HC”s Lucknow bench asks govt counsel to take instructions from Centre, UP on GST tribunal

HC”s Lucknow bench asks govt counsel to take instructions from Centre, UP on GST tribunal

Lucknow, Mar 2 (PTI) The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court on Tuesday granted 24 hours to the government counsel to obtain complete instructions from the Centre and Uttar Pradesh government on a plea challenging the March 14, 2020 decision of the GST Council to establish the state GST Appellate Tribunal in Allahabad.

Considering the urgency in the matter, a bench of justices Rituraj Awasthi and justice Mathur fixed March 4 for the next hearing.

The order directing Additional Solicitor General Shashi Prakash Singh and standing counsel Q H Rizvi to take instructions from the central and state governments on the issue came on a PIL filed by Awadh Bar Association (ABA) on Tuesday.

Appearing for the ABA, senior advocates L P Mishra, J N Mathur and ABA president HGS Parihar argued that the GST Council had on February 21, 2019, decided that the GST Tribunal would be established in the state capital.

“But subsequently, the Council changed its decision without rhyme or reason to establish the tribunal at Prayagraj (Allahabad) in an arbitrary and illegal manner,” they claimed.

They contended that Lucknow is very well connected with all the cities and states through airport, railway station, bus station, etc and the litigants would not face any difficulty in pursuing their case.

“At the most, an area bench can be established at Prayagraj to cater the need of the litigants around Prayagraj,” they said.

It was submitted that the High Court had already on May 31, 2019, held that there was no judicial precedent that the tribunals, specifically a GST tribunal, should only be established at the principal seat of the High Court at Allahabad.

The constitution and establishment of a tribunal lies in the exclusive domain of the executive, the lawyers said

“In fact, in August 2018, the state government recommended to the GST Council to establish a State Bench of GST Tribunal at Lucknow and Area Benches at Prayagraj and 19 other cities. Thereafter several conflicting orders were passed by Allahabad High Court and Lucknow bench,” they said.

The petitioner alleged that due to the repeated requirement of personal appearance by officials of the GST Council before the Allahabad High Court, the Council “under pressure” changed its earlier recommendation of establishing the state bench at Lucknow.

Meanwhile, Awadh Bar Association has decided to abstain from judicial work in the High Court on Wednesday as well.

It has been boycotting judicial work since February 24 over its demand to extend territorial jurisdiction and the establishment of different tribunals in state capital Lucknow. PTI COR SAB RT

Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Bollyinsidestaff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI

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