249.            The adjudicating authority of GST passed an order on 1.2.2017 against which an appeal was filed before appellate authority on 12.5.2017. can appellate authority condone the delay on the ground that:

A- person-in-charge was seriously ill

B- his mother died abroad, so he visited abroad & was not available during period for filing application

C- manager left the job without handling over papers or were misplaced by him

D-notice was served on ex-employee of the company which was received by the company from ex-employee on 15.2.2017 & authorized signatory was sick at that time.

E- no order was served on him after its return with postal remark ‘nobody is available in factory’. No further service showed to be made on him. Subsequently when dept informed Advocate of taxable person to deposit the dues, he came to know about passing of impugned order.

As per section 107,

A-An appeal to appellate authority shall be filed within 3 months of communication of order/ decision. In the given case, the order was received by Mr. A on 1.2.2017, from where the period of 3 months expires on 3.5.2017. however, the appellate authority can condone the delay upto 1 month on sufficient cause being shown. In the given case, the person-in-charge is the only person managing the excise affairs, then the said delay may be condoned. However, negligence of the employee cannot be sufficient cause for condonation of delay. if the person-in-charge of a company is ill on account of which he cannot file the appeal, the same cannot be said to be a reasonable cause in case of running business having many employees since the persons who are required to conform to requirements of law, must take necessary precautions for the same.

B- appellate authority held that no justification for delay on grounds of dislocation of residence after receipt of order shall be entertained. Thus visit to abroad on mother’s death was not a sufficient cause for delay. The application is liable to be dismissed.

C- Misplacement of record by employee of assessee - Manager left service without handing over papers to his successor. This was not sufficient cause for condonation of delay. Manager had not left assessee with case file, and it was duty of successor to trace files lying in office. It was more so as applicant for condonation of delay application had appeared in personal hearing before Commissioner (Appeals), and therefore well aware of proceeding there. It was case of gross negligence and inaction on part of applicant thus, application liable to be dismissed.

D- Delay in filing of appeal to be condoned if delay sufficiently explained.  Order was  served on ex-employee of appellant on 1.2.2017, who delivered it to the office of appellant on 15.2.2017, as per the affidavit provided by the ex-employee - Further, authorised signatory of appellant was sick at the relevant time and medical papers filed in support the same - Thus, sufficient cause made out by appellant for filing of appeal on  12.5.2017 & thus application was allowed.

E-Order was not served on assessee after its return with postal remark ‘nobody is available in factory’. No further service showed to be made on assessee. Subsequently when dept  informed Advocate of assessee to deposit the dues, they came to know about passing of order and its service on their consultant. Delay condonable.