India: In brief – the GST appeal filing clock to Appellate Tribunal starts ticking

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​published on 22 May 2024 | reading time approx. 2 minutes


​Under the GST Regulations, an appeal against the order passed by first appellate authority or revisionary authority can be filed before the GST Appellate Tribunal (“GSTAT”) as per Section 112 of the Central Goods and Services Tax Act, 2017 (“CGST Act, 2017”). Further as per the time limit prescribed under Section 112 of the CGST Act, 2017 the appeal is required to be filed within three months from the date of receipt of such Order.

  

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However, as you are aware, the GSTAT was not functional and hence the CGST (9. Removal of Difficulties) Order, 2019 dated 3 December 2019 had clarified that the period of limitation of the three months period for filing appeal before GSTAT under Section 112 shall be later of the following:
  • ​the date of communication of the order, or 
  • the date on which the President or the State President, as the case may be, of the Appellate Tribunal after its constitution under Section 109, enters office.

Based on recommendation of the GST Council, Section 109 of the CGST Act, 2017 as amended with effect from 1 August 2023, provides that the Principal Bench of GSTAT shall consist of President, a Judicial Member, Technical Member (Centre) and Technical Member (State), and State Benches shall consist of two Judicial Members, Technical Member (Centre) and Technical Member (State).

On 1 May 2024, the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet, vide Notification No. 18/10/2024-EO(SM.II), approved the appointment of Justice (Retd.) Sanjaya Kumar Mishra, former Chief Justice, High Court of Jharkhand, as the President in GSTAT, for a period of four years. Further, on 6 May 2024, the Union Finance Minister administered oath of office to Justice (Retd.) Sanjaya Kumar Mishra, as the first President of GSTAT.

However, it is important to that the appointments of Judicial Members and Technical Members of the Principal Bench of any of the State Bench as per Section 109 of the CGST Act, 2017 are yet to be made.

Now that the President of GSTAT has assumed post and his office after taking the oath, the period of limitation of three months has started ticking for filing of appeal under Section 112 of CGST Act, 2017 read with CGST (9. Removal of Difficulties) Order, 2019, dated 3 December 2019.  

Having said above, it is pertinent to note that though the time period of three months for filing the appeal has started from 6 May 2024, the modalities and infrastructure for filing of appeals to GSTAT are still not operationalized. Therefore, effectively the time limit for filing appeal illusionary and it is expected that further extension of time-period shall be granted after introduction of modalities and infrastructure.

It is also pertinent to note that the time limit of three​​ months will expire on 5 August 2024 as per the present provisions unless further extension is granted. Therefore, the taxpayer shall already start working on the appeal documentation and keep the things ready for filing and file the appeal as soon as modalities and infrastructure is made available within limitation period to avoid any dispute regarding condonation of delay, etc.

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