Simplified GST SERIES – Section 159-167/CGST ACT 2017

Article Analyses Provisions of Section 159 – Publication of information in respect of persons in certain cases, Section 160 – Assessment proceedings, etc. not to be invalid on certain grounds, Section 161 – Rectification of errors apparent on the face of record, Section 162 – Bar on jurisdiction of civil courts, Section 163 – Levy of Fee, Section 164 –  Power of Government to make rules, Section 165 – Power to make regulations, Section 166 – Laying of rules, regulations and notifications and Section 167 – Delegation of Powers.

Section 159 – Publication of information in respect of persons in certain cases-

  • This provision confers powers on the Competent Authority to publish the names and other details of persons in default, as information to the public.
  • This provision also discusses the persons, whose names can be published, if proceedings relate to a company / firm / association of persons.
  • The Competent Authority may ensure that the following details are published:

-Names of any person (and)

-Other particulars relating to proceedings or prosecutions under the Act, if related to such person.

  • In addition, the Competent Authority may also decide to publish the following:
  • In case of Firm –Name of partners
  • In case of Company -Names of directors / Managing Agents / Secretaries & Treasurers / Managers
  • In case of Association of Persons – Name of members
  • Exception- However, publication can be made in relation to imposition of penalty, only when the following conditions are satisfied:
  • The time for presenting an appeal to the First Appellate Authority (u/s 107) has expired and the persons involved, did not present any appeal (OR)
  • The appeal is presented and it is disposed of (against such persons).

Section 160 – Assessment proceedings, etc., not to be invalid on certain grounds

(1) No assessment, re-assessment, adjudication, review, revision, appeal, rectification, notice, summons or other proceedings done, accepted, made, issued, initiated, or purported to have been done, accepted, made, issued, initiated in pursuance of any of the provisions of this Act shall be invalid or deemed to be invalid merely by reason of any mistake, defect or omission therein, if such assessment, re-assessment, adjudication, review, revision, appeal, rectification, notice, summons or other proceedings are in substance and effect in conformity with or according to the intents, purposes and requirements of this Act or any existing law.

(2) The service of any notice, order or communication shall not be called in question, if the notice, order or communication, as the case may be, has already been acted upon by the person to whom it is issued or where such service has not been called in question at or in the earlier proceedings commenced, continued or finalised pursuant to such notice, order or communication.

Analysis- Assessment, re-assessment and other proceedings that are listed in this Section will be valid even though there may be: Mistake, Defect, Omission

Provided they are in ‘substance’ and ‘effect’ in conformity with the intents, purposes and requirements of the Act.

  • Proceedings listed in this Section are:
  • Assessment
  • Re-assessment
  • Adjudication
  • Review
  • Revision
  • Appeal
  • Rectification
  • Notice
  • Summons
  • Other proceedings

Further, where a notice, order or communication has been:

> acted upon or

> Not called into question at the earliest opportunity available,

then the opportunity to call such notice, order or communication into question will not be  available in the course of subsequent proceedings.

Section 161 – Rectification of errors apparent on the face of record

This Section provides for rectification of error or mistake apparent by the authority who has issued the document or on being brought to attention by CGST / SGST authority or the affected person. So, there are three ways in which action can be taken under this Section. No person is entitled to take advantage of such errors or mistakes. The power/jurisdiction to rectify is for any error or mistake which is apparent from record.

The error may be-

(a) factual,

(b) legal or

(c) clerical

  • All of them are rectifiable once it is shown that they are apparent on face of the record.
  • The time limit of 3 months is allowed for the affected person to bring to attention any such error Or mistake. This time limit does not apply to a CGST / SGST officer from bringing it to the attention to the issuing authority or for making voluntarily rectification. However, no such rectification is permitted after 6 months from the date of its issuance.
  • If any such rectification adversely affects any person, it is required that principles of natural justice be followed in these proceedings also. Once an application for rectification has been made, it must conclude in an order. This original order will be substituted by the rectified order.

Section 162 – Bar on jurisdiction of civil courts

Save as provided in sections 117 and 118, no civil court shall have jurisdiction to deal with or decide any question arising from or relating to anything done or purported to be done under this Act. 

Analysis- The basic principle is that every dispute of civil nature can be tried by the civil court. Tax being a civil liability its levy, imposition and collection can be challenged before the Civil Court.

Section 163 – Levy of Fee 

Wherever a copy of any order or document is to be provided to any person on an application made by him for that purpose, there shall be paid such fee as may be prescribed.

Analysis-This provision empowers the Central Government to collect fees for supplying copy of the orders / documents.

Section 164 –  Power of Government to make rules

(1) The Government may, on the recommendations of the Council, by notification, make rules for carrying out the provisions of this Act.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of sub-section (1), the Government may make rules for all or any of the matters which by this Act are required to be, or may be, prescribed or in respect of which provisions are to be or may be made by rules.

(3) The power to make rules conferred by this section shall include the power to give retrospective effect to the rules or any of them from a date not earlier than the date on which the provisions of this Act come into force.

(4) Any rules made under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) may provide that a contravention thereof shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding ten thousand rupees.

Analysis- Under this section the Government is given the power to make rules, under Section 165 power to make regulations is given to the Board and Commissioner of SGST. There is a general power under sub-section (1) and specific power under sub-section

(2) which is also a standard structure.

Section 165 – Power to make regulations

The Board may, by notification, make regulations consistent with this Act and the rules made thereunder to carry out the provisions of this Act

Analysis- The Board is empowered to notify regulations consistent with the objects of the Act. No recommendation of the GST Council is called for in this case.

Section 166 – Laying of rules, regulations and notifications 

Every rule made by the Government, every regulation made by the Board and every notification issued by the Government under this Act, shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made or issued, before each House of Parliament, while it is in session, for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or regulation or in the notification, as the case may be, or both Houses agree that the rule or regulation or the notification should not be made, the rule or regulation or notification, as the case may be, shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rule or regulation or notification, as the case may be.

Analysis- Every rule, regulation and notification shoud be laid before the Parliament, as soon as may be after it is made or issued, when the Parliament is in session, for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions. Before the expiry of the session or successive sessions both Houses may make suitable modifications and would have effect in such modified form.

Section 167 – Delegation of Powers 

The Commissioner may, by notification, direct that subject to such conditions, if any, as may be specified in the notification, any power exercisable by any authority or officer under this Act may be exercisable also by another authority or officer as may be specified in such notification.

Analysis- This section enables the Competent Authority to delegate the power exercisable by one authority to another.

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