The Supreme Court of India suggested the setting up of a pan-India online portal to connect collectors and commissioners with the Customs Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) for monitoring purposes.
“The government should come up with a pan-India online portal, a consolidated platform with all collectors, commissioners across India is linked to the CESTAT…it will show the stage of the proceeding, the order passed, the deadline for filing the appeal, if there is any delay, immediately there will be a red or orange flag and the delay can be plugged. The government can monitor the progress of the collectors, the commissioners, the filings in the CESTAT. If any officer is failing, there is a monitoring mechanism for the central government”, said Justice Chandrachud.
“Supreme Court CIS can also be linked with the government of India portal to retrieve any information,” he added.
The suggestions came in following the Centre’s ceaseless delays in litigating tax and revenue matters. The matter reached the Apex Court following its rejection by the Gujarat High Court.
During the hearing on 15th February 2021, Justice Chandrachud appreciated the efforts of the Central Government “to streamline the filing of appeals in revenue matters” following the submissions of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.
The Bench of Justices D. Y. Chandrachud and M. R. Shah also questioned the measures taken by the Department of Law and Justice in this regard. It also recommended a single consolidated committee to review the works of the Central agency.
SG Mehta expressed his appreciations stating that the recommendations of the Justices can bring transparency. He further said that the current model used for the issues in the finance department “will be replicated in all departments”.
The current case deals with the delays in revenue litigations. It was alleged that there has been almost 400-500 days delay in disposing of the revenue and tax matters.