New Delhi, Jul 22 (ILNS) A Public Interest Litigation has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Union of India to constitute the Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal, on priority basis as Section 109 of the Act mandates it, but has not been constituted even after 4years of the Act being into existence.
The PIL filed by Advocate Amit Sahni through Advocate On Record(AOR) Preeti Singh, said that the GST Bill was passed in both the houses of the Parliament in 2016 and from July One, the Central Goods and Services Act came into force. The Section 109 of the Act mandates the constitution of a GST Appellate Tribunal which has not been constituted so far, even after 4years of the Act being into existence.
It is submitted that by passing CGST (Ninth Removal of Difficulties) Order, 2019 dated December 03, 2019, the Government, on recommendation of the GST Council, extended the limitation period to file an appeal against the order/directions passed by the Appellate/Revisional Authority from three months to the time till the President or the State President of the Appellate tribunal enters office.
The Union Of India issued a notification thereby clarifying its stand regarding non-constitution of Appellate Tribunal. It cited Judgement of the High court of Madras in the matter of “Revenue Bar Association v. UOI” WP No. 21147, 21148 and 14919 of 2018 as a reason for non-constitution of the GST Tribunal.
It is pertinent to mention here that the citizen aggrieved of the orders passed by Appellate/Revisional Authority, are constrained to approach respective High Court under 226 by way of Writ Petition in absence of Tribunal and the same is overburdening work of the High Courts as well, said the PIL.
The Petitioner urged that the constitution of National and other Benches of Appellate Tribunal under section 109 of the CGST Act, 2017 has become an absolute necessity of the hour and the Respondents cannot drag its constitution for an indefinite period.
Further, the period of limitation to file appeal before the Tribunal (90 days) cannot be extended by way of administrative order by the Respondent in contravention of statutory provisions and more particularly such extension cannot be given for an indefinite period, the PIL said.
The petitioner pleaded that in a plethora of cases the Supreme has held that ‘Justice Delayed is Justice Denied’. In absence of an Appellate Tribunal, the litigants are not able to get justice within a reasonable period and the same is causing extreme hardship to the litigants across the Country, the PIL said. ILNS/SS/SNG