Goods & Service Tax Appellate Tribunal

Context: Finance Act amended the Central Goods & Services Tax Act, 2017 and provided the framework for the functioning of GST Appellate Tribunal for hearing appeals against the orders passed by Appellate Authority or Revisional Authority.

Need for GST Appellate Tribunal

  • GST Appellate Tribunal is the forum of second appeal in GST laws and first common forum of dispute resolution between Centre & States. 
  • Appeals against the orders in first appeals issued by Appellate Authorities under Central & State GST Acts lie before the GST Appellate Tribunal, which is common under the Central & State GST Acts. Currently, due to want to GST Appellate Tribunal appeals from Appellate Authorities lie in various High Courts and Supreme Court which renders the process of dispute resolution slow.
  • Being a common forum, GST Appellate Tribunal will ensure that there is uniformity in redressal of disputes arising under GST and in implementation of GST across the country. 
  • Earlier GST Council had formed a group of ministers committee under the Chairmanship of Dushyant Chautala of Haryana. GST Council in its 49th meetings accepted the committee reports and recommended the constitution of GST Appellate Tribunal. 

GST Appellate Tribunal formed by Finance Act, 2023

  • Central Government shall establish an Appellate Tribunal known as Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal for hearing appeals against the orders passed by the Appellate Authority or the Revisional Authority.
  • Jurisdiction, powers & authority conferred on the Appellate Tribunal shall be exercised by Principal Bench and State Benches of GSTAT. 
  • Principal Bench & State Benches shall hear appeals against orders passed by Appellate Authority or Revisional Authority. However, if a case involves dispute over the place of supply, the Principal Bench shall only hear it. 
  • Principal Bench of GSTAT will be established at New Delhi and will consist of President, a Judicial Member, a Technical (Centre) and a Technical Member (State). President shall distribute the business of the GST Appellate Tribunal among the Benches and may transfer cases from one bench to another.
  • State Benches of GSTAT
  • Central Government to establish State Benches on the request of the State Governments. 
  • Number of Benches, their locations and their jurisdictions to be recommended by GST Council to the Central Government. 
  • State Benches of GSTAT will consist of two Judicial Members, a Technical Member (Centre) and a Technical Member (State) i.e., total four members. 
  • Senior-most Judicial Member in State Bench shall act as Vice-President for such State benches and will exercise similar functions as played by President in relation of Principal Bench of GSTAT. 
  • Administration of Benches of GSTAT for both State Benches and Principal Bench of GSTAT: 
  • For disputes in which the amount of fine, fee or penalty, tax or input tax credit is less than Rs 50 lakhs and not involving any question of law, may with the approval of President, can be heard by a single member.
  • All other cases will be heard by two-member bench comprising of one judicial member and one technical member. 
  • In case of difference of opinion among members: If after hearing the cases, members differ in their opinion on any point or points, such members shall state the points on which they differ and the President shall refer such case for hearing:
  • For a State Bench: To another member of a State Bench within the State or where no such other State Bench is available in the State, to a Member of a State Bench in another State.
  • For a Principal Bench: To another member of Principal Bench, or, where no such other Member is available, to a Member of any State Bench. 

And such points shall be decided according to the majority opinion including the opinion of the Members who first heard the case.

Qualifications for members of Principal Bench

A person shall not be qualified for appointment as:

  • President should have been a Judge of the Supreme Court or is or has been the Chief Justice of a High Court.
  • Judicial Member should have been a Judge of High Court or District Judge or Additional District Judge for a combined period of 10 years.
  • Technical Member (Centre) should be or been a member of Indian Revenue (Customs & Indirect Taxes) Service, Group A or All India Service with at least three years of experience in administration of an existing law or goods & service tax in the Central Government, and has completed 25 years of service in Group A.
  • Technical Member (State) should have been an officer of State Government or an officer of All India Services, not below the rank of Additional Commissioner of Value Added Tax or State goods and services tax or such rank not lower than First Appellate Authority to be notified by concerned State Government, on the recommendations for GST Council and has completed 25 years in Group A service
  • President, Judicial Member, Technical Member (Centre) & Technical Member (State) shall be appointed or re-appointed by the Central Government on the recommendations of a Search-cum-Selection Committee.

Search-cum-Selection Committee for all members apart from Technical Member (State)

  • Chief Justice of India or a Judge of Supreme Court nominated by him, to be Chairperson of Search-cum-Selection Committee. 
  • Secretary of Department of Revenue in Ministry of Finance of Central Government, to be Member Secretary of Search-cum-Selection Committee. (Does not have right to vote)
  • Secretary of Central Government nominated by Cabinet Secretary.
  • Chief Secretary of a State to be nominated by GST Council.
  • One member, who
    • For appointment of a President of a Tribunal, this member will be the outgoing President of the GSTAT.  
    • For appointment of a member of a Tribunal, this member will be the sitting President of Tribunal. 
    • For considering reappointment of President of GSTAT or when outgoing President is not available or when removal of incumbent President is being considered, this member will a retired judge of Supreme Court or a retired Chief Justice of a High Court to be nominated by CJI.
  • Search-cum-Selection Committee shall recommend a panel of two names for appointment or re-appointment to the post of President or a Member. 

Search-cum-Selection Committee for Technical Member (State)

  • While making selection for Technical Member (State) of a State Bench, first preference to be given to officers who have worked in the State Government of the State to which jurisdiction of the Bench extends.
  • Search-cum-Selection for Technical Member (State) of a State Bench consists of the following members:
  • Chairperson: Chief Justice of High Court in whose jurisdiction the State Bench is located.
  • Senior-most Judicial Member in the State and where no Judicial Member is available, a retired Judge of High Court in whose 
  • Chief Secretary of the State in which State Bench is located.
  • One Additional Chief Secretary or Principal Secretary or Secretary of the State in which the State Bench is located 

Conditions of Service of members of GSTAT

  • Tenure of service for members: All the members of GSTAT including the President will hold office for a term of four years from the date on which they enter office. The President can stay in office until he reaches 67 years of age and shall be eligible for re-appointment for a period not exceeding two years. Other members can stay in office until they reach 65 years of age and shall be eligible for re-appointment for a period not exceeding two years.
  • Resignation of Members: President or any member resign from his office by notice addressed to Central Government. 
  • Removal of Members: Government may on the recommendations of Search-cum-Selection Committee remove from office a member including President, who:
    • Has been adjudged an insolvent.
    • Has been convicted of an offence which involves moral turpitude
    • Has become physically or mentally incapable of acting as President or Member.
    • Has acquired such financial or other interest
    • Has abused his position to render his continuance in office prejudicial to public interest.
  • Suspension of Members: Central government may suspend from office the President and other members on the recommendations of Search-cum-Selection Committee against whom proceedings for removal have been initiated.
  • Transfer of Members: Central Government may in consultation with the President for administrative efficiency transfer Members from one Bench to another Bench. However, a Technical Member (State) of a State Bench may be transferred to a State Bench only of the same State in which he was originally appointed, in consultation with State Government. 
  • President or other Members, on ceasing to hold their office, shall not be eligible to appear, act or plead before the Principal Bench or State Bench
  • Salary of President & Members of GSTAT: 
  • Salary of the President and Members of GSTAT shall be such as may be prescribed and their allowances and other terms and condition of service shall be same as applicable to Central Government officers carrying same pay. 
  • Salary and allowances and other terms of service will not be varied to their disadvantage after their appointment. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 20 MB. You can upload: image, document, archive, other. Drop files here

Online Counselling
Table of Contents
Today's Current Affairs
This is default text for notification bar