In an attempt to pull up the indirect tax department for its laxity in dealing with litigation, the finance ministry has told all chief commissioners and commissioners to closely follow the cases so as to free the revenue locked up in disputes.
An official told The Indian Express that revenue secretary Rajiv Takru has written a letter to all chief commissioners of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) asking them to follow up all cases in court with the standing counsels and “introduce a proper system of monitoring and handling the litigation at the field level to prevent delays in responding to the directions of the courts.”
The direction comes after scathing observation of the Principal Bench of CESTAT, New Delhi, in December last year.
The Bench had observed that it was high time the revenue department reduced its litigation without burdening the Tribunals. It had said that the situation exhibited laxity of the commissioners in pursing the litigation before High Courts.
In several cases, where High Courts ordered pre-deposit, the department did not follow up the compliance, thereby causing loss to the exchequer.