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Delays due to Government’s administrative mechanism is not condonable

CLR Editorial Note: This case is related to an application preferred for condonation of delay of 1226 days in filing a Tax Appeal. The applicant submitted that, to file Tax Appeal before the Court the applicant had to undergo certain administrative procedures. Due to Government administrative mechanism, every work passes and comes back to source point, through a route system, hence the tax appeal could not be filed within the statutory time limit. Due to these administrative procedures, time was consumed and hence the delay was caused.

The Hon’ble High Court Held in its judgement:

“The Department appears to have sent a proposal to the Finance Department which had approved it on 4th September 2012 and after the same was received back alongwith necessary papers and orders permitting the Office of the Government Pleader to file Tax Appeal, it appears that the Tax Appeal which was to be filed on or before 10th November 2009, came to be filed after a huge delay of 1226 days on 27th November 2012. What is stated for explaining such delay is that due to Government administrative mechanism, within the statutory time period, tax appeal could not be filed. In absence of any specific details and explanation, this explanation in general terms does not satisfy us. There can be no straight-jacket formula adopted which can be applied uniformly in all matters, without considering the facts and circumstances of the case. In absence of any satisfactory explanation coming forth for condonation of delay, we are of the opinion that no liberal attitude requires to be adopted; particularly considering the inordinate delay in preferring this Application. Only because the applicant is the State, it cannot be absolved of its responsibility to fulfill the mandate of law. Even if day today explanation is not desired, for a long period after the sanction of Finance department also, nothing emerges on record to indicate due care or diligence to satisfy the requirement of explaining sufficiency of cause. “

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Cases File available for Download

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Tags: AppealCommonwealth Law ReportsFiling (legal)Finance MinisterHonIncome taxSupreme CourtThe Honourable

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