By means of this stay application, the appellant seeks to get extension of demand amounting to Rs.71,12,41,378/- already stayed by the Tribunal for the assessment year 2010-11, till the disposal of appeal.
The Ld. counsel for the appellant submits that the Tribunal vide its order dated 18.03.2016, had initially granted stay on the recovery of demand of Rs.112,29,02,350/- of the assessee with a direction to the Revenue to adjust a refund of Rs.41,16,60,980/- that was due to the assessee for AY 2007-08. Accordingly, the Ld. counsel submits that an amount to the tune of 36% of the total outstanding demand has already been recovered by the Revenue. Thus it is stated that as there is no change in the circumstances, the stay be extended for a period of six months.
The Ld. DR opposes the extension of stay without further payment of tax.
2. We have heard the rival submissions and perused the relevant materials on record. It is seen that the stay originally granted was extended by the Tribunal vide order dated 07.10.2019 for a period of 180 days or till the disposal of the appeal, whichever is earlier. The stay granted by the Tribunal vide its order dated 07.10.2019 was due to expire on 06.04.2020. However in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Hon’ble Bombay High Court vide order dated 26.03.2020 extended all interim orders operating as on the day of lockdown to be treated to be valid till 30.04.2020. Further, the Hon’ble Bombay High Court extended all interim orders passed till 31.01.2021 vide extension orders dated 15.04.2020, 15.06.2020, 15.07.2020, 31.08.2020, 30.09.2020, 29.10.2020 and 09.12.2020.
It is found that the appeal could not be disposed off for one reason or the other, but for no fault of the assessee. In fact, the case is fixed for hearing before the Tribunal on 23.02.2021. We also notice that the assessee has paid Rs.41,16,60,980/- out of Rs.1,12,29,02,350/- which is 36% of the demand.
Taking into consideration the above factual position in the present case, we grant the extension of stay of demand for a further period of 180 days from the date of this order or till the disposal of present appeal, whichever is earlier.
3. In the result, the stay application is allowed.
Order pronounced in the open Court on 19/02/2021.