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GST Appeal Tribunal

GST Appeal Tribunal

GST Appeal Tribunal & Appellate Authorities

If you feel aggrieved of any orders passed under the GST Act, you are allowed to make an appeal. In this article, we look at various appellate authorities for GST appeals.

Appellate Authority

An Appellate Authority must be the first source of appeal for the aggrieved applicant. The concerned person must file an appeal within a period of three months from the direction of order. The Appellate authority, also referred to as AA, may condone a delay for up to a month, if the cause for the delay is reasonable. The AA deemed to follow the principle of natural justice by listening to the applicant, allowing reasonable adjournments(It can go up to 3), and permitting additional grounds, if found reasonable. The Appellate Authority shall grant a period of one year from the date of Appeal to decide on its stand. The Appellate Authority may decide to confirm, modify or annul the decision.

While reviewing the application, if the AA notices any confiscation of goods, he may impose a fine or a penalty, after giving the applicant some reasonable time to show cause. Similarly, if the AA discovers any act such as evasion of tax, input tax credit wrongly availed or utilized, or in case of a mistake made by the applicant with regards to the same, the applicant can apply to make necessary payments, if the Authority provides sufficient time to show cause for the applicant.

The Tribunal

If the aggrieved is not satisfied with the orders-in-appeal passed by the Appellate Authority, or order in revision passed by the revisional authority, an appeal can be filed to the Tribunal.

The law envisages the constitution of a two-tier Tribunal i.e. National Bench/Regional Benches and the State Bench/Area Benches. If place of supply is one of the issues in dispute, the national bench/regional bench will have the jurisdiction to hear the appeal. If the place of supply is excluded from the issues of dispute, the State Bench/Area Bench will have the jurisdiction to hear the appeal.

Appeals to the tribunal must be filed within a period of 3 months of the communication of order under appeal, be it an Appellate or revisionary authority. The tribunal can condone a delay of 3 months, if the cause of the delay is found reasonable.

On the other hand, the applicant may also file for cross-objections, which is a provision to include any part of the order, which the applicant failed to include in the previous appeal. The Tribunal has the discretion of not admitting any appeal involving an
amount of Rs. -/50,000 or less.

The Tribunal may decide to confirm, modify, or annul the orders made by any previous authority. He may also refer the case back to the AA or Revisional Authority with certain directions, coupled with evidence, if necessary. The tribunal can grant 3 adjournments to either side.

Click here to read on Appeal Against Advance Ruling in GST

Reviews by Commissioner

If the entire department is not happy with any decision or order enforced by the initial adjudicating authority or the appellate authority, the department can file a review application. The revisional authority, the commissioner, in this case, shall receive the Appeals as applied by the applicant of such manner. He may act as a revisional authority, appellate authority or adjudicating authority.

If the revisional authority finds any decision of the previous authorities to be improper or illegal, he may direct any of his subordinate officers to apply to the competent authority, who has not earlier participated in the review. For example, if the Appellant Authority passed the previous, the Adjudicating Authority shall file the appeal and vice versa.

If the commissioner feels that any decision passed by any of his subordinate officers seems inappropriate, or illegal, the commissioner can right to stay the decision, or modify the decision or order, after hearing from the concerned members.

High Court

Not every appeal moves to the High Court. The High courts admit appeals if, and only if, it finds the substantial question of law in the case. The Law provides that if either side (the party or the department) aggrieves by orders passed by the State Bench or Area Bench of the Tribunal, may file a case to the High Court. The Tribunal, except on cases the High court may interfere, is the final authority to file an appeal.

The applicant must file the Appeals to the High Court within 180 days, however, the High Court may pardon certain delays under reasonable causes.

The High Court will concentrate on the particular question of law but may extend its role, if necessary. The High Court will then issue an order or a directive based on the same.

Supreme Court

One may file an appeal to the Supreme Court against decisions made in the High Court if the High Court certifies the case to be fit to be dealt with by the Supreme Court. On the other hand, the Supreme Court can file an appeal directly, against any orders issued by the National/Regional bench of the tribunal.

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