SHIVSAGAR VEG VS. ACIT (BOMBAY HIGH COURT)
Where the Tribunal passed an order after more than four months from the date of hearing without dealing with propositions and case laws relied upon by the Appellant, HELD allowing the appeal that:

(i) The complaint of the assessee that the Tribunal had passed an order after 4 months delay and without recording reasons was “a serious complaint” and reflected “a disturbing state of affairs”;

(ii) It is incumbent upon the Tribunal, being the final authority of facts, to appreciate the evidence, consider the reasons of the authorities below and assign its own reasons as to why it disagrees with the reasons and findings of the lower authorities. The Tribunal cannot brush aside the reasons or findings recorded by the lower authorities. It must give reasons and its failure to do so renders its’ order unsustainable;

(iii) The inordinate unexplained delay in pronouncement of the impugned judgement has also rendered it vulnerable. Confidence tends to be shaken if there is excessive delay between hearing of arguments and delivery of judgments;

(iv) Accordingly the President of the ITAT is directed to frame and lay down guidelines on the lines laid down by the Apex Court in Anil Rai v. State of Bihar and to issue appropriate administrative directions to all the benches of the Tribunal within the shortest reasonable time.

(v) In the meanwhile, all revisional and appellate authorities are directed to decide matters heard by them within three months from the date the case is closed for judgment.

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