1. The petitioner seeks to quash the Order of the Government of India dated 23.11.73 rejecting its revision and confirming the orders of the Appellate Collector Excise, Madras, dismissing the appeal preferred by it against the orders of the Assistant Collector of Central Excise, Hyderabad Division II, as barred by limitation. Mr. Jogayya Sarma, Learned Counsel for the petitioner contends that the appeal involves a question relating to the fundamental rights of the petitioner, and in the circumstances, the appellate authority should have construed the provisions relating to condonation of delay in preferring an appeal liberally condoned the delay and entertained the appeal on merits. In support of his contention, he has cited S. Syed Mohd. v. Assistant Collector of Customs (A.I.R. 1960 Kerala 386). This claim of the petitioner is resisted by the Learned Standing Counsel for the Central Government contending infer alia that the appellate authority is not competent to condone the delay as there is no specific provision authorising the appellate authority to condone he delay and that in any event the authorities have rightly refused to entertain the appeal.
2. Admittedly, the order of the Assistant Collector, Central Excise, Hyderabad Division II, which is sought to be appealed against by the petitioner was served on the petitioner as early as 5.4.1971. An appeal under Section 35 of the Central Excise and Salt Act, 1944 to the Appellate Collector, Central Excise, Madras, is provided, which has to be filed within three months from the date of the service of the order sought to be appealed against. Hence, the petitioner should have preferred the appeal within 3 months from 5.4.71 to the Appellate Collector, Central Excise Madras. No such appeal was filed within the poriod of limitation provided therefor. But, in fact, the appeal was preferred on 23.9.72 that is, one year, five months and eighteen days after the date of service of the order of the Assistant Collector. Hence, there is a deiay of one year, two months and eighteen days. Firstly, there is no provision under the Central Excises and Salt Act, 1944 authorising the appellate authority to condone the delay on the application filed under Section 5 of the Limitation Act. It is well settled that the provisions of Sections 4 and 5 of the Limitation Act, read with the scheme of that Act, deal with applications to courts, but not to Tribunals, including the Labour Court, as the Labour Court is not a 'Court' within the Limitation Act. Hence the Appellate Collector of Central Excise, Madras, cannot be held to be a court for applying the provisions of Section 4 and 5 of the Limitation Act. See Nityanand v. L.I.C. of India : (1969)IILLJ711SC . I may add that under similar circumstances, a Learned Judge of this Court in writ petition 2207 of 1972 has taken the same view. This writ petition must fail on this ground alone. However, on a consideration of the orders of the appellate authority as well as the revisional authority, I am satisfied that the appellate as well as the revisional authorities did not find any valid or justifiable ground for condoning the delay and entertaining the appeal. On merits. Hence the orders passed by the authorities below cannot be quashed on this ground also in a writ petition. Judged from any angle, I am satisfied that there is no merits in this writ petition.
3. In the result, the writ petitioa is dismissed with costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 100/-