19. Appeal to Appellate Tribunal –
(1) Save as provided in sub-section (2), the Central Government or any person aggrieved by an order made by an Adjudicating Authority other than those referred to sub-section (1) of section 17, or the Special Director (Appeals), may prefer an appeal to the Appellate Tribunal:
Provided that any person appealing against the order of the Adjudicating Authority or the Special Director (Appeals) levying any penalty, shall while filing the appeal, deposit the amount of such penalty with such authority as may be notified by the Central Government:
Provided further that where in any particular case, the Appellate Tribunal is of the opinion that the deposit of such penalty would cause undue hardship to such person, the Appellate Tribunal may dispense with such deposit subject to such conditions as it may deem fit to impose so as to safeguard the realisation of penalty.
(2) Every appeal under sub-section (1) shall be filed within a period of forty-five days from the date on which a copy of the order made by the Adjudicating Authority or the Special Director (Appeals) is received by the aggrieved person or by the Central Government and it shall be in such form verified in such manner and be accompanied by such fee as may be prescribed:
Provided that the Appellate Tribunal may entertain an appeal after the expiry of the said period of forty-five days if it is satisfied that there was sufficient cause for not filing it within that period.
(3) On receipt of an appeal under sub-section (1), the Appellate Tribunal may, after giving the parties to the appeal an opportunity of being heard, pass such orders thereon as it thinks fit, confirming, modifying or setting aside the order appealed against.
(4) The Appellate Tribunal shall send a copy of every order made by it to the par-ties to the appeal and to the concerned Adjudicating Authority (or the Special Director (Appeals) as the case may be.
(5) The appeal filed before the Appellate Tribunal under sub-section (1) shall be dealt with by it as expeditiously as possible and endeavour shall be made by it to dispose of the appeal finally within one hundred and eighty days from the date of receipt of the appeal:
Provided that where any appeal could not be disposed off within the said period of one hundred and eighty days, the Appellate Tribunal shall record its reasons in writing for not disposing off the appeal within the said period.
(6) The Appellate Tribunal may, for the purpose of examining the legality, propriety or correctness of any order made by the Adjudicating Authority under section 16 in relation to any proceeding, on its own motion or other-wise, call for the records of such proceedings and make such order in the case as it think fit.
This section provides for preferring of appeal before the Appellate Tribunal against the order made by the Adjudicating Authority, period for filing the appeal, condonation of delay for sufficient cause and the period for disposal of appeal.