Government of India
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Central Board of Excise & Customs
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All the Chief Commissioners of Central Excise/Customs/Service Tax/.
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Subject: Issue of defending the interest of Uol by M/o Law appointed Counsels In Indirect Tax matters – reg.
Recently it has been brought to the notice of Board by a Chief Commissionerate Zone that the Ld, Addl. S.G. of the High Court, concerning the CC Zone has asked him that all litigation matters pertaining to his zone will route through the Office of Addl.SG. and Lawyers of Uol, appointed by Ministry of Law and Justice.
2. The issue has been examined. In this regard, it may be mentioned that the Uol will he defended by a Counsel(s) such as Additional Solicitor General/Assistant Solicitor General/CGSC etc. for the respective High Court, appointed by Ministry of Law & Justice, Govt. of India. Further, CBEC Counsel (who are appointed with the concurrence of Ministry of Law & Justice), on panel and authorized by the concerned Commissioner will extend necessary assistance to the Counsel so appointed by Ministry of Law, defending Uol, in a particular case.
3. The CBEC Counsel would, however, defend the other Respondents other than Uol arrayed in a particular case. In this regard, Board’s Instruction dated 05.12.2007 (issued with the concurrence of Ministry of Law & Justice) read with letter No. 280/14/2015-CX.8A dated 27.07.2015 may also be referred to, wherein it was clarified that the “appropriate person to represent Uol will be Additional Solicitor General (ASG). Further, even if one of our panel Counsels appears in the matter, he or she will appear on behalf of ASG only”. It is also mentioned that where no Counsel to represent Uol is appearing in a case related to indirect tax, the CBEC Counsel may defend Uol also, besides, defending other Respondent(s), so as to avoid a situation Uol going unrepresented. However, once Ministry of Law appointed Counsel has been assigned the case, he/she (Ministry of Law appointed Counsel) will have first charge for defending Uol.
Under Secretary to the Govt. of India