The Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) will commemorate 40 years of glorious and successful journey here tomorrow. Hon’ble Mr. Justice Dinesh Maheshwari, Judge, Supreme Court of India, will be the Chief Guest of the Inaugural Session and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Satish Chandra Sharma, Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, would be the Guest of Honour. Justice Yashwant Varma, Judge, Delhi High Court; Shri Sanjay Malhotra, Secretary, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance; and, Shri Vivek Johri, Chairman, Central Board for Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) will also join the inaugural commemoration function. A souvenir would also be released to mark the 40 glorious years of CESTAT.
Justice Dilip Gupta, President, CESTAT, will lead the commemoration with participation from Members of Delhi Principal Bench, besides 7 other Regional Benches of CESTAT and senior officials of the Tribunal. The programme will be attended by all the members of the Tribunal, the Bar members across the country, and the representatives of the department. In attendance would also be the Judges of the High Court, Members of the CBIC, as also the Principal Commissioners, Chief Commissioners and the Commissioners of the department.
The inaugural session would be followed by two working sessions. The First Session will see discussion on the ‘Use of Technology in Tribunals for Speedy Delivery of Justice’ and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva, Judge, Delhi High Court would preside over this session. The Second Session will be on ‘Experiments of Tribunals – Triumphs and Tribulations’ and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Pankaj Mithal, Judge, Supreme Court of India, would preside over this session.
Justice Sunita Agarwal, Judge, Allahabad High Court, would also address the gathering.
It is under article 323 B of the Constitution of India and section 129 of the Customs Act, 1962 that the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal was constituted in the year 1982 on October 11. The Tribunal Reforms Act, 2021 has now been enacted to further amend certain Acts, including the Customs Act, 1962 and in exercise of the powers conferred by section 3 of the aforesaid Act, The Tribunal (Conditions of Service) Rules, 2021 have been framed.
The Principal Bench of the Tribunal is at Delhi. Initially, the Tribunal had 3 Regional Benches at Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. Thereafter, 5 more Regional Benches were constituted. The Bangalore Bench of the Tribunal was constituted on 30.11.2000, the Ahemdabad Bench on 03.03.2006, the Allahabad Bench on 14.08.2015, the Chandigarh Bench on 04.11.2015 and the Hyderabad Bench on 06.11.2015. The sanctioned strength of the Tribunal as on date, apart from the President of the Tribunal, is of 16 Judicial Members and 16 Technical Members.
During the COVID pandemic period, the Tribunal conducted virtual hearings at the Principal Bench as also at the 8 Regional Benches of the Tribunal. Anti-Dumping matters and matters before the Larger Benches of the Tribunal were also decided during this period.
Over the past four years, numerous steps have been taken to bring about an improvement in the working of the Tribunal. All orders passed by the Tribunal, whether in the nature of Final Orders or Interim Orders or Daily Orders, are uploaded on the website of the Tribunal without any delay. This has resulted in not only providing timely information about the proceedings to the parties, but also in avoiding sending individual notices to the parties regarding the next dates fixed by the Tribunal. A dynamic display board is also available in the court rooms and other prominent places in the Tribunal.
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