PANKAJ SAMNOTRA Vs. DESIGNATED AUTHORITY
HIGH COURT OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR
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O.P.SHARMA, J. -
(1.) THE facts of the case in brief are that the petitioner had filed declaration under Kar Vivad
Samadhan Scheme, 1998 (KVSS) on 30th Dec., 1998, before the designated authority under the
KVSS. One of the conditions for the application of the KVSS was that an appeal against the order,
which falls for determination under the KVSS, should be pending. The declaration filed by the
petitioner was rejected by the designated authority on 8th March, 1999, on the ground that no
appeal was pending on the date declaration was filed. The petitioner again approached designated
authority for rectification of the order in view of the fact that the appeal filed by him had been
restored by the Tribunal, Amritsar Bench, by order dt. 21st Dec., 1998, and therefore, the same
was pending on the date declaration was filed. This plea was, however, rejected by the authority
by its order dt. 25th March, 1999, informing the petitioner that although the order of dismissal at
the appeal has been recalled, but since the time to take action under the KVSS had by that time
expired, therefore, no action could be taken.
(2.) THE only question involved for determination is that whether the designated authority was justified in rejecting the request of the petitioner for rectification on the plea advanced by it. The
letter dt. 25th March, 1999 (Annex A) written by the designated authority reads as under :
"Sub : Declaration under KVSS, 1998-Asst. yr. 1990-91-Reg. I am directed to refer to letter dt. 23rd March, 1999, of your counsel and state that on the report of the AO that appeal of the Department has been decided on 30th June, 1998, and no other appeal was pending. The declaration was, therefore, rejected. It has now been intimated by you that order of the Tribunal has been recalled vide order dt. 21st Dec., 1998, but as the time to take action is already over, I am directed to say that no action can be taken now at this stage. This is for your information, please."
Admittedly, the KVSS was in force up to 31st Dec., 1998 and the designated authority had to pass an appropriate order under the Scheme within two months thereafter. As the petitioner had
filed declaration within the prescribed period and his appeal was also pending at the relevant time,
in view of the order of the Tribunal dt. 21st Dec., 1998, therefore, the designated authority was
under obligation to pass an appropriate order under the KVSS. It is matter of record that copy of
the order of the Tribunal dt. 21st Dec., 1998 was forwarded to the CIT, Amritsar who is the
designated authority under the Act. If he did not take notice of it, the petitioner cannot be denied
the benefit of the KVSS.
(3.) MOREOVER , the maxim actus curiae neminem gravabit, i.e., an act of Court shall prejudice no man or where a delay in an action is the act of the Court, neither party shall suffer for it, is
applicable to the authorities discharging quasi-judicial functions as well. The moment designated
authority received communication from the Tribunal, it should have taken up the case and decided
the same according to the KVSS because it cannot be gainsaid that copy of the order must have
been received within couple of days, as both the offices were located in the same building. The
petitioner cannot be made to suffer for the administrative lapse or lack of communication.;
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