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Inherent powers of Quasi Judicial Authorities and more particularly of Settlement Commission

Central Excise - By: - Pramod Rai - Dated:- 30-3-2015 Last Replied Date:- 13-4-2015 - In tax administration the effective disposal of litigation is outside the regular court system on account of presence of departmental and extra departmental quasi judicial authorities. Though a number of matters are agitated in high courts and supreme court, the stand taken by Appellate Tribunals, Settlement Commission, Authority for Advance Ruling is changed by higher courts in a very few cases. Like any other .....

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r giving directions for effective implementation of their orders. This article examines whether Quasi Judicial Authorities have inherent powers like regular courts In a recent case before Settlement Commission for Customs, Excise and Service Tax, where revenue authorities were acting in derogation to the order passed by commission and assesse approached the commission seeking implementation of order passed by commission, during the hearing the bench posed the question whether in absence of expre .....

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hough he is not a Judge or a Magistrate (except arbitrators), would be a Court if he is legally authorized to take evidence. All quasi judicial authorities are legally authorized to take evidence and thus they are court under Section 3 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1972. Settlement commission is expressly authorized to take evidence under Chapter V of CEA 1944 and chapter XIVA of Customs Act 1962 and thus is a court. In T.V. Subba Rao v. T. Koteswara Rao 1962 (1) TMI 57 - ANDHRA PRADESH HIGH COURT .....

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is submitted that every court has got inherent powers in addition to powers conferred expressly to ensure ends of justice. Section 151 of the Civil Procedure Code contain the Legislative recognition of the powers of every Civil Court to pass necessary orders to sub serve the ends of justice and to prevent the abuse of process of the Court in cases coming before it. These powers are not expressly conferred on the Court but are inherent in every Civil Court. Since the section itself does not lay d .....

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owers conferred expressly by the statute. Furthermore, being a judicial body, it has all those incidental and ancillary powers which are necessary to make fully effective the express grant of statutory powers. Certain powers are recognised as incidental and ancillary, not because they are inherent in the Tribunal, nor because its jurisdiction is plenary, but because it is the legislative intent that the power which is expressly granted in the assigned field of jurisdiction is efficaciously and m .....

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ation of Statutes, (eleventh edition) where an Act confers a jurisdiction, it impliedly also grants the power of doing all such acts, or employing such means, as are essentially necessary to its execution. In Ram Chand and Sons Sugar Mills Pvt. Ltd. Vs Kanhayalal Bhargav, (A.I.R 1966 SC 1899) the Supreme Court in this connection, observed that: the inherent power of the Court is in addition to and complimentary to the powers expressly conferred under the Civil Procedure Code; but that power will .....

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E COURT the Hon ble Supreme Court has said that It is common ground that the inherent power of the court cannot override the express provisions of the law. In other words, if there are specific provisions of the Code dealing with a particular topic and they expressly or by necessary implication exhaust the scope of the powers of the Court or the jurisdiction that may be exercised in relation to a matter the inherent power of the court cannot be invoked in order to cut across the powers conferred .....

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herwise affect the inherent power of the court to make orders necessary for the ends of justice. This inherent power as was observed by this Court had not been conferred on the Court. It was a power inherent in the Court by virtue of its duty to do justice between the parties before it. Sunita Devi Singhania Hospital Trust v. Union of India, 2008 (11) TMI 249 - SUPREME COURT OF INDIA The Hon ble Supreme Court in this case has held that: It is true that the period of limitation specified in terms .....

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ons effectively for the purpose of doing justice between the parties, were required to be complied with. Assistant Collector of Customs, Madras v. Abdul Samathu, 1984 (12) TMI 70 - HIGH COURT OF MADRAS. The Hon ble High Court has held that: It is true that Section 10(3) of the Passports Act, 1967 enumerates the grounds on which and the circumstances under which the Passport authority can impound the Passport issued under the Act, i.e. an Indian Passport but the Act does not deal with the Passpor .....

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ust possess inherent powers apart from the express provisions of the law which are necessary to their existence and the proper discharge of duties imposed upon them by law. Every Court, in the absence of express provision must be deemed to possess, as inherent in its very constitution all such powers as are necessary to do the right and to undo a wrong in the course of administration of justice. The Criminal Court has the power to withhold or impound the passport of any person more so, of a fore .....

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tle the dispute without going into rigors of adjudication process and if revenue authorities try to open an issue conclusively settled by settlement commission, the commission has got inherent power to pass orders seeking effective implementation of its order to meet end of justice. Comparison between powers of CESTAT and Settlement commission During the argument it also come up that CESTAT in a routine manner is exercising inherent powers because inherent powers are specifically provided under .....

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82, dated 25-10-1982 as amended In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (6) of section 129C of the Customs Act, 1962 (52 of 1962), read with sub-section (1) of section 35D of the Central Excises and Salt Act, 1944 (1 of 1944) and sub-section (1) of section 81B of the Gold (Control) Act, 1968 (45 of 1968), the [Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal] hereby makes the following rules, namely :- RULE 41. Orders and directions in certain cases. - The Tribunal may make such ord .....

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hes thereof in all matters arising out of the exercise of its powers or of the discharge of its functions, including the places at which the Benches shall hold their sittings. Thus what is provided by CESTAT in Rule 41 is provided by CESTAT itself because it has got inherent power to do so. Rule 41 is mere expression of power by CESTAT itself which CESTAT is already having and thus rule 41 is nothing but reiteration of Section 151 of CPC. The power similar to Section 35D(1) of CEA 1944/129(6) of .....

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