Decided on January 02,1996

UNION OF INDIA Respondents


Anil Dev Singh - (1.)This is a petition u/Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India for quashing the order of the second respondent dt. 21.7.1974 .who dismissed the appeal of the petitioner preferred against the order dt. 5.2.1973 of the Collector of Central Excise, Madras on the ground that the appeal was time barred.
(2.)It is not disputed that the order of Collector was passed on 5.2.1973 and the same was communicated to the petitioner on 17.2.1973 and that the appeal was filed before the Board on 27.4.1974 after a lapse of more than a year though S. 35 of the Central Excise & Salt Act, 1944 (the Act) as it stood then, provided a period of 30 days for filing an appeal and there was no provision for condonation of delay. It may be noticed that subsequently by Act 44 of 1980, S. 35 was amended and by virtue of that amendment which came into effect from 11.10.1982. appeal now lies to the Collector of Central Excise instead of the Board and there is also a provision for condonation of delay in filing the appeal. The amendment admittedly is not applicable and S. 35 as it stood prior to its amendment would apply. That being so there is no scope for condonation of delay in filing the appeal.
(3.)Learned counsel for the petitioner also concedes that S. 29(2) of the Limitation Act is also not applicable as the said provision is attracted only when the proceedings initiated under a special or a local law are capable of being instituted before a Court. Since appeal under the Act is provided to an internal authority & is not capable of being filed before a Court, provisions of S. 9(2) of the Limitation Act will not be applicable. Besides the Act is a self-contained Code and the provisions of Limitation Act can not be read into it. This position clearly emerges from the decisions of the Supreme Court in Town Municipal Council vs. Labour Court 1969 S.C. 1335 and Nityanand vs. L.IC. 1970 S C. 209. As S. 29(2) of the Limitation Act is not applicable and S. 35 of the Act did not make provision for condonation of delay, the Central Board was entirely right in dismissing the appeal of the petitioner as being time barred.

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