Over 450 Tax Cases Withdrawn
New Delhi: In a significant step towards reducing litigation over indirect tax, the government has withdrawn more than 450 cases in high courts and the appellate tribunal.
Based on a new criteria laid down by the government, field officials of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) filed applications for withdrawal of 980 cases in high courts and 2,174 in the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT).
High courts have allowed the withdrawal in 250 cases, while the CESTAT has accepted 202, the finance ministry said. Chief commissioners or principal commissioners were directed to identify the cases that could be withdrawn based on the new rules and higher threshold framed by the government to cut litigation. Officials identified 2,051 and 5,261 cases fit for withdrawal from high court and CESTAT, respectively. The government has raised the raised the limit below which appeals are not to be filed by the department in CESTAT and high courts to .₹ 10 lakh and .₹ 15 lakh, respectively.
It was also decided that government would withdraw all cases in HCs and CESTAT where there was a precedent Supreme Court decision and against which no review was contemplated by the department.
In another measure, the government made pre-showcause consultation mandatory in all the cases where duty involved is above .₹ 50 lakh.
“The measures on litigation management are welcome and in line with the recommendation of TARC (Tax Administration Reform Commission),” said Bipin Sapra, tax partner at EY India.
The Tax officials have filed applications to withdraw 980 cases in high courts and 2,174 in CESTAT