Whether sec. 5 of limitation Act applies whiling filing revision under Section 48 of the Himachal Pradesh Value Added Tax Act, 2005 (‘the Act of 2005’)? whether the High Court while exercising revisional power under Section 48 of the Himachal Pradesh Value Added Tax Act, 2005 (‘the Act of 2005’), condone the delay in case a revision under Section 48 of the Act of 2005, is filed beyond 90 days from the date of communication of the order or it excludes the applicability of Section 29 of the Limitation Act, 1963, and in consequence of Section 5 of the Limitation Act.= As the revision under the Act of 2005 lies to the High Court, the provisions of section 5 of the Limitation Act are applicable, and there is no express exclusion of the provisions of section 5 and as per section 29(2), unless a special law expressly excludes the provision, sections 4 to 24 of the Limitation Act are applicable. When we consider the scheme of the Himachal Pradesh VAT Act, 2005, it is apparent that its scheme is not ousting the provisions of the Limitation Act from its ken which makes principles of section 5 applicable even to an authority in the matter of filing an appeal but for the said provision the authority would not have the power to condone the delay. By implication also, it is apparent that the provisions of Section 5 of the Limitation Act have not been ousted; they have the play for condoning the limitation under Section 48 of the Act of 2005. Suo motu provision of revisional power is also provided to the Commissioner within 5 years. Thus, the intendment is not to exclude the Limitation Act. We condone the delay in filing of revision. we are of the considered view that the decision of the High Court cannot be said to be sustainable. The provisions of Section 5 of the Limitation Act are held applicable to the revisional provision under Section 48 of the Act of 2005.

1
REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 8276­8277 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF S.L.P. (C) NOS.15280­15281 OF 2019)
SUPERINTENDING ENGINEER/ DEHAR
POWER HOUSE CIRCLE BHAKRA BEAS
MANAGEMENT BOARD (PW) SLAPPER &
ANOTHER ….APPELLANTS
VERSUS
EXCISE AND TAXATION OFFICER,
SUNDER NAGAR/ASSESSING AUTHORITY ….RESPONDENTS
WITH
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 8278 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF S.L.P. (C) NO.15283 OF 2019)
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 8279 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF S.L.P. (C) NO.15284 OF 2019)
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 8280 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF S.L.P. (C) NO.15285 OF 2019)
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 8281 OF 2019
(ARISING OUT OF S.L.P. (C) NO.15288 OF 2019)
J U D G M E N T
ARUN MISHRA, J.

  1. The question involved is whether the High Court while exercising
    revisional power under Section 48 of the Himachal Pradesh Value
    Added Tax Act, 2005 (‘the Act of 2005’), condone the delay in case a
    2
    revision under Section 48 of the Act of 2005, is filed beyond 90 days
    from the date of communication of the order or it excludes the
    applicability of Section 29 of the Limitation Act, 1963, and in
    consequence of Section 5 of the Limitation Act.
  2. The High Court vide impugned judgment and order dated
    19.11.2018, has refused to condone the delay in the revision filed
    under Section 48 read with Section 64(5) of the Act of 2005, against
    the order passed by Himachal Pradesh Tax Tribunal. The Division
    Bench of the High Court relying upon the decision of a Coordinate
    Bench in CMP(M) No.1371 of 2017 titled State of Himachal Pradesh &
    others v. Tritronics India Private Limited, has held that provision of
    Section 5 of the Limitation Act, cannot be applied and the High Court
    cannot condone the delay. The revision has to be filed within 90 days,
    as provided in Section 48 of the Act of 2005.
  3. The provisions contained in Section 48 of the Act of 2005,
    relating to the revisional power of the High Court, read as under:
    “48. Revision to High Court. ­ (1) Any person aggrieved by an
    order made by the tribunal under sub­section (2) of section 45 or
    under sub­section (3) of section 46, may, within 90 days of the
    communication of such order, apply to the High Court of
    Himachal Pradesh for revision of such order if it involves any
    question of law arising out of erroneous decision of law or failure
    to decide a question of law.
    (2) The application for revision under sub­section (1) shall
    precisely state the question of law involved in the order, and it
    shall be competent for the High Court to formulate the question
    of law.
    3
    (3) Where an application under this section is pending, the High
    Court may, or on application, in this behalf, stay recovery of any
    disputed amount of tax, penalty or interest payable or refund of
    any amount due under the order sought to be revised:
    Provided that no order for stay of recovery of such disputed
    amount shall remain in force for more than 30 days unless the
    applicant furnishes adequate security to the satisfaction of the
    Assessing Authority concerned.
    (4) The application for revision under sub­section (1) or the
    application for stay under sub­section (3) shall be heard and
    decided by a bench consisting of not less than two judges.
    (5) No order shall be passed under this section which adversely
    affects any person unless such person has been given a
    reasonable opportunity of being heard.”
  4. The Division Bench of the High Court of Himachal Pradesh held
    that considering the expression used in the provisions contained in
    Section 48(1), the High Court could not condone the delay in filing
    revision. The language contained therein excludes the applicability of
    Section 5 of the Limitation Act. The Court cannot also exercise the
    inherent powers to condone the delay. The High Court has taken into
    consideration the provisions contained in Assam Value Added Tax,
  5. The provisions contained in Section 81 of the Assam Value
    Added Tax, 2003, is held to be pari materia with the provisions of
    Section 48 of the Act of 2005. The High Court has also referred to
    Section 84 of the Assam Value Added Tax, 2003, which provides that
    provisions of Sections 4 and 12 of the Limitation Act, shall apply in
    computing the period of limitation in relation to the provisions
    contained in the chapter. It was further observed that in the Act of
    4
    2005, there is no provision to infer that any provisions of the
    Limitation Act apply. The decision in Patel Brothers v. State of Assam
    & Ors., (2017) 2 SCC 350, has been relied on, in which while
    considering the provisions contained in Section 81 of the Assam Value
    Added Tax, 2003, it was held that provisions contained in Section 5 of
    the Limitation Act, stand excluded by necessary implication by the
    language employed in Section 84. The High Court has also referred to
    the decision of this Court in Commissioner of Customs and Central
    Excise v. Hongo India Private Limited, (2009) 5 SCC 791, rendered in
    the context of the provisions contained in Section 35 of the Central
    Excise Act, 1944, in which it has been held that reference has to be
    made to the High Court within 180 days, and there is no power of the
    High Court to condone the delay after the expiry of the prescribed
    period of 180 days. Thus, the High Court has held that provisions of
    Section 5 of the Limitation Act, are not applicable and stand excluded
    in the matter of revision filed under Section 48 of the Act of 2005.
  6. The provisions contained in Section 29 of the Limitation Act
    deals with savings. The provisions in respect to the limitation
    prescribed for any suit, appeal or application by any special or local
    law, is different from the period prescribed by the Schedule, the
    provisions of Section 3 shall apply if the Schedule prescribed such
    period. The provisions contained in Sections 4 to 24 shall apply only
    5
    in so far as and to the extent to which they are not expressly excluded.
