Despite Tribunal’s findings that no evidence was furnished by assessee in support of ground seeking condonation of delay, High Court condoned delay of 76 days in filing appeal before Tribunal on payment of costs of Rs. 2000 so that appeal may be heard on merits
HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT
Furnace And Foundry Equipment Company
Commissioner of Central Excise, Vadodara II
TAX APPEAL NO. 305 OF 2015
AUGUST 13, 2015
Umesh K. Shelar, Advocate for the Appellant. R.J. Oza, Adv. for the Respondent.
A.J. Desai, J. – By way of present appeal under section 35-G of the Central Excise Act, 1944, the appellant herein has challenged the order dated 9/4/2015 passed by the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal, Ahmedabad below application No. A/10566/2014, by which, the Tribunal has declined to condone the delay of 76 days in preferring the appeal before the Tribunal challenging the order dated 30/9/2011 passed by the Assistant Commissioner of Central Excise and Customs, City Division, Vadodara, by which, the demand of recovery of duty under the provisions of the Central Excise Act to the tune of Rs. 3,55,485/- with interest was challenged.
2. We have heard Mr. U.K. Shelar, learned advocate for the appellant and Mr. R.J. Oza, learned advocate for the respondent.
3. Mr. Shelar, learned advocate for the petitioner would submit that the reasons for filing the appeal at belated stage was beyond the control of the applicant since the employee was deputed to file the appeal cannot file the same within prescribed period of limitation since his mother was not well and therefore, the Tribunal ought to have condoned the delay of only 76 days. He would submit that delay be condoned and Tribunal be directed to decide the appeal on merits.
4. On the other hand, Mr. Oza, learned advocate for the respondent would submit that the Tribunal has rightly refused to condone the delay of 76 days since the appellant had failed in explaining the delay and documentary evidence in support of the submission made on behalf of the appellant were produced before the Tribunal. However, he submitted that if the Court inclines to condone the delay appropriate cost may be imposed on the respondent.
5. We have heard learned advocates appearing for the respective parties. Perused the order impugned in the present appeal. It appears from the impugned order dated 9/4/2014 and particular observation made in para 4 of the application that though the ground was raised with regard to the illness of mother of employee, no evidence in support of such submission were produced before the Tribunal. However, considering the delay i.e. 76 days, we are of the opinion that it would be in the interest of justice that let appeal be heard on merits. However, with imposing reasonable costs.
6. Considering the delay of only 76 days in preferring the appeal, we hereby allowed the present appeal and condone the delay of 76 days. The orders of Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal and Commissioner of Central Excise & Customs, Vadodara are hereby quashed and set aside. The appellant shall deposit the amount of Rs. 2000/- towards the costs before the Tribunal within a period of three weeks from the date of receipt of this order. The appeal, which has been filed by the appellant herein, is restored to its original file and same shall be decided on merits. At the end of hearing of the appeal, the Tribunal shall pass appropriate orders with regard to the costs of Rs. 2000/- deposited by the appellant.
7. Accordingly, the appeal is allowed.