GST appellate tribunal may be headed by a former Supreme Court judge

New tax tribunal expected to address pile-up of unresolved legal cases, thus lowering the burden on courts and taxpayers; single-member bench will hear disputes involving less than Rs. 50 lakh

Updated - March 24, 2023 09:28 am IST

Published - March 24, 2023 08:32 am IST - NEW DELHI

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Appellate Tribunal is likely to be headed by a former Supreme Court judge or a former Chief Justice of a High Court and its framework may permit the resolution of disputes involving dues or fines of less than Rs. 50 lakh by a single-member bench.

Amendments to the GST laws to enable the tribunal’s constitution, are expected to be introduced in the Lok Sabha.

While there will be one principal bench of the Appellate Tribunal in New Delhi and several State benches, appeals pertaining to disputes of less than Rs. 50 lakh that don’t deal with a question of law could be decided by a single-member bench, as per the norms approved by the GST Council.

In February, the Council had reached a broad consensus on the long-awaited appellate body’s functioning. Tax experts said the delay in setting up the Appellate Tribunal has led to a pile-up of unresolved legal matters over the tax.

“Currently, taxpayers are filing writ petitions to directly move the High Court,” said Tanushree Roy, director at Nangia Andersen. “Establishment of Appellate tribunal would result in lower burden on the courts and taxpayers.”

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