    Section 29(2) is extracted hereunder:
    “29. Savings.—
    (2) Where any special or local law prescribes for any suit, appeal
    or application a period of limitation different from the period
    prescribed by the Schedule, the provisions of section 3 shall
    apply as if such period were the period prescribed by the
    Schedule and for the purpose of determining any period of
    limitation prescribed for any suit, appeal or application by any
    special or local law, the provisions contained in sections 4 to 24
    (inclusive) shall apply only in so far as, and to the extent to
    which, they are not expressly excluded by such special or local
    law.”
    (emphasis added)
  7. Section 5 of the Limitation Act deals with the extension of the
    prescribed period in particular exigencies. The provision applies to the
    Court and is excluded in the application to the provisions of Order XXI
    of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908). It provides that if the
    Court is satisfied that the appellant/applicant had sufficient cause for
    not preferring the appeal or making the application within limitation,
    the Court may admit the same after the prescribed period.
    Explanation attached to Section 5 makes it clear that in case the
    appellant or the applicant was misled by any order, practice, or
    judgment of the High Court in ascertaining or computing the
    prescribed period, may be sufficient cause within the meaning of
    Section 5.
    6
  8. Learned counsel appearing on behalf of appellants has placed
    reliance on Hukumdev Narain Yadav v. Lalit Narain Mishra, (1974) 2
    SCC 133, in which it has been observed that in a case where the
    special law does not exclude the provisions of Sections 4 to 24 of the
    Limitation Act by an express reference, it would nonetheless be open
    to the Court to examine to what extent the scheme of special law
    exclude the operation of Limitation Act. If, on an examination of the
    relevant provisions, it is clear that the provisions of the Limitation Act
    are necessarily excluded, then the benefits conferred therein cannot be
    called in aid to condone the delay under the Special Act. In the
    context of Section 86 of Representation of People Act, it has been held
    that the High Court is bound to dismiss an election petition, which
    does not comply with the provisions of Section 81, 82 or 117. The
    election petition has to be preferred within the period prescribed in
    Section 81. Thus, the provision was held to be mandatory. The noncompliance with which visits the penalty of the petition being
    dismissed. Following observations have been made:
    “17. Though Section 29(2) of the Limitation Act has been made
    applicable to appeals both under the Act as well as under the
    Code of Criminal Procedure, no case has been brought to our
    notice where Section 29(2) has been made applicable to an
    election petition filed under Section 81 of the Act by virtue of
    which either Sections 4, 5 or 12 of the Limitation Act has been
    attracted. Even assuming that where a period of limitation has
    not been fixed for election petitions in the Schedule to the
    Limitation Act which is different from that fixed under Section 81
    of the Act, Section 29(2) would be attracted, and what we have to
    determine is whether the provisions of this Section are expressly
    excluded in the case of an election petition. It is contended before
    7
    us that the words “expressly excluded” would mean that there
    must be an express reference made in the special or local law to
    the specific provisions of the Limitation Act of which the
    operation is to be excluded. As usual the meaning given in the
    Dictionary has been relied upon, but what we have to see is
    whether the scheme of the special law, that is, in this case, the
    Act, and the nature of the remedy provided therein are such that
    the Legislature intended it to be a complete code by itself which
    alone should govern the several matters provided by it. If, on an
    examination of the relevant provisions, it is clear that the
    provisions of the Limitation Act are necessarily excluded, then
    the benefits conferred therein cannot be called in aid to
    supplement the provisions of the Act. In our view, even in a case
    where the special law does not exclude the provisions of Sections
    4 to 24 of the Limitation Act by an express reference, it would
    nonetheless be open to the Court to examine whether and to
    what extent the nature of those provisions or the nature of the
    subject matter and scheme of the special law exclude their
    operation. The provisions of Section 3 of the Limitation Act that a
    suit instituted, appeal preferred and application made after the
    prescribed period shall be dismissed are provided for in Section
    86 of the Act which gives a peremptory command that the High
    Court shall dismiss an election petition which does not comply
    with the provisions of Sections 81, 82 or 117. It will be seen that
    Section 81 is not the only Section mentioned in Section 86, and if
    the Limitation Act were to apply to an election petition under
    Section 81 it should equally apply to Sections 82 and 117
    because under Section 86 the High Court cannot say that by an
    application of Section 5 of the Limitation Act, Section 81 is
    complied with while no such benefit is available in dismissing an
    application for non­compliance with the provisions of Sections 82
    and 117 of the Act, or alternatively if the provisions of the
    Limitation Act do not apply to Section 82 and Section 117 of the
    Act, it cannot be said that they apply to Section 81. Again Section
    6 of the Limitation Act which provides for the extension of the
    period of limitation till after the disability in the case of a person
    who is either a minor or insane or an idiot is inapplicable to an
    election petition. Similarly, Sections 7 to 24 are in terms
    inapplicable to the proceedings under the Act, particularly in
    respect of the filing of election petitions and their trial.”
    (emphasis added)
  9. In Sakuru v. Tanaji, AIR 1985 SC 1279, it has been held that the
    provisions of the Limitation Act apply only to proceedings in Courts
    and not to appeals or applications of bodies other than Courts such as
    quasi­judicial Tribunals or executive authorities. Though the bodies or
    8
    authorities may be conferred with the powers under the Codes of Civil
    or Criminal Procedure, however, special statute may contain an
    express provision conferring on the Appellate Authority the power to
    extend the prescribed period of limitation on sufficient cause being
    shown by laying down that the provisions of Section 5 of the
    Limitation Act shall be applicable to such proceedings. In the absence
    of such provisions, Section 5 would have no application.
  10. In Lata Kamat v. Vilas, (1989) 2 SCC 613, provisions contained
    in Section 28(4) of the Hindu Marriage Act, came up for consideration,
    wherein it was held that limitation prescribed therein is different from
    the Schedule of Limitation Act. Regarding the provisions of Section
    29(2) of the Limitation Act, it was observed that the provisions of the
    Hindu Marriage Act do not exclude the operation of the provisions of
    Sections 4 to 24 of Limitation Act. They have been held to be
    applicable. Therefore, the time required for obtaining the copy of
    judgment has to be excluded, as provided in Section 12(2) of
    Limitation Act. The Court observed:
    “12. The Schedule in the Limitation Act does not provide for an
    appeal under the Hindu Marriage Act, but it is only provided in
    sub­section (4) of Section 28 of the Hindu Marriage Act. Thus the
    limitation provided, in sub­section (4) of Section 28, is different
    from the Schedule of the Limitation Act. According to sub­section
    (2) of Section 29, provisions contained in Sections 4 to 24 will be
    applicable unless they are not expressly excluded. It is clear that
    the provisions of the Act do not exclude the operation of
    provisions of Sections 4 to 24 of the Limitation Act, and therefore
    it could not be said that these provisions will not be applicable. It
    is therefore clear that to an appeal under Section 28 of the
    9
    Hindu Marriage Act, provisions contained in Section 12 subsection (2) will be applicable; therefore, the time required for
    obtaining copies of the judgment will have to be excluded for
    computing the period of limitation for appeal. A Division Bench
    of Delhi High Court in Chandra Dev Chadha case1held as under:
    (AIR pp. 24­25)
    “The Hindu Marriage Act is a special law. That this
    ‘special law’ prescribes ‘for an appeal a period of limitation’ is
    also­evident. The period of limitation is 30 days. It is a period
    different from that prescribed in the First Schedule to the
    Limitation Act, 1963. But when we turn to the First
    Schedule, we find there is no provision in the First Schedule
    for an appeal against the decree or order passed under the
    Hindu Marriage Act. Now it has been held that the test of a
    ‘prescription of a period of limitation different from the period
    prescribed by the First Schedule’ as laid down in Section
    29(2), Limitation Act, 1963 is satisfied even in a case where a
    difference between the special law and Limitation Act arose
    by omissions to provide for a limitation to a particular
    proceeding under the Limitation Act, see, Canara Bank,
    Bombay v. Warden Insurance Co. Ltd., Bombay, AIR 1953
    Bom 35, approved by the Supreme Court in Vidyacharan
    Shukla v. Khubchand Baghel2
    .
