No delay condonation application was required for appeals when the order was received late- ITAT

No delay condonation application was required for appeals when the order was received late- ITAT restores appeals of the assessee to the file of CIT-A 

delay condonation application

ABCAUS Case Law Citation:
ABCAUS 2115 (2017) (11) ITAT

The Challenge/Grievance:
The assessee had challenged the orders of Commissioner of Income Tax –Appeals (CIT-A)for four assessment years dismissing the appeals of the assessee against the levy of penalty u/s 271(1)(c) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (the Act).

Brief Facts of the Case:
The assessee had appealed against the penalty orders u/s 271(1)(c) of the Assessing Officer (AO) . However the CIT(A) noted that appeals were not filed within time and the assessee had not filed any applications for condonation of delay. The CIT(A) accordingly dismissed all the appeals of the assessee considering the same to be time barred.

Contention of the Appellant Assessee:
The assessee pointed out that he had moved application under RTI Act seeking copies of the penalty orders from the department because these were not served upon him. The same was replied by the department in which the department had intimated to the assessee that the penalty orders u/s 271(1)(c) of the Act dated 26.03.2015 had been sent to the assessee through Speed Post which returned unserved. Copy of the penalty orders for all the assessment years under appeals were accordingly provided to the assessee. Assessee, therefore, submitted that the appeals of the assessee were not time barred.

Observations made by the Tribunal:
The ITAT noted that in the light of the reply of the department under RTI Act it was clear that penalty orders passed by the AO had not been served upon the assessee. Therefore, the same were supplied to the assessee through the letter of the department dated 27.05.2015. The assessee, thereafter, filed the appeals before the CIT(A) on 05.06.2015.

In view of the above the ITAT opined that the appeals were therefore, filed within the period of limitation and there was no need for the assessee to move any application for condonation of delay before the CIT(A).

According to the ITAT, the orders of the CIT(A), could not be sustained in law. There was no justification for CIT(A) to hold that appeals of the assessee were time barred.

Decision/ Conclusion/Held:
The orders of the CIT-A were set aside and all the appeals were restored to the file of CIT(A) with direction to re-decide appeals of the assessee on merits by giving reasonable, sufficient opportunities of being heard to the assessee.

delay condonation application

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