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'You Have To Constitute GST Appellate Tribunal; No Question Of Filing Counter' : Supreme Court Tells Centre

Srishti Ojha
6 Sep 2021 11:12 AM GMT
You Have To Constitute GST Appellate Tribunal; No Question Of Filing Counter : Supreme Court Tells Centre
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While stressing on the need to make appointments to the unfilled vacancies in Tribunals across the Country, the Supreme Court on Monday asked the Central Government to constitute the GST Appellate Tribunal, which has not been constituted even after 4 years of the Act having come into force.When Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta sought for time to file counter-affidavit in the...

While stressing on the need to make appointments to the unfilled vacancies in Tribunals across the Country, the Supreme Court on Monday asked the Central Government to constitute the GST Appellate Tribunal, which has not been constituted even after 4 years of the Act having come into force.

When Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta sought for time to file counter-affidavit in the petition which sought the establishment of CGST Tribunal, the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana orally told him :

"The CGST Tribunal has not been constituted. That is also one issue. There is no question of filing counter. You've to constitute Tribunal that's all".

A Special Bench comprising CJI Ramana, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Nageswara Rao was considering a writ petition  by lawyer Amit Sahni seeking directions for constitution of the GST Appellate Tribunal in the interest of justice.

The Bench will next hear the matter on September 13th, along with other petitions filed regarding appointments to be made to Tribunals across the country and challenging the validity of Tribunals Reforms Act 2021.

The Supreme Court had earlier pulled up the Centre for not constituting an appellate tribunal under the CGST Act even after 4 years of the Act having come into force. The Bench had asked SG Mehta appearing for Union of India to get back to the Court on the issue of constitution of a GST Appellate Tribunal.

" The CGST act came into force about 4 years back, you have been unable to create any appellate tribunal at all." CJI had told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.

The Top Court had observed that there has to an appellate tribunal under the Act for persons aggrieved by orders of appellate or revisional authority. However, the same has not been constituted yet.

"For a person aggrieved by order passed by appellate authority under section 107 or revisional authority under 108 of the Act, an appellate tribunal has to be there period in 3 months time under 112. Under 109 of the CGST Act, you have to create a Tribunal." The Bench had said.

According to the petitioner, the constitution of National and other Benches of appellate tribunal under Section 109 of the CGST Act, 2017 has become an absolute necessity of the hour and the Respondents cannot drag its constitution for an indefinite period.

The plea filed by Advocate Amit Sahni through Advocate Preeti Singh has argued that the citizen aggrieved of the orders passed by appellate/revisional authority, are constrained to approach the respective High Courts under 226 by way of Writ Petition. This is due to the absence of an appellate tribunal and the same is overburdening the High Courts as well.

Further, it has been argued the period of limitation to file appeal before the Tribunal (90 days) cannot be extended by way of administrative order by the respondent in contravention of statutory provisions, and more particularly, such extension cannot be given for an indefinite period.

The plea has stated that in a plethora of cases, the apex court has held that justice delayed is justice denied. However, in absence of an Appellate Tribunal, the litigants are not able to get justice within a reasonable period, and the same is causing extreme hardship to the litigants across the Country.

Case Title: Amit Sahni vs Union of India

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