Coming down heavily on the Income Tax (I-T) Department for its ‘callous attitude in filing appeals’, the Bombay High Court recently dismissed 11 petitions by the department as it had even failed to explain the delay.
A division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud dismissed the petitions that sought pardon for the delay.
If an appeal is not filed within a stipulated time, permission from the HC must be sought to appeal against a lower court or tribunal’s order.
The I-T Dept had filed 11 petitions seeking pardon for delays ranging from 411 days to 883 days.
In all the petitions, the I-T department had filed identical affidavits.
In one of them, the appeal was filed after a delay of 815 days.
While dismissing the petition, the HC observed: “There is no doubt that not even an attempt has been made by the department to explain the delay of 815 days… The affidavit besides being vague practically contains no averments.”
Reprimanding the department for the incomplete affidavit, the HC said that it did not expect explanation of each day’s delay, but definitely a cumulative explanation.
“The only apparent cause for such serious delay is callous, irresponsible functioning in the department. The principle of public accountability makes the concerned officers responsible and liable for such omission. We do hope that the department would look into the matter in its proper perspective,” observed the bench.