Delay condoned as assessee filed a single appeal against two penalty orders, later realized it was not allowed

Delay condoned as assessee filed a single appeal against two penalty orders and later realized that a single appeal against two penalty orders passed under different sections not permissible

ABCAUS Case Law Citation:
ABCAUS 2954 (2019) (05) ITAT

Important Case Laws Cited/relied upon by the parties
Manoj Ahuja (Minor) & Anr Vs. IAC in 150 ITR 069
SMC Capitals Ltd.
India Gospel Fellowhsip Trust 331 ITR 283 (Mad)
Rankak and others Vs. Rewa Coalfields Ltd. AIR 1962 SC 361
Madhur Dadha Vs. ACIT (Mad) 317 IR 458,

In the instant appeal, the Assessee challenged the order passed by the CIT(A) in not entertaining the appeal of the assessee on account of delay in filing the appeal when the delay in filing the appeal, was due to bonafide reason.

The Assessing Officer (AO) had imposed penalty under section 271AAA of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (the Act) on the amount surrendered. Simultaneously, the AO levied penalty under section 271(1)(c) of the Act by another order.

Against the said two orders, the assessee, filed a consolidated appeal before the CIT(A) i.e. a single appeal was filed against the above stated two penalty orders. The said appeal was filed within the 30 days of passing the order.

However, afterwards, the assessee realized the fact that filing a single appeal against two penalty orders passed under two different sections was not permissible as per law. Therefore, the appellant then filed a separate appeal against the order passed under section 271AAA. The said appeal was delayed by 639 days.

The CIT(A) dismissed the appeal of the appellant on the ground that ignorance of law is not a ground to condone the delay. Relying ipon the several judgments, the CIT(A) held that condonation is not the matter of right and Court has to exercise the discretionary jurisdiction.

The Tribunal observed that in the instant case the assessee had filed appeal against the penalty order under section 271AAA before the CIT(A), however, it was tagged along with the appeal against the penalty under section 271(1)(c).

The Tribunal opined that this clearly went to prove that there was an appeal filed within the due date. Yet, the technicalities had been infracted upon which could be clearly considerable as a bonafide mistake.

The Tribunal opined that condonation of delay is a subjective issue and is to be viewed in the facts each case. In general, the several Courts have held that the approach towards condonation of delay has to be pragmatic and liberal and not pedantic.

Keeping in view the above facts, the Tribunal was of the view that it could not be said that the assessee had accrued any benefit by filing the appeal late, the same time revenue was not prejudiced if the case is considered on merits instead of dismissing on hyper-technicalities.

Hence, the Tribunal directed that the delay may be condoned and appeal be heard on the merits of the case as per the provisions of the Income Tax Act,1961.

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