    Once the test is satisfied, the provisions of Sections 3, 4 to
    24, Limitation Act, 1963 would at once apply to the special
    law. The result is that the court hearing the appeal from the
    decree or order passed under the Hindu Marriage Act would
    under Section 3 of the Limitation Act have the power to
    dismiss the appeal if made after the period of limitation of 30
    days prescribed therefor by the special law. Similarly, under
    Section 5 for sufficient cause, it will have the power to
    condone the delay. Likewise, under Section 12(2), the time
    spent in obtaining a certified copy of the decree or order
    appealed from will be excluded. If it is so, Section 12(2) of the
    Limitation Act is attracted, and the appellants in all three
    appeals will be entitled to exclude the time taken by them for
    obtaining a certified copy of the decree and order. The
    appeals are, therefore, within time.”
    Similar is the view taken by the Calcutta High Court in Sipra
    Dey case3and also the M.P. High Court in Kantibai case4
    . It is
    therefore clear that the contention advanced by the learned
    counsel for the respondent based on the Limitation Act also is of
    no substance.”
    1 AIR 1979 Del 22
    2 AIR 1964 SC 1099
    3 AIR 1988 Cal 28
    4 AIR 1978 MP 245
    10
  11. In State of W.B. & Ors. v. Kartick Chandra Das & Ors, (1996) 5
    SCC 342, provisions of Section 29 of the Limitation Act came up for
    consideration concerning the letters patent appeal filed in contempt
    proceedings. It has been observed that there is no express exclusion
    of provisions of Sections 4 to 24 of Limitation Act by a special or local
    law, thus, on the strength of Section 29(2), Section 5 of Limitation Act
    becomes applicable. The Court held:
  12. It is not in dispute that under Section 19 of the Contempt of
    Courts Act, 1971, an appeal would lie to the Division Bench, and
    limitation of 30 days from the date of the order has been prescribed
    subject to the exclusion of the time taken for obtaining the certified
    copy thereof. We have seen that the Appellate Side Rules of the
    Calcutta High Court applicable to the area other than the city of
    Calcutta had not expressly excluded the application of the limitation
    under the Limitation Act.
  13. The learned counsel for the respondent sought to contend that by
    operation of Rule 3 of Chapter 8 of the Appellate Side Rules under
    the Letters Patent the memorandum of appeal drawn up under
    Order 41 Rule 1 CPC requires to be complied with as envisaged
    thereunder since it had not been provided with any limitation. The
    Division Bench was, therefore, right in holding that the Limitation
    Act was not extended for an appeal filed under clause 15 of the
    Letters Patent against the order passed by the learned Single Judge
    under the provisions of the Contempt of Courts Act. It is seen that
    under the Contempt of Courts Act, the High Court has framed the
    Rules. Rule 35 envisages that:
    “35. In respect of appeals from the orders of any Judge or
    Bench of the original side, the rules of the original side
    relating to appeals and in respect of appeals from the order of
    any Judge or Bench of the appellate side, the rules of the
    appellate side shall apply mutatis mutandis.”
    Therefore, for the appeals filed under clause 15 of the Letters Patent
    against the order of the learned Single Judge for the contempt
    proceedings by necessary consequences, the procedure prescribed
    in the appellate side would also be applicable and followed.

  1. In consequence, by operation of Section 29(2) read with Section 3
    of the Limitation Act, limitation stands prescribed as a special law
    under Section 19 of the Contempt of Courts Act, and limitation in
    filing Letters Patent appeal stands attracted. In consequence,
    11
    Sections 4 to 24 of the Limitation Act stands attracted to Letters
    Patent appeal insofar as and to the extent to which they are not
    expressly excluded either by special or local law. Since the rules
    made on the appellate side, either for entertaining the appeals
    under clause 15 of the Letters Patent or appeals arising under the
    contempt of courts, had not expressly excluded, Section 5 of the
    Limitation Act becomes applicable. We hold that Section 5 of the
    Limitation Act does apply to the appeals filed against the order of
    the learned Single Judge for the enforcement by way of a contempt.
    The High Court, therefore, was not right in holding that Section 5 of
    the Limitation Act does not apply. The delay stands condoned. Since
    the High Court had not dealt with the matter on merits, we decline
    to express any opinion on merits. The case stands remitted to the
    Division Bench for decision on merits.”
  2. In Mukri Gopalan v. Cheppilat Puthanpurayil Aboobacker, (1995)
    5 SCC 5, the question arose whether Appellate Authority constituted
    under Section 18 of Kerala Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act,
    1965 has the power to condone the delay in filing of the appeal. The
    Appellate Authority dismissed the appeal on the ground that it had no
    power to condone the delay. The application for condonation of delay
    was not maintainable. This Court held that the Appellate Authority
    under Section 18 of Kerala Buildings (Lease and Rent Control) Act,
    1965, acts as a Court and not a persona designatum, it can condone
    the delay under Section 5 of Limitation Act as the two requirements
    for the applicability of Section 29 are satisfied, namely, (i) different
    periods of limitation being prescribed under the local law; and (ii)
    there is no express exclusion of provisions of Limitation Act. Following
    are the relevant observations:
    “9. If the aforesaid two requirements are satisfied, the
    consequences contemplated by Section 29(2) would automatically
    follow. These consequences are as under:
    12
    (i) In such a case, Section 3 of the Limitation Act would apply as
    if the period prescribed by the special or local law was the period
    prescribed by the Schedule.
    (ii) For determining any period of limitation prescribed by such
    special or local law for a suit, appeal or application all the
    provisions containing Sections 4 to 24 (inclusive) would apply
    insofar as and to the extent to which they are not expressly
    excluded by such special or local law.
