42,054 CGST Appeals Await Adjudication, Minister Pankaj Chaudhary Offers Clarity on Judicial and Technical Member Qualifications Nationally [Read Order]

Responding to queries raised in the Lok Sabha, the Union State Minister of Ministry of Finance Pankaj Chaudhary has stated that there are currently 42,054 pending Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) appeals awaiting adjudication from the Financial Year (F.Y.) 2020-21 to F.Y. 2023-24 (as on 31st October 2023). Thus, the number of appeals may be even higher than this number. The query was raised by Dr. Pon Gautham Sigamani, Shri. Jagadambika Pal and Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore before the Lok Sabha.

The question was “Whether the number of pending appeals over Central GST had increased by many times recently; and if so, the details thereof?” The query is an unstarred question to be responded to in a written format. Consequently, the Parliament released the answers on December 4, 2023. The Minister presented information on the count of pending appeals, categorised by the respective financial year, as follows: Sr. No Financial Year Pending Appeals at the end of the year/period (Nos.) 1 2020-21 (As on 31st March 2021) 5499 2 2021-22 (As on 31st March 2022) 9759 3 2022-23 (As on 31st March 2023) 11899 4 2023-24 (As on 31.10.2023) 14897 Qualifications for Members of GSTAT Judicial Member He has been a Judge of the High Court; or has, for a combined period of ten years, been a District Judge or an Additional District Judge;

However, in 52nd GST Council Meeting it was recommended by the council that an advocate for ten years with substantial experience in litigation under indirect tax laws in the Appellate Tribunal, Central Excise and Service Tax Tribunal, State VAT Tribunals, by whatever name called, High Court or Supreme Court to be eligible for the appointment as judicial member. Technical Member At Centre Level The member is or has been a member of the Indian Revenue (Customs and Indirect Taxes) Service, Group A, or of the All India Service with at least three years of experience in the administration of an existing law or goods and services tax in the Central Government, and has completed at least twenty-five years of service in Group A.

At State Level The member is or has been an officer of the State Government or an officer of All India Service, not below the rank of Additional Commissioner of Value Added Tax or the State goods and services tax or such rank, not lower than that of the First Appellate Authority, as may be notified by the concerned State Government, on the recommendations of the Council and has completed twenty-five years of service in Group A, or equivalent, with at least three years of experience in the administration of an existing law or the goods and services tax or in the field of finance and taxation in the State Government:

Provided that the State Government may, on the recommendations of the Council, by notification, relax the requirement of completion of twenty-five years of service in Group A, or equivalent, in respect of officers of such State where no person has completed twenty-five years of service in Group A, or equivalent, but has completed twenty-five years of service in the Government, subject to such conditions, and till such period, as may be specified in the notification.

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