In a significant move to ease the burden on High Courts and expedite the resolution of GST-related legal disputes, the Central Government has announced the establishment of 31 GST Appellate Tribunal benches across the country.
Immediate Assistance for Taxpayers
Late Thursday evening, the Central Government issued an official notification outlining its plan to create 31 GST Appellate Tribunal benches in 28 states and 8 union territories.
Previously, taxpayers had no choice but to approach the High Courts when they disagreed with GST authority decisions.
This not only overloaded the High Courts with cases but also resulted in significant delays in resolving disputes.
March Amendment Sets the Stage
The groundwork for this development was laid earlier, with necessary amendments made in the Finance Bill to enable the formation of GST Appellate Tribunal benches.
Parliament approved these changes in March, aiming to streamline the resolution of GST-related disputes.
Where Will the Benches Be Located?
The newly established GST Appellate Tribunal benches will be positioned in various states and union territories, including:
Andhra Pradesh: Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada
Chhattisgarh: Raipur and Bilaspur
Gujarat/Dadra and Nagar Haveli/Daman and Diu: Ahmedabad, Surat, and Rajkot
Haryana: Gurugram and Hisar
Himachal Pradesh: Shimla
Jammu and Kashmir/Ladakh: Jammu and Srinagar
Kerala/Lakshadweep: Ernakulam and Trivandrum
Madhya Pradesh: Bhopal
Goa/Maharashtra: Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Nagpur, Aurangabad, and Panaji
Punjab: Chandigarh and Jalandhar
Rajasthan: Jaipur and Jodhpur
Tamil Nadu/Puducherry: Chennai, Madurai, Coimbatore, and Puducherry
Uttar Pradesh: Lucknow, Varanasi, Ghaziabad, Agra, and Prayagraj
Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Sikkim, West Bengal: Kolkata
Arunachal Pradesh/Assam/Manipur/Meghalaya/Mizoram/Nagaland/Tripura: Guwahati, Aizawl (Circuit), Agartala (Circuit), Kohima (Circuit)
A Long-Awaited Solution
This announcement fulfills a longstanding demand from businesses and trade organizations.
They had been advocating for the creation of GST Appellate Tribunal benches for some time because, in the event of a dispute, their only recourse had been the High Court.
This often led to bottlenecks due to a backlog of cases and the absence of specialized GST benches.