  3. In the light of the aforesaid analysis of the relevant clauses of
    Section 29(2) of the Limitation Act, let us see whether Section 18
    of the Rent Act providing for a statutory appeal to the appellate
    authority satisfies the aforesaid twin conditions for attracting the
    applicability of Section 29(2) of the Limitation Act. It cannot be
    disputed that Kerala Rent Act is a special Act or a local law. It
    also cannot be disputed that it prescribes for appeal under
    Section 18 a period of limitation which is different from the
    period prescribed by the Schedule as the Schedule to the
    Limitation Act does not contemplate any period of limitation for
    filing appeal before the appellate authority under Section 18 of
    the Rent Act or in other words it prescribes nil period of
    limitation for such an appeal. It is now well settled that a
    situation wherein a period of limitation is prescribed by a special
    or local law for an appeal or application and for which there is no
    provision made in the Schedule to the Act, the second condition
    for attracting Section 29(2) would get satisfied. As laid down by a
    majority decision of the Constitution Bench of this Court in the
    case of Vidyacharan Shukla v. Khubchand Baghel5
    , when the
    First Schedule of the Limitation Act prescribes no time­limit for a
    particular appeal, but the special law prescribes a time­limit for
    it, it can be said that under the First Schedule of the Limitation
    Act all appeals can be filed at any time, but the special law by
    limiting it provides for a different period, while the former permits
    the filing of an appeal at any time, the latter limits it to be filed
    within the prescribed period. It is, therefore, different from that
    prescribed in the former, and thus Section 29(2) would apply
    even to a case where a difference between the special law and
    Limitation Act arose by the omission to provide for limitation to a
    particular proceeding under the Limitation Act.
  4. It is also obvious that once the aforesaid two conditions are
    satisfied, Section 29(2), on its own force will get attracted to
    appeals filed before appellate authority under Section 18 of the
    Rent Act. When Section 29(2) applies to appeals under Section 18
    of the Rent Act, for computing the period of limitation prescribed
    for appeals under that Section, all the provisions of Sections 4 to
    24 of the Limitation Act would apply. Section 5, being one of
    them, would, therefore, get attracted. It is also obvious that there
    is no express exclusion anywhere in the Rent Act, taking out the
    applicability of Section 5 of the Limitation Act to appeals filed
    5 AIR 1964 SC 1099
    13
    before appellate authority under Section 18 of the Act.
    Consequently, all the legal requirements for applicability of
    Section 5 of the Limitation Act to such appeals in the light of
    Section 29(2) of Limitation Act can be said to have been satisfied.
    That was the view taken by the minority decision of the learned
    Single Judge of Kerala High Court in Jokkim Fernandez v. Amina
    Kunhi Umma6
    . The majority did not agree on account of its wrong
    supposition that appellate authority functioning under Section
    18 of the Rent Act is a persona designata. Once that presumption
    is found to be erroneous as discussed by us earlier, it becomes at
    once clear that minority view in the said decision was the correct
    view and the majority view was an erroneous view.”
    It has been held that if there is no express exclusion in the local
    or special law, then the provisions contained in Sections 4 to 24 of the
    Limitation Act shall apply by the provisions contained in Section 29(2)
    of the Limitation Act.
  5. In Mangu Ram v. Municipal Corporation of Delhi, (1976) 1 SCC
    392, question came up for consideration when the application of
    Section 5 of the Limitation Act is to be excluded and whether
    peremptory or imperative language of the special or local law can
    exclude the application of Section 5, if not otherwise explicitly
    excluded. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi against the acquittal
    order, filed an application in the High Court of Delhi under Section
    417, sub­Section (3) of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 for special
    leave to appeal from the order of acquittal. Section 417(4) of the Code
    of Criminal Procedure required that application for special leave
    should be filed before the expiry of sixty days. The application for
    special leave should have been filed on 25.8.1971, but it was filed on
    6 AIR 1974 Ker 162
    14
    27.8.1971. The argument was raised that time frame is sixty days as
    prescribed in Section 417(4) for making an application for special leave
    under sub­Section (3) of that section was mandatory and inexorable
    time limit which could not be relieved against or relaxed, and it
    excluded the applicability of Section 5 of the Limitation Act. It has
    also been held that the provision of a period of limitation in a
    howsoever peremptory or imperative language is not sufficient to
    displace the applicability of Section 5. The provisions of Section 5 of
    the Limitation Act have been held to be applicable to condone the
    delay in applying under Section 417(4), Code of Criminal Procedure.
    The Court has observed:
    “6. The question which arose for consideration in Kaushalya Rani
    case was apparently the same as in the present case, namely,
    whether the time limit of sixty days prescribed in sub­section (4) of
    Section 417 for making an application for special leave under subsection (3) of that section could be extended by invoking Section 5 of
    the Indian Limitation Act, 1908. This Court held that sub­section
    (4) of Section 417 laid down a special period of limitation for an
    application by a complainant for special leave to appeal against an
    order of acquittal and
    “in that sense, this rule of sixty days bar is a special law, that is to
    say, a rule of limitation which is specially provided for in the Code
    itself, which does not ordinarily provide for a period of limitation for
    appeals or applications.
    This Court pointed out that since
    “the special rule of limitation laid down in sub­section (4) of Section
    417 of the Code is a special law of limitation governing appeals by
    private prosecutors, there is no difficulty in coming to the
    conclusion that Section 5 of the Limitation Act is wholly out of the
    way, in view of Section 29(2)(b) of the Limitation Act.”
    The applicability of Section 5 of the Indian Limitation Act, 1908 was
    thus held to be excluded in determining the period of limitation of
    sixty days prescribed in sub­section (4) of Section 417 by reason of
    Section 29(2)(b) of that Act, which provided in so many terms that
    15
    “for the purpose of determining any period of limitation prescribed
    for any suit, appeal or application by any special or local law, the
    remaining provisions of this Act”
    that is, sections other than Sections 4, 9 to 18, and 22 “shall not
    apply.” Now, there can be no doubt that if the present case were
    governed by the Indian Limitation Act, 1908, this decision would
    wholly apply and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi would not be
    entitled to invoke the aid of Section 5 of that Act for the purpose of
    extending the period of limitation of sixty days prescribed in subsection (4) of Section 417 for an application by a complainant for
    special leave to appeal against an order of acquittal. But the Indian
    Limitation Act, 1908 has clearly no application in the present case
    since that Act is repealed by the Limitation Act, 1963 which came
    into force with effect from January 1, 1964, and the present case
    must, therefore, be decided by reference to the provisions of the
    Limitation Act, 1963.
