergoing byepass surgeory and was suffering from severe diseases from November 2010 to November -2013.
Appellants produced additional medical evidences as per the code of civil procedure ,Though it was allowed to produce the additional evidences which were not produced during the assessment hearings but after considering the additional documents it came into notice that surgery was conducted in 2003 and husband was kept under medical guidance for limited period of time .
So after above perusal ,there was not any question of law on the basis of which appeal can be filed with Hon’ble high cout ,there was just question of fact.
So decision of ITAT stood affirmed.
Contention of the Revenue: Tribunal held that the explanation regarding the illness of husband offered by one of the assessee Mrs P.S Rajeshwari was untenable.The tribunal further pointed out that plea of illness between November,2010 and November 2013 and sudden regaining of health was not supported by evidence. The tribunal further held that the delay in filing of the appeal by 1100 days was not supported by evidence ;the assesses have failed to act with due diligence .
The tribunal considers that nursing home certificates are only after thought process when appellants have no left up with any other evidences. Moreover personal presence of the appellants in the tribunal proceedings are not required. Appellants also failed to explain each and every delay from 16thNovember,2013 till date of filing of return i.e 30-12-2013.In this case there is no plausible explanation much less a satisfactory one .
Contention of Appellant/Assessee: Appellant has filed an ROI for A.Y 2006 07 and 2007-08 which is duly accepted ,so the penalty levied levied u/s 271(1)(c) of the IT act 1961 is erroneous .Moreover appellant was not able to pay admitted taxes on time because its property was seized by the department, failure to sale the same for the payment of taxes .
Husband of one of the appellant went byepass surgery and was under treatment since November-2010 to November 2013 of which they have also presented the letter of nursing home. Husband was also advised that any little strain may cause anxiety its life itself, so they were not in a position to consult our lawyer.
Held by High Court : The tribunal justified in stating that the sufficient cause was not produced and the ill health between November 2010 to November 2013 is not supported by any cogent material. Producing nursing home certificate is just a after thought exercise.
So condoning the delay in filing an appeal with ITAT cannot be excercised.