GST tribunal proposed at Allahabad, regional benches in 19 districts

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The state government on Friday filed an affidavit before Allahabad High Court, stating that a revised proposal has been sent to the Central government for setting up of GST Appellate Tribunal at Allahabad and its regional benches in 19 other districts of the state. While taking the affidavit on record, a division bench comprising Justice Bharati Sapru and Justice Piyush Agrawal directed to list this matter after two weeks for the next hearing.

Earlier on February 28, the court while taking a serious note of the absence of a concrete proposal before the state government and GST Council for setting up of GST Appellate Tribunal in the state, had directed the Centre as well as the state government to file better affidavits, providing a cut-off date by which they propose to set up the said tribunal. In the same order,the court had permitted the state government counsel to send a revised proposal in the meantime.

In the same order of February 28, regarding the first affidavit filed by the state government stating that a recommendation had been made by it to set up a bench of the tribunal at Lucknow, the court had said that it was also not in accordance with the order passed by the Supreme Court in the case of Madras Bar Association Vs. Union of India and another reported in (2014) 10 SCC 1, which provides that the tribunal will be set up at the place where the principal bench of the High Court is situated.

In the present case, the principal bench of the high court is in Allahabad. Thus, this seems to be another dilatory tactics, the court had observed in its order dated February 28. The court was hearing a writ petition filed by M/s Torque Pharmaceuticals Private Limited. During the earlier hearing, the court had on February 13 directed the Centre as well as the UP government to tell as to what steps have been taken to set up Goods and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal in the state. According to Section 109 of GST Act, the Central government on the recommendation of the state government will constitute an appellate tribunal, known as GST Appellate Tribunal, for hearing appeals against the orders passed by the appellate authority or revisional authority. 

Counsel for the petitioner had contended that despite clear-cut provision for setting up of appellate tribunal, no GST Tribunal had been set up in the state so far. As a result, the assessees of GST are facing problems in the state. The GST came into effect on July 1, 2017, through the implementation of 101st amendment of the Constitution. The tax replaced existing multiple flowing taxes levied by the Central and state governments.

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