  6. There is an important departure made by the Limitation Act,
    1963 insofar as the provision contained in Section 29, sub­section
    (2), is concerned. Whereas, under the Indian Limitation Act, 1908,
    Section 29, sub­section (2), clause (b) provided that for the purpose
    of determining any period of limitation prescribed for any suit,
    appeal or application by any special or local law, the provisions of
    the Indian Limitation Act, 1908, other than those contained in
    Sections 4, 9 to 18 and 22, shall not apply and, therefore, the
    applicability of Section 5 was in clear and specific terms excluded,
    Section 29, sub­section (2) of the Limitation Act, 1963 enacts in so
    many terms that for the purpose of determining the period of
    limitation prescribed for any suit, appeal or application by any
    special or local law the provisions contained in Sections 4 to 24,
    which would include Section 5, shall apply insofar as and to the
    extent to which they are not expressly excluded by such special or
    local law. Section 29, sub­section (2), clause (b) of the Indian
    Limitation Act, 1908 specifically excluded the applicability of
    Section 5, while Section 29, sub­section (2) of the Limitation Act,
    1963, in clear and unambiguous terms, provides for the
    applicability of Section 5 and the ratio of the decision in Kaushalya
    Rani case7
    can, therefore, have no application in cases governed by
    the Limitation Act, 1963, since that decision proceeded on the
    hypothesis that the applicability of Section 5 was excluded by
    reason of Section 29(2)(b) of the Indian Limitation Act, 1908. Since
    under the Limitation Act, 1963, Section 5 is specifically made
    applicable by Section 29, sub­section (2), it can be availed of for the
    purpose of extending the period of limitation prescribed by a special
    or local law, if the applicant can show that he had sufficient cause
    for not presenting the application within the period of limitation. It
    is only if the special or local law expressly excludes the applicability
    of Section 5 that it would stand displaced. Here, as pointed out by
    this Court in Kaushalya Rani case, the time limit of sixty days laid
    down in sub­section (4) of Section 417 is a special law of limitation,
    7 AIR 1964 SC 260
    16
    and we do not find anything in this special law which expressly
    excludes the applicability of Section 5. It is true that the language of
    sub­section (4) of Section 417 is mandatory and compulsive, in that
    it provides in no uncertain terms that no application for grant of
    special leave to appeal from an order of acquittal shall be
    entertained by the High Court after the expiry of sixty days from the
    date of that order of acquittal. But that would be the language of
    every provision prescribing a period of limitation. It is because a bar
    against entertainment of an application beyond the period of
    limitation is created by a special or local law that it becomes
    necessary to invoke the aid of Section 5 in order that the application
    may be entertained despite such bar. Mere provision of a period of
    limitation in howsoever peremptory or imperative language is not
    sufficient to displace the applicability of Section 5. The conclusion
    is, therefore, irresistible that in a case where an application for
    special leave to appeal from an order of acquittal is filed after the
    coming into force of the Limitation Act, 1963, Section 5 would be
    available to the applicant and if he can show that he had sufficient
    cause for not preferring the application within the time limit of sixty
    days prescribed in sub­section (4) of Section 417, the application
    would not be barred and despite the expiration of the time limit of
    sixty days, the High Court would have the power to entertain it. The
    High Court, in the present case, did not, therefore, act without
    jurisdiction in holding that the application preferred by the
    Municipal Corporation of Delhi was not barred by the time limit of
    sixty days laid down in sub­section (4) of Section 417 since the
    Municipal Corporation of Delhi had sufficient cause for not
    preferring the application within such time limit. The order granting
    special leave was in the circumstances, not an order outside the
    power of the High Court.”
  7. In Union of India v. Popular Construction Co., (2001) 8 SCC 470,
    the Court considered the question of applicability of the provisions
    contained in Section 5 of the Limitation Act to the proceedings under
    Section 34(3) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. The
    provisions contained in Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation
    Act, 1996, came up for consideration. Relevant provisions contained
    in Section 34(3) is extracted hereunder:
    “34. Application for setting aside arbitral award.—
    (3) An application for setting aside may not be made after three
    months have elapsed from the date on which the party making
    that application had received the arbitral award or, if a request
    17
    had been made under Section 33, from the date on which that
    request had been disposed of by the Arbitral Tribunal:
    Provided that if the court is satisfied that the applicant was
    prevented by sufficient cause from making the application within
    the said period of three months, it may entertain the application
    within a further period of thirty days, but not thereafter.”
    Proviso to Section 34(3) provides three months period for making
    an application. The Court, if satisfied on sufficient cause shown, may
    entertain the application within a further period of thirty days, but not
    thereafter. In Popular Construction Co. (supra) the Court held:
    “8. Had the proviso to Section 34 merely provided for a period
    within which the court could exercise its discretion, that would not
    have been sufficient to exclude Sections 4 to 24 of the Limitation
    Act because “mere provision of a period of limitation in howsoever
    peremptory or imperative language is not sufficient to displace the
    applicability of Section 5” 8
    .

  1. Thus, where the legislature prescribed a special limitation for
    the purpose of the appeal and the period of limitation of 60 days
    was to be computed after taking the aid of Sections 4, 5 and 12 of
    the Limitation Act, the specific inclusion of these sections meant
    that to that extent only the provisions of the Limitation Act stood
    extended and the applicability of the other provisions, by necessary
    implication stood excluded9
    .
  2. As far as the language of Section 34 of the 1996 Act is
    concerned, the crucial words are “but not thereafter” used in the
    proviso to sub­section (3). In our opinion, this phrase would amount
    to an express exclusion within the meaning of Section 29(2) of the
    Limitation Act and would, therefore, bar the application of Section 5
    of that Act. Parliament did not need to go further. To hold that the
    court could entertain an application to set aside the award beyond
    the extended period under the proviso, would render the phrase
    “but not thereafter” wholly otiose. No principle of interpretation
    would justify such a result.”
    It has been held that had the proviso to Section 34 merely
    provided for a period within which the Court could exercise its
    8 Mangu Ram v. Municipal Corpn. of Delhi, (1976) 1 SCC 392 at p. 397, para 7.
    9 Patel Naranbhai Margabhai v. Dhulabhai Galbabhai, (1992) 4 SCC 264.
    18
    discretion, that would not have been sufficient to exclude Sections 4 to
    24 of the Limitation Act. However, the expression in Section 34 “but
    not thereafter” would amount to express exclusion within the meaning
    of Section 29(2) of the Limitation Act.
  3. In Consolidated Engineering Enterprises v. Principal Secretary,
    Irrigation Department & Ors., 2008 (7) SCC 169, the question arose for
    consideration concerning the limitation period prescribed in Section
    34(3) of the Arbitration & Conciliation Act, for setting aside of the
    arbitral award. It has been held that Section 14 of the Limitation Act
    is not excluded. However, applicability of Section 5 of the Limitation
    Act is excluded. Following is the relevant discussion:
    “53. Sub­section (3) of Section 34 of the AC Act prescribes the
    period of limitation for filing an application for setting aside an
    award as three months from the date on which the applicant has
    received the arbitral award. The proviso thereto vests in the court
    discretion to extend the period of limitation by a further period not
    exceeding thirty days if the court is satisfied that the applicant was
    prevented by sufficient cause for not making the application within
    three months. The use of the words “but not thereafter” in the
    proviso makes it clear that even if a sufficient cause is made out for
    a longer extension, the extension cannot be beyond thirty days. The
    purpose of proviso to Section 34(3) of the AC Act is similar to that of
    Section 5 of the Limitation Act, which also relates to extension of
    the period of limitation prescribed for any application or appeal. It
    vests a discretion in a court to extend the prescribed period of
    limitation if the applicant satisfies the court that he had sufficient
    cause for not making the application within the prescribed period.
