ITAT decline to condone the inordinate delay in filing the appeal on no sufficient cause being shown

ITAT decline to condone the inordinate delay in filing the appeal on no sufficient cause being shown

In this matter, the assessee preferred an appeal against the order of CIT(A) dated 13-12-2017 for the Assessment Year 2014-15 as per the grounds of appeal on record. This appeal was time barred by 1103 days. The assessee has filed an affidavit explaining the reasons of delay. That on perusal of the affidavit, there is no genuine cause established for such a huge delay in filing this appeal. The ld. AR also could not substantiate in his arguments as to why such a huge delay had occurred in filing the appeal. The ld. AR submitted that the assessee was confused regarding correct course of action. Also the assessee has even not appeared before the ld. CIT(A), wherein a total of eight opportunities were provided to the assessee but there was not a single appearance on any of the given date by the assessee. not submit the reasons why there were non-appearances even before the first appellate authority.

The ld. DR vehemently submitted that the delay of 1103 days which is about 3 ½ years should not be condoned since the ld. CIT(A) states that the assessee was given sufficient opportunities to represent his case and the ld. CIT(A) has taken due care so that the principles of natural justice are also complied with.

ITAT observed that the assessee has not been able to bring out genuine reasons, firstly, for such a huge delay of filing the appeal before the Tribunal and also why the assessee irrespective of being given eight opportunities by the ld. CIT(A) did not present himself or through his authorised representative before the first appellate authority. Taking the totality of the facts and circumstances into consideration, it is of the considered view that this is a case of inordinate delay in filing the appeal before us and the assessee has not given any genuine reasons for such delay in filing this appeal in the affidavit filed or in the submissions through the ld. AR ITAT is in conformity with the submissions of the ld. DR that is not a fit case for condoning such a huge delay in filing the appeal and if condoned, it would give a wrong precedent in the coming years. It is also convinced that the assessee deliberately evaded the process of law before the ld. CIT(A). In such scenario the delay of 1103 days of filing the appeal before us cannot be condoned. ITAT also relied on the decision given by the f Co-ordinate Bench Chennai in the case of Jt. CIT Vs. Tractors and Farm Equipments Ltd. (2007) 104 ITD 149 (Chennai), wherein a distinction was drawn between normal delay and inordinate delay. It was held as follows:

“A distinction must be made between a case where the delay is inordinate and a case where the delay is of a few days. Whereas in the former case the consideration of prejudice to the other side will be a relevant factor so the case calls for a more decisive approach, but in the latter case no such consideration may arise and such a case deserves a liberal.”

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