Indirect Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) [Economy: Taxation]

Context: Indirect tax appellate tribunal CESTAT has asked the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs to frame norms to deal with outstanding tax demands against companies facing insolvency proceedings.

About Indirect Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT)

◼ The Customs Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) formerly known as Customs, Excise & Gold (Control) Appellate Tribunal was constituted on 11 th October 1982.

◼ The Appellate Tribunal was constituted under Article 323(B) of the Constitution of India by making provisions in the Customs Act 1962.

◼ The Tribunal was constituted for expeditious disposal of appeals which were earlier handled by Central Board of Excise and Customs and which came up to Government in revision.

◼ Over the years the procedures for dealing with various aspects of the Tribunal’s working were formulated.

◼ They partly reflect the provisions followed by Income Tax Appellate Tribunal and various High Courts and partly the self developed procedures out of necessity, catering to the special needs of this Tribunal.

◼ Headquarters: New Delhi

◼ The Tribunal is having regional Benches at Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Chandigarh and Hyderabad.

Important Functions

◼ CESTAT was created to provide as an independent forum to hear the appeals against orders passed by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise and Service Tax under the Customs Act, 1962, Central Excise Act, 1944 and Finance Act 1994.

◼ The Tribunal is also empowered to hear the appeals against orders passed by the Designated Authority in Anti Dumping Duties under the Customs Tariff Act,1975.

◼ The Tribunal also hears appeals concerning Customs House Agent Licensing.

◼ Each Bench of the Tribunal consists of a Judicial Member and a Technical Member.

◼ Except in the matters relating to classification and valuation of goods, the Tribunal is the final Appellate Authority as far as question of facts are concerned.

◼ In classification and valuation matters, the appeal against orders of the Tribunal lie only to the Hon’ble Supreme Court.

◼ The Tribunal may, in its discretion, refuse to admit an appeal in respect of an order where the amount of fine or penalty determined by such order, does not exceeds Two Lakhs rupees.

◼ The CESTAT acts as a bull whack in dispensing justice in the areas of indirect tax litigation.