The provision of National Appellate Authority has been created by virtue of Section 104 of the Finance (NO.2) Act, 2019 and in section 95 (a) of the CGST Act,2017 after the words ‘Appellate Authority’, the words ‘or the National Appellate Authority’ has been inserted. The “National Appellate Authority” means the National Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling. Section 105 of the Finance (NO.2) Act, 2019 has inserted new sections 101A, 101B and 101C after 101 of the CGST Act, 2017.

The objective of the formation of National Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling to decide the conflicting Advance Rulings are given by the Appellate Authorities of two or more States or Union territories or both.

Constitution of National Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling:

Section 101A of the CGST Act, 2017 prescribes that the Government shall, on the recommendations of the Council, constitute an authority known as the National Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling for hearing appeals made under section 101B. The National Appellate Authority shall consist of –

(i) the President, who has been a Judge of the Supreme Court or is or has been the Chief Justice of a High Court, or is or has been a judge of a High Court for a period not less than five years;

(ii) a Technical Member (Centre) who is or has been a member of Indian Revenue (Customs and Central Excise) Service, Group A, and has completed at least fifteen years of service in Group A;

(iii) a Technical Member (State) who is or has been an officer of the State Government not below the rank of Additional Commissioner of Value Added Tax or the Additional Commissioner of State tax with at least three years of experience in the administration of an existing law or the State Goods and Services Tax Act or in the field of finance and taxation.

Appointment of President and Technical Members:

The president of the National Appellate Authority shall be appointed by the Government after consultation with the Chief Justice of India or his nominee:

Provided that in the event of the occurrence of any vacancy in the office of the President by reason of his death, resignation or otherwise, the senior most Member of the National Appellate Authority shall act as the President until the date on which a new President, appointed in accordance with the provisions of this Act to fill such vacancy, enters upon his office:

Authority for Advance Ruling under GST

Provided further that where the President is unable to discharge his functions owing to absence, illness or any other cause, the senior most Member of the National Appellate Authority shall discharge the functions of the President until the date on which the President resumes his duties.

The Technical Member (Centre) and Technical Member (State) of the National Appellate Authority shall be appointed by the Government on the recommendations of a Selection Committee consisting of such persons and in such manner as may be prescribed.

No appointment of the Members of the National Appellate Authority shall be invalid merely by the reason of any vacancy or defect in the constitution of the Selection Committee.

Before appointing any person as the President or Members of the National Appellate Authority, the Government shall satisfy itself that such person does not have any financial or other interests which are likely to prejudicially affect his functions as such president or Member.

Remunerations of the Members:

The salary, allowances and other terms and conditions of service of the President and the Members of the National Appellate Authority shall be such as may be prescribed.

Provided that neither salary and allowances nor other terms and conditions of service of the President or Members of the National Appellate Authority shall be varied to their disadvantage after their appointment.

Tenure of office: 

The President of the National Appellate Authority shall hold office for a term of three years from the date on which he enters upon his office, or until he attains the age of seventy years, whichever is earlier and shall also be eligible for reappointment.

The Technical Members (Centre) or Technical Member (State) of the National Appellate Authority shall hold office for a term of five years from the date on which he enters upon his office, or until he attains the age of sixty-five years, whichever is earlier and shall also be eligible for reappointment.

Procedure of resignation:

The President or any Member may, by notice in writing under his hand addressed to the Government, resign from his office:

Provided that the President or Member shall continue to hold office until the expiry of three months from the date of receipt of such notice by the Government, or until a person duly appointed as his successor enters upon his office or until the expiry of his term of office, whichever is the earliest.

Procedure of Removal:

The Government may, after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, remove from the office such President or Member, who-

(a) has been adjudged an insolvent; or

(b) has been convicted of an offence which, in the opinion of such Government involves moral turpitude; or

(c) has become physically or mentally incapable of acting as such President or Members; or

(d) has acquired such financial or other interest as is likely to affect prejudicially his functions as such President or Member; or

(e) has so abused his position as to render his continuance in office prejudicial to the public interest:

Provided that the President or the Member shall not be removed on any of the grounds specified in clauses (d) and (e), unless he has been informed of the charges against him and has been given an opportunity of being heard.