    Section 5 of the Limitation Act does not place any outer limit in
    regard to the period of extension, whereas the proviso to sub­section
    (3) of Section 34 of the AC Act places a limit on the period of
    extension of the period of limitation. Thus the proviso to Section
    34(3) of the AC Act is also a provision relating to extension of period
    of limitation, but differs from Section 5 of the Limitation Act, in
    regard to period of extension, and has the effect of excluding Section
    5 alone of the Limitation Act.
    19
  4. On the other hand, Section 14 contained in Part III of the
    Limitation Act does not relate to extension of the period of limitation
    but relates to exclusion of certain period while computing the period
    of limitation. Neither subsection (3) of Section 34 of the AC Act nor
    any other provision of the AC Act exclude the applicability of Section
    14 of the Limitation Act to applications under Section 34(1) of the
    AC Act. Nor will the proviso to Section 34(3) exclude the application
    of Section 14, as Section 14 is not a provision for extension of
    period of limitation, but for exclusion of certain period while
    computing the period of limitation. Having regard to Section 29(2) of
    the Limitation Act, Section 14 of that Act will be applicable to an
    application under Section 34(1) of the AC Act. Even when there is
    cause to apply Section 14, the limitation period continues to be
    three months and not more, but in computing the limitation period
    of three months for the application under Section 34(1) of the AC
    Act, the time during which the applicant was prosecuting such
    application before the wrong court is excluded, provided the
    proceeding in the wrong court was prosecuted bona fide, with due
    diligence. Western Builders10, therefore, lays down the correct legal
    position.”
  5. In Commissioner of Customs & Central Excise v. Hongo India Pvt.
    Ltd. & Anr., (2009) 5 SCC 791, the question arose for consideration
    whether the High Court has the power to condone delay beyond the
    period specified in section 35­H of the Central Excise Act. The
    limitation for an appeal and reference is within 180 days from the date
    of communication of the decision or order. Because of the provisions
    and the Act, it was held that the time limit prescribed for making a
    reference to the High Court is absolute and unextendible by Court
    under section 5 of the Limitation Act. The Central Excise Act has been
    held to be a complete Code by itself. The import of “expressly
    excluded” in section 29(2) was considered, and it has been observed
    that even in the absence of express exclusion, the court can examine
    10 (2006) 6 SCC 239
    20
    the extent of exclusion of Limitation Act by a special law, based on the
    provisions or the nature of the subject matter. This Court has
    considered the scheme of the various provisions and the scheme
    thereunder thus:
    “4. Chapter VI­A of the Act deals with appeals. As per Section 35,
    any person aggrieved by any decision or order passed by a Central
    Excise Officer may file an appeal to the Commissioner of Central
    Excise (Appeals) within sixty days from the date of the
    communication to him of such decision or order. The proviso to
    sub­section (1) enables the Commissioner (Appeals) if he is satisfied
    that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from
    presenting the appeal within the aforesaid period of sixty days, to
    allow it to be presented within a further period of thirty days.
  6. Section 35­B speaks about appeals to the Appellate Tribunal. Any
    person aggrieved by certain decisions/orders passed by the
    Commissioner of Central Excise or the Commissioner (Appeals),
    may prefer an appeal to the Appellate Tribunal within three months
    from the date on which the order sought to be appealed against is
    communicated to the officer concerned or the other party. Subsection (5) enables the Appellate Tribunal to condone delay even
    beyond the prescribed period if there was sufficient cause for not
    presenting it within that period.
  7. Section 35­EE provides for revision by the Central Government.
    As per sub­section (2), an application under sub­section (1) shall be
    made within three months from the date of the communication.
    However, proviso to sub­section (2) enables the revisional authority
    to condone the delay for a further period of ninety days, if sufficient
    cause is shown.
  8. Unamended Section 35­G speaks about appeal to the High Court.
    Sub­section 2(a) enables the aggrieved person to file an appeal to
    the High Court within 180 days from the date on which the order
    appealed against is received by the Commissioner of Central Excise
    or the other party. There is no provision to condone the delay in
    filing appeal beyond the prescribed period of 180 days.
  9. Unamended Section 35­H speaks about reference application to
    the High Court. As per sub­section (1), the Commissioner of Central
    Excise or the other party within a period of 180 days of the date
    upon which he is served with notice of an order under Section 35­C
    direct the Tribunal to refer to the High Court any question of law
    arising from such order of the Tribunal. Here again, as per subsection (1), application for reference is to be made to the High Court
    within 180 days, and there is no provision to extend the period of
    21
    limitation for filing the application to the High Court beyond the
    said period and to condone the delay.
  10. In these three appeals, we are concerned with “reference
    application” made to the High Court under Section 35­H(1) of the
    Act before amendment of the Central Excise Act by Act 49 of 2005
    (w.e.f. 28­12­2005) by which several provisions of the Act were
    omitted including Section 35­H. However, in view of the reference
    made, it is but proper to consider the question referred before us.

  1. As pointed out earlier, the language used in Sections 35, 35­B,
    35­EE, 35­G, and 35­H makes the position clear that an appeal and
    reference to the High Court should be made within 180 days only
    from the date of communication of the decision or order. In other
    words, the language used in other provisions makes the position
    clear that the legislature intended the appellate authority to
    entertain the appeal by condoning the delay only up to 30 days after
    expiry of 60 days, which is the preliminary limitation period for
    preferring an appeal. In the absence of any clause condoning the
    delay by showing sufficient cause after the prescribed period, there
    is complete exclusion of Section 5 of the Limitation Act. The High
    Court was, therefore, justified in holding that there was no power to
    condone the delay after expiry of the prescribed period of 180 days.”
    The Court has also taken note of the fact that the sufficient
    period of limitation of 180 days has been provided for reference,
    provision for condonation of delay was not made in filing the reference.
    The legislature intended that there should not be any condonation of
    delay beyond 180 days. The Court has observed with respect to the
    sufficiency of a period of 180 days which is more than the period
    prescribed for an appeal and revision thus:
    “33. Even otherwise, for filing an appeal to the Commissioner, and
    to the Appellate Tribunal as well as revision to the Central
    Government, the legislature has provided 60 days and 90 days
    respectively, on the other hand, for filing an appeal and reference to
    the High Court larger period of 180 days has been provided with to
    enable the Commissioner and the other party to avail the same. We
    are of the view that the legislature provided sufficient time, namely,
    180 days for filing reference to the High Court, which is more than
    the period prescribed for an appeal and revision.”
