Condonation of delay for appeal not filed within prescribed period due to illness: HC

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Case Details: Kajal Dutta v. Assistant Commissioner of State Tax – [2023] 148 taxmann.com 112 (Calcutta)

Judiciary and Counsel Details

T. S. Sivagnanam & Hiranmay Bhattacharyya, JJ.
Sumit Ghosh & Souradeep Majumdar for the Appellant.
T. M. Siddique, Debasish Ghosh, Nilotpal Chatterjee & V. Kothari for the Respondent.

Facts of the Case

The appellant filed appeal against the adjudication order but the Senior Joint Commissioner who was Appellate Authority has dismissed the appeal on the ground of limitation. It filed writ petition against the order of rejection of appeal but the learned Single Bench declined to interfere with the said order. Therefore, it filed intra-Court appeal challenging the correctness of the order passed in the writ petition.

High Court Held

The Honorable High Court noted that as per Section 107(1) read with Section 107(4) of the CGST Act, 2017, the time limit for preferring the appeal beyond the period of three months is 30 days, which is a grace period. However, the statute does not state that beyond the said date, the appellate authority can’t exercise jurisdiction.

In the instant case, the appeal was not filed within prescribed period on account of illness for which doctor’s certificate was also enclosed. Therefore, it was not a case that the appellant had deliberately presented the appeal beyond the condonable period.

Therefore, the Court noted that while exercising jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution this Court can examine the factual circumstances and grant appropriate relief as the appellate remedy is a very valuable remedy since the appellate authority can re-appreciate the factual position.

Thus, the Court held that the delay in filing appeal before Appellate Authority was to be condoned and Appellate Authority was directed to consider and decide appeal on merits.

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