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Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal to have six new benches
October, 18th 2013

After six cities, Chandigarh, Allahabad and Hyderabad will also now have CESTAT benches, a move aimed at speedy disposal of cases related to Customs, Excise and Service Tax.

The Union Cabinet today gave its approval for setting up six additional benches of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT), including three at the existing locations in New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai and three new benches in Chandigarh, Allahabad and Hyderabad.

Kolkata, Bangalore and Ahmedabad already have one CESTAT bench each.

With these additions, nine major cities in the country now have the benches of the appellate tribunal of the three revenue departments.

The creation of additional/new benches of CESTAT would amount to a one-time expenditure of Rs 3.45 crore while the recurring expenditure would be Rs 10 crore per annum.

Official sources said after the expansion, disposal of cases will increase and pendency will decrease benefiting the government and tax payers. This would help reduce travel time and expenditure, they added.

The CESTAT benches would need creation of twelve posts of Members of the Tribunal (6 Technical and Judicial Members each) in the Higher Administrative Grade (HAG+) in addition to 98 posts of supporting staff including Deputy and Assistant Registrars.

CESTAT was set up in 1982 to provide an independent and impartial forum to hear the appeal against orders and decisions passed by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise under the Customs Act 1962, Central Excise at 1944 and Gold (Control) Act, 1968.

After coming into operation of the Service Tax vide Chapter V of the Finance Act, 1994, Service Tax Appeals have been included in the jurisdiction of the tribunal.

The tribunal is also empowered to hear the appeals against the orders passed by designated authority with regard to anti-dumping duties under the Customs Tariff Act, 1975.

At present, CESTAT has three benches each in Delhi and Mumbai and one bench each at Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Ahmedabad. The headquarters as well as Principal Bench of the tribunal are in Delhi.

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