    22
    Under the scheme of the Act and the provision of limitation of
    180 days, for filing reference to the High Court was more than the
    period prescribed for an appeal and revision.
  2. In State of Madhya Pradesh & Anr. v. Anshuman Shukla, (2014)
    10 SCC 814, a 3­Judge Bench of this Court held that even if the
    amendment to section 19 of the M.P. Madhyastham Adhikaran
    Adhiniyam, 1983 was made in 2005, as the court had the power to
    take suo moto cognizance and call for record of an award at any time,
    there was no legislative intent to exclude the applicability of section 5
    of the Limitation Act. Apart from that, this Court observed that section
    19 of the Act of 1983, did not contain any express rider on the power
    of the High Court to entertain an application for revision after the
    expiry of the prescribed limitation thereunder. Thus, the provisions of
    section 29(2) are applicable in the absence of such rider, and delay in
    filing the revision was condoned. The Court observed:
    “32. Section 19 of the 1983 Act does not contain any express rider
    on the power of the High Court to entertain an application for
    revision after the expiry of the prescribed period of three months.
    On the contrary, the High Court is conferred with suo motu power,
    to call for the record of an award at any time. It cannot, therefore,
    be said that the legislative intent was to exclude the applicability of
    Section 5 of the Limitation Act to Section 19 of the 1983 Act.
  3. In our opinion, it is unnecessary to delve into the question
    whether the Arbitral Tribunal constituted under the Act is a court
    or not for answering the issue in the present case as the delay in
    filing the revision has occurred before the High Court, and not the
    Arbitral Tribunal.
    Answer to Point (ii)
    23
  4. In light of the reasons recorded above, we are of the opinion that
    the case of Nagar Palika Parishad, Morena11, was decided
    erroneously. Section 5 of the Limitation Act is applicable to Section
    19 of the 1983 Act. No express exclusion has been incorporated
    therein, and there is neither any evidence to suggest that the
    legislative intent was to bar the application of Section 5 of the
    Limitation Act on Section 19 of the 1983 Act. The cases which were
    relied upon to dismiss the special leave petition, namely,
    Nasiruddin12 and Popular Construction13, can be distinguished both
    in terms of the facts as well as the law applicable, and thus, have
    no bearing on the facts of the present case.”
    The provision of section 19(1) of the Madhya Pradesh
    Madhyastham Adhikaran Adhiniyam, 1983 is extracted hereunder:
    “19. High Court’s power of revision.—(1) The High Court may suo
    motu at any time or on an application for revision made to it within
    three months of the award by an aggrieved party, call for the record
    of any case in which an award has been made under this Act by
    issuing a requisition to the Tribunal, and upon receipt of such
    requisition, the Tribunal shall send or cause to be sent to that
    Court the concerned award and record thereof.”
  5. In Patel Brothers v. State of Assam & Ors., 2017 (2) SCC 350, the
    question came up for consideration concerning the provisions
    contained in the Assam Value Added Tax Act. This Court considered
    the provisions contained in sections 81 and 84 of the VAT Act read
    with sections 5 and 29(2) of the Limitation Act. In the matter of
    condoning the delay in filing revision in the High Court, it has been
    held that given the provisions contained in sections 81 and 84 of the
    VAT Act, the provisions of section 5 of the Limitation Act cannot be
    said to be applicable. There can be implied exclusion of the provisions
    11 (2004) 2 MPJR (SN) 374
    12 (2003) 2 SCC 577
    13 (2001) 8 SCC 470
    24
    of section 29(2) of the Limitation Act. Even in the absence of express
    exclusion of the provisions of the Limitation Act, it is open to a court
    to consider the implied exclusion. It has been held:
    “20. Thus, the approach which is to be adopted by the Court in
    such cases is to examine the provisions of the special law to arrive
    at a conclusion as to whether there was legislative intent to exclude
    the operation of the Limitation Act. In the instant case, we find that
    Section 84 of the VAT Act made only Sections 4 and 12 of the
    Limitation Act applicable to the proceedings under the VAT Act. The
    apparent legislative intent, which can be clearly evinced, is to
    exclude other provisions, including Section 5 of the Limitation Act.
    Section 29(2) stipulates that in the absence of any express provision
    in a special law, provisions of Sections 4 to 24 of the Limitation Act
    would apply. If the intention of the legislature was to make Section
    5, or for that matter, other provisions of the Limitation Act
    applicable to the proceedings under the VAT Act, there was no
    necessity to make specific provision like Section 84 thereby making
    only Sections 4 and 12 of the Limitation Act applicable to such
    proceedings, inasmuch as these two sections would also have
    become applicable by virtue of Section 29(2) of the Limitation Act. It
    is, thus, clear that the legislature intended only Sections 4 and 12
    of the Limitation Act, out of Sections 4 to 24 of the said Act,
    applicable under the VAT Act, thereby excluding the applicability of
    the other provisions.
  6. The judgment in Mangu Ram14, would not come to the aid of the
    appellant as the Court found that there was no provision under
    CrPC from which legislative intent to exclude Section 5 of the
    Limitation Act could be discerned and, therefore, Section 29(2) of
    the Limitation Act was taken aid of. Similar situation prevailed in
    Anshuman Shukla case15. On the contrary, in the instant case, a
    scrutiny of the scheme of the VAT Act goes to show that it is a
    complete code not only laying down the forum but also prescribing
    the time­limit within which each forum would be competent to
    entertain the appeal or revision. The underlying object of the Act
    appears to be not only to shorten the length of the proceedings
    initiated under the different provisions contained therein but also to
    ensure finality of the decision made thereunder. The fact that the
    period of limitation described therein has been equally made
    applicable to the assessee as well as the Revenue lends ample
    credence to such a conclusion. We, therefore, unhesitatingly hold
    that the application of Section 5 of the Limitation Act, 1963 to a
    proceeding under Section 81(1) of the VAT Act, stands excluded by
    necessary implication, by virtue of the language employed in Section
    84.”
    14 (1976) 1 SCC 392
    15 (2014) 10 SCC 814
    25
    This Court has considered section 84 of the VAT Act of Assam.
    Same is as follows:
    “84. Application of Sections 4 and 12 of the Limitation Act, 1963.—
    In computing the period of limitation under this Chapter, the
    provisions of Sections 4 and 12 of the Limitation Act, 1963, shall, so
    far as may be, apply.”

Section 81 deals with revision, and section 84 deals with the
Limitation Act. Section 84 makes a vital difference for the Chapter in
which the provision of section 81 finds a place. Only the provisions of
sections 4 and 12 of the Limitation Act are made applicable, and other
provisions stand excluded by limited application of the provisions of
the Limitation Act. The decision under the Assam VAT Act has turned
on the aforesaid crucial provision of section 84.

  1. In M. P. Steel Corporation v. Commissioner of Central Excise,
    (2015) 7 SCC 58, this Court considered the connotations of the court
    and civil proceedings under section 14 of the Limitation Act and the
    provisions were held applicable to the proceedings in the case of the
    appeal being filed under section 120 of the Customs Act.
