Judges of 12 HCs brainstorm with officials on GST | India News

NEW DELHI: Judges from 12 high courts brainstormed with experts from the finance ministry on grey areas in the new goods and services tax (GST) regime and possible litigation related to it at a recent judicial conference at the Bhopal-based National Judicial Academy.

At least 20 HC judges participated in the deliberations where they were briefed by senior officials from the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) on the new tax system.

‘Potential areas of conflict and litigation under GST’ and ‘Comparative analysis of concepts: GST vis-a-vis central excise, service tax and VAT’ were some of the topics discussed at the meeting. Those who participated included judges from the HCs of Allahabad, Hyderabad, Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Madras.

Resource persons included officials from GST intelligence unit and CBEC. Besides finance ministry, CBEC officials gave presentation on difficulties faced by field formations. The National Judicial Academy has been organising such conferences of judicial officers and judges to sensitise them about the new tax regime and prepare them for implementation of the new tax laws.

Interpretation of the new tax laws are important in view of the complex nature of taxation. For instance, the Delhi HC had asked the Centre that if ‘bindi’, ‘sindoor’ and ‘kajal’ were kept out of the ambit of GST, why could sanitary napkins not be exempted.

A bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said sanitary napkins were necessity items and there could not be any explanation for taxing them and exempting other items by bringing them in the category of necessity.

The court also expressed unhappiness over absence of any women in the 31-member GST Council. The court was hearing a petition challenging the levy of 12% GST on sanitary napkins.