21.02.2023: Appeal Filed After Condonable Period As Prescribed Under Section 107 Ordered To Be Heard On Merits – Calcutta High Court

The Hon’ble High Court of Calcutta vide its order dated 09.01.2023 in the matter of Suraj Mangar Vs. Assistant Commissioner of West Bengal State Tax, Cooch Behar Charge, Jalpaiguri, West Bengal & Ors. in WPA – 2809 of 2022, condoned the delay of 36 days beyond the condonable period, in filing the appeal under Section 107.  The Hon’ble Court considering the said delay as negligible, directed the appellate authority to take up the appeal on merits.

The Petitioner filed the petition before the Hon’ble High Court being aggrieved of the order dated 29.08.2022, passed by the Appellate Authority, whereby the petitioner appeal was rejected on the ground of delay in filing of appeal.

Held: –

  • The Hon’ble Court after considering the submissions made and facts of the case, found that Section 107 of The West Bengal Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 deals with Appeals to Appellate Authority. Under Section 107(1), any person aggrieved by an order passed under this Act or the Central Goods and Services Tax Act by an adjudicating authority may file an appeal before the prescribed Appellate Authority within three months from the date on which the decision is communicated to such person.  Further, Sub-section (4) of Section 107 authorizes the Appellate Authority to allow the appeal to be presented within a further period of one month after the expiry of 3/6 months if the Appellate Authority is satisfied that the appellant was prevented from presenting the appeal within the aforesaid time period by sufficient cause.
  • That in the present matter, there is a delay of 36 days after three months + one months, as the petitioner was ignorant of the statutory time period provided under the CGST Act, 2017 for filing of appeal.
  • The Hon’ble Court thereafter, considering the power of Appellate Authority to extend the time period, which is within three + one month as well as the negligible period of delay, directed the appellate authority to allow admission of appeal already filed by the Petitioner before the Appellate Authority on 30th July, 2022 on merits.

The Hon’ble Court with the above, disposed of the petition.  However, It was made clear that this court has not gone into the merits of the matter and the Appellate Authority shall decide on the facts and the law as it may consider think fit.

Note: – Referring to this judgment the Hon’ble Calcutta High Court pronounced the similar decision condoning the delay in the matter of Sikha Debnath Vs. The Assistant Commissioner of State Tax, Cooch Behar Charge and Ors.

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