The assessee contemplating of going under the scheme cannot be said to have suffered prejudice only because the revenue preferred the appeal belatedly as the scheme does not confer any vested right on the assessee: Calcutta High Court.

In all these applications the revenue has sought for condonation of delay in filing the appeals before this Court under Section 260A of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (the Act, in brevity) challenging the orders passed by the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, Kolkata. The Judgment in Principal Commissioner Of Income vs Dinesh Kumar Bansal (IA NO. GA/1/2020) was served by THE HON’BLE JUSTICE T.S. SIVAGNANAM And THE HON’BLE JUSTICE HIRANMAY BHATTACHARYYA


For the purpose of disposal of the applications filed under Section 5 of the Limitation Act, it may not be necessary to go into the factual aspects nor as to what would be the relevant assessment year which was subject matter before the Tribunal. Equally the length of delay may also not be very relevant factor as the submissions have been made on either side on the issue as to whether the Court should exercise discretion in condoning the delay in filing the appeals before this Court. There are cases where delay is only 90 days, there are also cases where delay is more than 300 days. As has been settled in various decisions, length of delay is always not a very relevant factor as even a meagre delay if shown to be on account of certain mala fide reasons, the Court will refuse to exercise discretion and will dismiss the applications. In other cases, where delay is substantial, the Court finds that sufficient cause has been shown and for reasons to be assigned will exercise discretion and condone the delay. The case of the revenue is that the matters which are subject matter of the appeal are popularly known as ‘Penny Stock Cases’ and the Tribunal has granted certain relief to the assessee largely following the decision in Swati Bajaj and in the case of Manju Agarwal vs. ITO in ITA No. 2662/Kol/2018 and other similar cases. In some of the impugned orders, there has been findings rendered by the Tribunal on the facts of the particular case but we find in most of the cases the Tribunal has merely extracted its earlier decisions and granted relief to the assessee. As we are considering the applications filed under Section 5 of the Limitation Act, we refrain from going into the merits of the decision taken by the Tribunal and we shall enter into the merits only, if we are satisfied that the delay in filing the appeal has to be condoned.


After going through the affidavits filed in support of the applications and bearing in mind the facts and circumstances set out above, we are satisfied that the revenue has shown sufficient cause for not being able to prefer the appeal within the period of limitation. Thus, the court is of the considered view that cause of justice would be served if the delay in filing the appeal is condoned and the appeals are heard on merits so that the Court can consider as to whether any substantial question of law arises for consideration. For all the above reasons, the applications are allowed and the delay in filing the appeal is condoned.


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