The minister said that in large number of cases involving same issues, request has been made to the Supreme Court for bunching the cases and for early fixation of the cases on priority.
The pending cases in various forums related to indirect taxes fell by 61% to 1.05 lakh by March 31, 2019 compared with such litigation in June 30, 2017, minister of state for finance Anurag Thakur said in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. However, the direct tax cases under litigation rose by over 13% at the end of FY19 compared to FY17. Under direct taxes, the pending cases at the end of last fiscal year stood at 4.8 lakh compared with 4.3 lakh in FY17. These include cases pending in tribunals, high courts, the Supreme Court and at commissioner (appeal).
The large reduction in indirect tax cases is largely due to introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on July 1, 2017. This meant that fresh litigation initiated in excise and service tax matters came down drastically, especially at the tribunal and commissioner (appeals)-level.
“The increase in pendency at CIT(A) level is not on account of government persisting with litigation as department is not the appellant at the level of CIT(A),” Thakur said in response to a question.
The minister said that in large number of cases involving same issues, request has been made to the Supreme Court for bunching the cases and for early fixation of the cases on priority. He added that field formations have been directed to ensure effective representation before CIT(A) and other fora.
“Disposal of pending appeals before CIT(A) is closely monitored in the Central Action Plan issued by the Board and targets are allotted to achieve the twin objectives of disposal in number and unlock the tax effect of pending appeals,” Thakur said.