S.L. Peeran, Member (J)
1. The short question that arises for consideration in this appeal which arises from OLA No. C. Cus. 646/99, dated 11-11-1999 passed by Commissioner (Appeals) is as to whether the refund application has been filed within a period of six months from the date of paying duty. There is no dispute that the refund application was received in the Custom House on 22-8-1994 and the application for a refund bears the seal of receipt on 22-8-1994. Appellants have been given acknowledgement of receipt of the refund application on 22-8-1994. The authorities have rejected the claim solely on the basis that the refund application was signed by the Asstt. Commissioner M.C.D. on 25-8-1994 and as per the Tapal Register the claim was registered therein on 29-8-1994 and hence, held to be beyond the period of six months. However, there is no dispute that if the date stamped application for refund of 22-8-1994 is taken, then the application is within time.
2. We have heard both sides in the matter. We have perused the acknowledgement issued to the party on 22-8-1994 by the office of the Asstt. Commissioner of Customs. The rubber stamp is affixed thereon as 22-8-1994. The lower authority’s view that the refund application can be considered to have been lodged only on the date of signing of the same by the AC is not correct view. The date of lodging the claim in the office is to be reckoned and not the date on which the officer puts his signature at his own convenience. Therefore, we hold that the refund application was filed within time. Since the matter not having been decided on merits, therefore, the impugned order is set aside and matter remanded to the original authority for decision on merits.