Centre plans to appoint advocates as judicial members in GSTAT benches


During the winter session of Parliament, the government intends to amend the CGST Act to permit advocates with prior litigation experience to be appointed as judicial members in the benches of the GST appellate tribunal.

The maximum age of the GST Appellate Tribunal’s president and members will rise as a result of the revisions, according to officials from the finance ministry (GSTAT). By doing this, the GSTAT would become comparable to other tribunals.

The GSTAT president will have a maximum age cap of 70 years, while the limit for members will be 67 years.

This is a change from the earlier age limit of 67 and 65 years, respectively, for the president and members of GSTAT.

Read also: GST Appellate Tribunal: Govt issued notification to set up 31 State Benches

Additionally, the officials stated that a candidate for appointment as a judicial member must have served as an advocate for ten years and have significant experience litigating cases under indirect tax laws in the State VAT Tribunals, Central Excise and Service Tax Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal, or Supreme Court, under whatever name it may be known.

Setting up state-level benches of the GSTAT would help businesses by way of faster dispute resolution.

Currently, taxpayers who are unhappy with the decision made by the GST authorities must file a lawsuit in their local high courts.

Due to the high courts’ already heavy caseload and lack of a dedicated bench to handle GST cases, the resolution process takes longer.

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