  2. In Commissioner of Customs, Central Excise, Noida v. Punjab
    Fibres Ltd., Noida, (2008) 3 SCC 73, a question arose of condonation of
    delay in filing reference application to the High Court. It has been held
    that section 5 is not applicable. In the said case, the court has
    26
    followed the decision in Singh Enterprises v. Commissioner of Central
    Excise, Jamshedpur & Ors., (2008) 3 SCC 70. In Singh Enterprises
    (supra), it has been held:
    “6. At this juncture, it is relevant to take note of Section 35 of the
    Act which reads as follows:
    “35. Appeals to Commissioner (Appeals).—(1) Any person
    aggrieved by any decision or order passed under this Act by a
    Central Excise Officer, lower in rank than a Commissioner of
    Central Excise, may appeal to the Commissioner of Central
    Excise (Appeals) [hereafter in this Chapter referred to as the
    Commissioner (Appeals)] within sixty days from the date of the
    communication to him of such decision or order:
    Provided that the Commissioner (Appeals) may if he is satisfied
    that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from
    presenting the appeal within the aforesaid period of sixty days,
    allow it to be presented within a further period of thirty days.
    (2) Every appeal under this section shall be in the prescribed
    form and shall be verified in the prescribed manner.”

  1. The Commissioner of Central Excise (Appeals) as also the
    Tribunal being creatures of statute are not vested with jurisdiction
    to condone the delay beyond the permissible period provided under
    the statute. The period up to which the prayer for condonation can
    be accepted is statutorily provided. It was submitted that the logic
    of Section 5 of the Limitation Act, 1963 (in short “the Limitation
    Act”) can be availed for condonation of delay. The first proviso to
    Section 35 makes the position clear that the appeal has to be
    preferred within three months from the date of communication to
    him of the decision or order. However, if the Commissioner is
    satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from
    presenting the appeal within the aforesaid period of 60 days, he can
    allow it to be presented within a further period of 30 days. In other
    words, this clearly shows that the appeal has to be filed within 60
    days, but in terms of the proviso, further 30 days’ time can be
    granted by the appellate authority to entertain the appeal. The
    proviso to sub­section (1) of Section 35 makes the position crystal
    clear that the appellate authority has no power to allow the appeal
    to be presented beyond the period of 30 days. The language used
    makes the position clear that the legislature intended the appellate
    authority to entertain the appeal by condoning delay only up to 30
    days after the expiry of 60 days, which is the normal period for
    preferring appeal. Therefore, there is complete exclusion of Section
    5 of the Limitation Act. The Commissioner and the High Court were
    therefore justified in holding that there was no power to condone
    the delay after the expiry of 30 days’ period.”
    27
  2. In Chaudharana Steels Private Ltd. v. Commissioner of Central
    Excise, Allahabad, (2009) 15 SCC 183, the question of delay in filing
    an appeal under section 35­G of the Central Excise Act, 1944 came up
    for consideration. The Court held that the High Court has no power to
    condone the delay and followed the decision in Punjab Fibres Ltd.
    (supra).
  3. In the light of the decisions as mentioned earlier, when we
    examine the scheme of the Act of 2005, the provisions contained in
    section 45 provides for an appeal from every original order passed
    under the Act or the Rules made thereunder. Sub­section (4) of section
    45 provides appeal to be filed within 60 days, or such more extended
    period as the appellate authority may allow, for reasons to be recorded
    in writing. Thus, because of the provisions contained in section 45(4),
    the principles of section 5 would apply to an appeal before the
    appellate authority, which otherwise in the absence of specific
    provision would not have applied to authority. The revision is provided
    to the Commissioner suo motu under the provisions of section 46(1),
    and the period provided is 5 years for suo motu exercise of revisional
    power. However, the tribunal has the power to entertain application
    within 60 days from the date of communication of the order. When we
    consider the provisions of section 48, revision is provided to the High
    Court, and an aggrieved person may within 90 days of the
    28
    communication of such order, file a revision. Section 48(1) nowhere
    expressly excludes the applicability of provisions of the Limitation Act.
    The provisions of section 5 are applicable to Section 48 as they are not
    expressly excluded by the provisions under the Act of 2005. More so,
    in view of the provisions in section 45(4), which makes provisions to
    condone the delay like the Limitation Act, conferring power upon an
    authority also to condone delay. Further, suo motu revision has also
    been provided under section 46. In section 48, there is no express
    exclusion. Because of the scheme of the Act, it cannot be inferred that
    by implication, the provisions of section 5 of the Limitation Act are
    excluded. Provisions contained in section 29(2) of the Limitation Act
    would be attracted as there is no express exclusion or by implication,
    in view of the provisions of the Act of 2005. We hold that by virtue of
    the provisions contained in section 29(2), provisions of section 5 of the
    Limitation Act would apply to proceedings under Section 48 of the Act
    of 2005.
  4. The High Court has relied upon the decision of this Court in
    Patel Brothers (supra) in the context of the Assam VAT Act in which
    the abovementioned provision of section 84 made the difference, which
    makes specific provision that only sections 4 and 12 of the Limitation
    Act are applicable. Consequently, it follows that other provisions are
    not applicable. The decision in Hongo India Private Limited (supra) also
    29
    turned on the scheme of the Excise Act. The scheme of the Excise Act
    is materially different than that of the Himachal Pradesh VAT Act.
    Thus, the decision in Hongo India Private Limited (supra) also cannot
    be said to be applicable to interpret the Himachal Pradesh VAT Act. As
    the revision under the Act of 2005 lies to the High Court, the
    provisions of section 5 of the Limitation Act are applicable, and there
    is no express exclusion of the provisions of section 5 and as per
    section 29(2), unless a special law expressly excludes the provision,
    sections 4 to 24 of the Limitation Act are applicable. When we consider
    the scheme of the Himachal Pradesh VAT Act, 2005, it is apparent
    that its scheme is not ousting the provisions of the Limitation Act from
    its ken which makes principles of section 5 applicable even to an
    authority in the matter of filing an appeal but for the said provision
    the authority would not have the power to condone the delay. By
    implication also, it is apparent that the provisions of Section 5 of the
    Limitation Act have not been ousted; they have the play for condoning
    the limitation under Section 48 of the Act of 2005. Suo motu provision
    of revisional power is also provided to the Commissioner within 5
    years. Thus, the intendment is not to exclude the Limitation Act. We
    condone the delay in filing of revision.
  5. We are of the considered view that the decision of the High Court
    cannot be said to be sustainable. The provisions of Section 5 of the
    30
    Limitation Act are held applicable to the revisional provision under
    Section 48 of the Act of 2005. The impugned judgments and orders
    are set aside; the cases are remitted to the High Court to examine the
    same on merits in accordance with the law.
    …………………………J.
    (Arun Mishra)
    ………………………..J.
    (M.R. Shah)
    New Delhi; ………………….…….J.
    October 25, 2019. (B.R. Gavai)