The Appellate Tribunal has, vide F. No. 114-Ad(AT)/69, dated 13-4-1970, laid down the following guidelines for the guidance of the assessees and their representatives :
1. In all communications addressed to the Tribunal by the parties with regard to appeals or applications or cross-objections the number thereof, or, if the number is not known, the date of filing thereof, should invariably be given. Failure to furnish the information will cause avoidable correspondence and needless delay in answering correspondence
2. An application for adjournment of the hearing should be made at the earliest possible time. If it could be presented personally, it should be done so. If it cannot be presented personally, a stamped envelope with the address of the assessee or his representative should, as far as possible, accompany the application. If a reply is required telegraphically, the necessary postage stamps should accompany the application. If a telegram is sent asking for adjournment, arrangement should be made for a reply-paid telegram. The suggestion made in this paragraph is intended not so much as a measure of economy as a measure for greater efficiency. The Tribunal is not bound to reply to applications for adjournment. Replies will, however, be given as far as possible. Unless the assessee hears that his application for adjournment has been granted, he should remain present at the hearing of the appeal or application or cross-objection, as the case may be.
3. Whenever an appeal or application or cross-objection is filed which is connected with an appeal or application or cross-objection relating to the same party filed earlier, reference thereto should invariably be given with the latter appeal or application or cross-objection so that the various connected appeals or applications or cross-objections could be linked up together. This will be for the convenience of the parties themselves.
If any practitioner wishes that appeals and applications and cross-objections relating to different assessees in which he is engaged should be taken up on the same of consecutive days, he should intimate to the Tribunal the particulars of these appeals and applications and cross-objections including the dates of filing thereof, well in advance.
4. An application for an early hearing for an appeal should invariably give detailed reasons why the assessee wants that his appeal should be given preference over the appeals made by other assessees. The application should also state whether or not the tax has been paid and, if so, to what extent.
5. An application for sending for the case of another assessee should also be made at the earliest possible opportunity. Cases will not ordinarily be sent for, for the purpose of making an assessment on the same basis in other cases.
6. Attention is invited to rule 10 of the Appellate Tribunal Rules, 1963. That rule provides that where a fact which cannot be borne out by or is contrary to record is alleged, it should be stated clearly and concisely and should be supported by a duly sworn affidavit. Complaints are at times made before the Tribunal that certain statements attributed to the assessees or their representatives were in fact not made. Unless rule 10 is complied with, it is not ordinarily possible to go outside the record. An application for time for filing an affidavit as required by rule 10 at the time of hearing of the appeal will not ordinarily be granted. The object of this suggestion is to save time in hearing and deciding appeals, applications and cross-objections.
7. If an appeal/reference application/cross-objection is barred by time, or if there are reasons for believing that it may be barred by time, an application for condoning the delay should be made well in advance before the hearing of the appeal/application/cross-objection. Such an application should ordinarily be supported by an affidavit and other documentary evidence, as for example, a medical certificate.
8. Three copies (typed, if possible) of the statements made by the assessee or the witnesses or of documents relied upon or of extracts of accounts, where necessary, should be produced at the time of the hearing of the appeal, application or cross-objection. As far as possible, all such documents and papers should be in English or translated into English. This suggestion has been accepted by many solicitors and auditors appearing before the Tribunal. This suggestion is intended to facilitate the hearing of the appeal, application or cross-objection. Extracts of accounts should, if possible, be certified by the assessee’s representative or by any other reliable person and be in English.
9. Books of account should be kept handy at the time of hearing of the appeal, application or crossobjection. If books of account of the year preceding or succeeding year of account are relevant, they should also be kept handy.
10. Assessees should, as far as possible, be present at the hearing of the appeal, application or crossobjection. This suggestion is made entirely in the interest of the assessees.
11. It has been noticed that requests are made to block the appeals to await decision of the High Court or the Supreme Court in similar points involved in the appeals. In order to avoid multiplicity in proceedings, the Appellate Tribunal acceded to such request. It is, however, found that in many of such cases, the particulars of the case involving the identical points are not on record so as to find out whether that case has been disposed of by the High Court/the Supreme Court or not. This results in prolonging correspondence between the Tribunal and the parties causing long and avoidable delay in the disposal of those blocked appeals/applications/cross-objections. It is, therefore, suggested that an application for keeping the appeals/applications/cross-objections blocked should invariably furnish the particulars of the case pending with the High Court/the Supreme Court involving identical points for which the appeals or applications or cross-objections are sought to be blocked. The assessees and the departmental representatives should inform the Tribunal about the disposal of the case by the High Court or the Supreme Court immediately after its disposal so as to enable the Tribunal to dispose of such blocked cases soon thereafter. In this connection, it may be made clear that the Tribunal is not bound to keep such appeals/applications/cross-objections blocked for indefinite periods.
12. Whenever any appeal against the penalty order passed by the IAC is filed, the appellant should invariably inform the Tribunal in the forwarding letter whether any quantum appeal pertaining to the same assessment year is pending before the AAC concerned. The Tribunal should be informed immediately after the disposal of the said quantum appeal by the AAC. If the said quantum appeal has already been disposed of by the AAC at the time of filing of the penalty appeal before the Tribunal, the date of filing of the quantum appeal before the Tribunal may be intimated to enable it to link both the appeals and post them for hearing on one date. In case no such quantum appeal is proposed to be filed before the Tribunal, the fact may be intimated to the Tribunal, so that the penalty appeal may be posted for hearing.