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The Madras High Court in 233ITR745 held that the Board has powers to condonation of delays in every case of limitation under the Act and further it is incumbent on the Board to exercise such power to condone delay in every case in discharge of the quasi judicial function to conform to the principles of natural justice. In this case the Board denied approval u/s 80O on the ground that the applications were out of time. The Court held that such action on the part of the Board was contrary to law, arbitrary, unreasonable and not proper exercise of powers.


There is often resistance by the board in exercising their power to condone a delay even in genuine cases like that of a senior citizen. In 392ITR63 the assessee made a claim for exemption by a revised return following Supreme Court decision in S. PALANIAPPAN v. ITO [2015] 5 ITR-OL 275 to the effect that a person, who has opted for VRS under the Early Retirement Option Scheme shall be entitled to exemption under section 10(10C) of the Income-tax Act, 1961. The revised return was not accepted on the ground that it was beyond the time stipulated under section 139(5). He therefore had to go to the High Court.


The financial benefit that had accrued to the petitioner in this case meaning the tax effect is visualized by the Madras High Court in the range of more than a lakh of rupees and I wonder after paying for the legal costs what would have been earned by the petitioner in this case.


This kind of delay is purely technical in the sense that the Supreme Court judgment only states the law as enshrined in the statute from its original date. And the board has been categorical in its circulars that all applications for condonation shall not be dismissed on technical grounds.

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