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Report No. 162

Certain General Observations

It may be mentioned that both in the first questionnaire and the revised questionnaire as well as in the suggestions received pursuant to these questionnaires, one of the major issues debated was the establishment of a National Tax Court (for direct taxes) and a National Court of Indirect Taxes (for the purposes of Central Excise and Salt Act and Customs Act) while excluding the jurisdiction of the High Court altogether in these matters.

This idea is no longer relevant first for the reason that both under the Central Excise Act and the Customs Act, a direct appeal to the Supreme Court is provided for in important matters viz., classification and valuation and secondly because of the decision of the Supreme Court in L. Chandra Kumar.

According to this decision, whose essential features have already been detailed hereinabove, while such Tribunals can be created, the judicial review of the High Courts under Articles 226 and 227 and of the Supreme Court under Article 32 cannot be excluded, which means that the orders of such National Courts would still be subject to judicial review by various High Courts in the country, unless a direct appeal is provided to the Supreme Court against the orders of such National Tax Court/National Court of Indirect Taxes, which course would militate against the very raison d'etre of the idea.

And if no such appeal is provided, someone may legitimately say that the remedy of judicial review even against such National Tribunals cannot be excluded. For the above reasons, the said idea has not been pursued in this Report so far as these tribunals are concerned.

Review of functioning of Central Administrative Tribunal - Customs, Excise and Gold (Control) Appellate Tribunal and Income-Tax Appellate Tribunal Back

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