The Revenue has filed an appeal in the present case, requesting the condonation of a delay of 1223 days. It is worth noting that the Tribunal had passed its order on 16th November 2018, and the revenue received the certified copy of the order on 20th December 2018. However, the appeal was filed before the High Court on 24th August 2022.
The delay in filing the appeal from 20th November 2018 has not been adequately explained by the Revenue. The reasons provided appear to be self-serving and lack any substantial justification. Furthermore, it is evident that the decision to file the appeal was made by the department well after the Court’s decision in the case of PCIT v. Swati Bajaj (2022) 446 ITR 56 : 139 taxmann.com 352 : 288 Taxman 403 (Cal.).
Given the lack of diligence on the part of the appellant/department, they cannot now seek to take advantage of the recent decision in Swati Bajaj and argue for the condonation of the 1223-day delay. The law of limitation does not favor those who have been negligent in asserting their rights. It is important to note that there is no separate law of limitation for the Government, and no special latitude can be granted to the Government as it is treated on par with any other litigant. In fact, the Government is often referred to as the largest litigant.
Therefore, for the aforementioned reasons, we are not convinced to exercise favorably for the appellant/revenue. Consequently, the application for condonation of the delay is dismissed.
[This decision is in favor of the assessee] – [PCIT v. Smt. Uma Parasramka (2023) 150 taxmann.com 485 (Cal.)]