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Mistake committed by Advocate is a ‘Reasonable Cause’ to condone Delay in Filing Appeal: ITAT

The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT), Jodhpur bench has held that the mistake committed by Advocate is a reasonable cause for condonation of delay in filing appeals. 

The Assessing Officer passed an assessment order against the assessee on the ground that the assessee was enjoying the taxable income from capital gains for the year under consideration but have not filed his return of income. The Assessing Officer observed that the assessee sold one immovable property having registered value as per the sale deed of Rs. 4 lacs and DLC value at Rs. 8,55,840/-. He also observed that the value of the capital gains worked out to Rs. 5,58,910/- after providing the benefit of cost of indexation. He framed assessment u/s 144 of the Act at an income of Rs. 5,58,910/-. 

The assessee handed over papers to him for furnishing his appeal but the appeal was not submitted by the Advocate. The Commissioner of Income Tax (Appeals) held that the reason quoted by the assessee is not a ‘reasonable cause’ for condoning the delay. 

The Tribunal noticed that the Ld. CIT(A) dismissed the appeal in limine and had not condoned the delay. 

“He mentioned that there was a delay of 740 days in filing the appeal, however, the claim of the assessee is that the delay is of 217 days. The assessee also filed an affidavit first time before this Bench of the Tribunal which was not available to the Ld. CIT(A). It is also claimed that the proper application was filed for condemnation of delay along with the certificate issued by the then advocate before the Ld. CIT(A) which has not been appreciated in the right perspective. Copy of the same is placed on page Nos. 1 to 3 of the assessee’s paper book. I, therefore, considering the totality of facts, deem it appropriate to set aside this case back to the file of the Ld. CIT(A) to be adjudicated afresh in accordance with law after providing a due and reasonable opportunity of being heard to the assessee,” the Tribunal said.

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