Delay in filing appeal for negligence and laches of counsel cannot be condoned as avoidable cause for delay by due care and attention cannot be sufficient cause – ITAT
ABCAUS Case Law Citation:
ABCAUS 2595 (2018) (10) ITAT
The appellant assessee’s appeal was directed against the order passed by the CIT assuming revisionary jurisdiction u/s 263 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (the Act) and setting aside the case to the Assessing Officer.
At the outset, the assessee submitted that there was a delay of 478 days in filing the appeal.
It was explained that the assessee had earlier appointed a chartered accountant (CA) to represent him in the proceedings u/s 263 before the CIT and thereafter after the receipt of the order u/s 263, the assessee was not guided by the afore said Authorised Representative that a remedy was available to the assessee by preferring an appeal against the order passed u/s 263 before the ITAT.
It was prayed that the delay be condoned and the appeal be admitted to be decided on merits.
On the other hand, the Revenue opposed the assessee’s application for condonation of delay.
The Tribunal noted that the averment of the assessee that he was not properly guided by the AR for preferring an appeal against the order passed u/s 263 of the Act before the ITAT was not borne out from the records.
The Tribunal opined that although the assessee had filed an affidavit in this regard but the assessee also did not exercise proper care and diligence in looking after his own income tax assessment proceedings.
The Tribunal expressed that the assessee cannot entirely shift the onus of carelessness to the AR in this regard.
The Tribunal stated that it is settled law that an avoidable cause for delay by due care and attention cannot be sufficient cause. Cause attributable to negligence or inaction of the party cannot be sufficient cause. Negligence and laches on the part of the counsel cannot be condoned.
Accordingly, the Tribunal dismissed the assessee’s application for condonation of delay resulting in dismissal of the appeal as un-admitted.