LAHORE: The Lahore High Court declared the order of an Appellate Tribunal Inland Revenue being time barred passed against the petitioner JDW Sugar Mills on the basis of audit report containing certain allegations.
The court said that the perusal of impugned order shows that the show-cause notice to the petitioner mills was issued on April 16, 2005, whereas the order was passed on January 28, 2006, after more than nine months.
The court observed that the maximum time limit for passing such order as provided under Section 36(3) of Act of the 1990 was 90 days plus maximum extension of 120-days, therefore, the order-in-original was grossly time barred. “The observation of appellate tribunal that the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) extended the period of adjudication up to February 01, 2006, vide letter issued on December 20, 2005, is unsustainable”.
The court said in any case the order-in-original, having been passed after expiry of 210-days from the issuance of show-cause notice, being against the mandate of section 36(3) of the Act of 1990 is unsustainable in the eye of law. It observed that the officer was bound to pass an order within the stipulated time period of 45 days, and any extension of time by the collector could not in any case exceed 90 days.
The collector could not extend the time according to his own choice and whim, as a matter of course, routine or right, without any limit or constraint. He could only do so by applying his mind and after recording reason for such extension in writing, the court added.
Earlier, petitioner’s counsel Sultan Ali Awan advocate said that such like the order-in-original is without jurisdiction for having been passed after expiry of mandatory prescribed period.
The court declared the order of the respondent tribunal as illegal after advisor for respondent department failed to rebut the arguments of the petitioner. The court therefore directed the office to send a copy of this court order to the appellate tribunal.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022