Order of Removal:

Without prejudice to the provisions of removal, the President and Technical Members of the National Appellate Authority shall not be removed from their office except by an order made by the Government on the ground of proven misbehaviour or incapacity after an inquiry made by a Judge of the Supreme Court nominated by the Chief Justice of India on a reference made to him by the Government and such President or Member had given an opportunity of being heard.

Order of Suspension:

The Government, with the concurrence of the Chief Justice of India, may suspend from office, the president or Technical Members of the National Appellate Authority in respect of whom a reference has been made to the Judge of the Supreme Court.

Appearance before the Authority:

Subject to the provisions of article 220 of the Constitution, the President or Members of the National Appellate Authority, on ceasing to hold their office, shall not be eligible to appear, act or plead before the National Appellate Authority where he was the President or, as the case may be, a Member.

Appeal to National Appellate Authority:

Section 101B of the CGST Act, 2017 prescribes where conflicting Advance Rulings are given by the Appellate Authorities of two or more States or Union territories or both, any officer authorised by the Commissioner or an applicant, being aggrieved by such advance ruling , may prefer an appeal to National Appellate Authority:

Provided that the officer shall be form the States in which advance rulings have been given.

Every appeal under this section shall be filed within a period of thirty days from the date on which the ruling sought to be appealed against is communicated to the applicants, concerned officers and jurisdictional officers:

Provided that the officer authorised by the Commissioner may file appeal within a period of ninety days from the date on which the ruling sought to be appealed against is communicated to the concerned officer or the jurisdictional officer:

Provided further that the National Appellate Authority may, if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by a sufficient cause from presenting the appeal within the said period of thirty days, or as the case may be, ninety days, allow such appeal to be presented within a further period not exceeding thirty days.

Explanation: For removal of doubts, it is clarified that the period of thirty days or ninety days shall be counted from the date of communication of the last of the conflicting rulings sought to be appealed against.

Every appeal under this section shall be in such form, accompanied by such fee and verified in such manner as may be prescribed.

Order of National Appellate Authority:

Section 101C of the CGST Act, 2017 prescribes the National Appellate Authority may, after giving an opportunity of being heard to the applicant, the officer authorised by the Commissioner, all Principal Chief Commissioners, Chief Commissioners of Central tax and Chief Commissioner and Commissioner of State tax of all States and Chief Commissioner and Commissioner of Union territory tax of all Union territories, pass such order as it thinks fit, confirming or modifying the rulings appealed against.

Majority of opinion:

If the members of the National Appellate Authority differ in opinion on any point, it shall be decided according to the opinion of the majority.

Time period of Order:

The order shall be passed as far as possible within a period of ninety days from the date of filing of the appeal.

Disposal of Order:

A copy of the Advance Ruling pronounced by the National Appellate Authority shall be duly signed by the Members and certified in such manner as may be prescribed and shall be sent to the applicant, the officer authorised by the Commissioner, the Board, the Chief Commissioner and Commissioner of State tax of all States and Chief Commissioner and Commissioner of Union territory tax of all Union territories and to the Authority or Appellate Authority, as the case may be, after such pronouncement. 

Conclusion: It is observed that there are conflicting Advance  Rulings in the identical issues has been passed by the Authority for Advance Ruling and Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling. Hence, it is high time there is need of formation of National Appellate Authority for Advance ruling to settle the conflicting rulings of Appellate Authorities for Advance Ruling between two or more States or Union territories. By formation of National Appellate Authorities at National level, would certainly reduce number of writ petition before the Hon’ble High Courts across the country arises on account of conflicting rulings. Unlike applicability of ruling of Authority for Advance Ruling, the order pass by the National Appellate Authority would be universal applicability across the country in the identical matter not be confined to the applicant only. This is a welcome step taken by the Government to brining the provision of National Appellate Authority for Advance Ruling but immediate implementation is more beneficial for the taxpayers to get relief from the litigation.

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