Creation of additional Benches of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal
The Union Cabinet today gave its approval for setting up six additional Benches of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT), including three at the existing locations of New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai and three new Benches at Chandigarh, Allahabad and Hyderabad.
With the creation of six additional benches of CESTAT, disposal of cases will increase and pendency will decrease benefiting Government and tax payers. The proposal would facilitate the cause of Government as well as litigants, by reducing travel time and expenditure and also the timely disposal of cases.
The creation of additional/new Benches of the CESTAT would require the creation of twelve posts of Members of the Tribunal (6 Technical and 6 Judicial Members) in the Higher Administrative Grade (HAG+) in addition to 98 posts of supporting staff including Deputy Registrar/Assistant Registrar.
The creation of additional/new Benches of the CESTAT would amount to a one time expenditure of Rs. 3.45 crore while the recurring expenditure would be Rs. 10 crore per annum.
The Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) was created in 1982 to provide an independent and impartial forum to hear the appeal against orders and decisions passed by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise under the Customs Act, 1962, Central Excise at 1944 and Gold (Control) Act, 1968. After coming into operation of the Service Tax vide Chapter V of the Finance Act, 1994, Service Tax Appeals have been included in the Jurisdiction of the tribunal. The Tribunal is also empowered to hear the appeals against the orders passed by designated authority with regard to Anti Dumping Duties under the Customs Tariff Act, 1975. At present, CESTAT has three benches each in Delhi and Mumbai and one bench each at Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Ahmedabad. The headquarters as well as Principal Bench of the Tribunal are in Delhi.