Customs Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT): Functions & Limitations

From Prelims Sureshots » Government Bodies & Agencies

  • Customs Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) was constituted in 1982 under Customs Act, 1962.
  • CESTAT works under the Ministry of Finance.
  • Functions
    • It is a quasi-judicial body that hears appeals against orders and decisions passed under the Customs Act, 1962 and Central Excise Act, 1944.
    • It also has appellate jurisdiction in Anti Dumping matters. A Special Bench headed by the President of CESTAT, hears appeals against the orders passed by the Designated Authority in the Ministry of Commerce.
  • Limitations: it cannot
    • grant compensation owing to unlawful action of revenue authorities.
    • review its own order as any quasi judicial authority cannot review its own order.
    • exercise powers beyond statute as it is a creation of statute only. It cannot issue writs or grant relief which ought to be granted by high court.
    • comment on legitimacy of statute and has to presume legal validity of the provisions of Act and Rules.
    • punish for its own contempt but has to forward it to high court for its consideration.
    • act as a court as it is a tribunal and cannot be equated to a court. Members of tribunal are not judges and their decisions are orders, not judgments.
    • over rule any high court judgment and are bound by judgments of high courts and Supreme Court.

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