Sec 162 – Bar on jurisdiction of civil courts

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Sec 162 – Bar on jurisdiction of civil courts 2017-04-14T02:13:20+00:00

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  • Miloni ShahMiloni Shah
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    #922 |

    Save as provided in sections 117 and 118, no civil court shall have jurisdiction to deal with or decide any question arising from or relating to anything done or purported to be done under this Act.

    Priya MadrechaPriya Madrecha
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    162.1  Introduction
    With the advent of administrative law whereby the departmental machinery has been created to deal with disputes, civil court jurisdiction is restricted. Presently whenever a new tax liability is created machinery provisions to deal with disputes is also in-built. Otherwise, civil court has a jurisdiction to deal with all disputes of civil nature. Under Sections 116 and 117, appeal to High Court and Special leave to the Supreme Court are provided. These are the only instances when this bar to approach Court is not applicable, as it is a statutory appeal and only questions of law could be raised. 162.2  Analysis
    The basic principle is that every dispute of civil nature can be tried by the civil court. Tax being civil liability its levy, imposition and collection can be challenged before the Civil Court.
    Over a period of time, tribunals were created for trying disputes arising under each legislation without the rigours of Civil Procedure Code to be followed, where non-judicial members preside and persons representing are well versed in the specific domain though not always Advocates. Thus, the civil court jurisdiction has been barred. The principle is that if a statute creates a new liability or obligation and provides for machinery, then this impliedly bars civil court’s jurisdiction. Under GST law, it is expressly barred.
    The clause “any question arising from or relating to anything done or purported to be done under the Act;” makes a strict rule barring even those which are purportedly done under Act. Except to sit in judgement about the vires of the law itself, the appellate machinery created by the law can go into any question of fact or law. However, the clause does not bar the Constitutional powers of High Court under Art.226 & 227 or Supreme Court under Article. 32,136 etc.
    Section 116 relates to appeal on substantial question of law to High Court and Section 117 a leave to appeal therefrom to Supreme Court. 162.3 Comparative Review
    All existing indirect tax laws bar exercise of jurisdiction by Civil Courts as the tax laws provide for an alternative and effective mechanism to deal with tax disputes.  162.4 FAQs
    Q1. Why a civil suit cannot be filed against an order passed under the Act?
    Ans.  Remedies of different nature are provided under the Act. Further, there are constitutional remedies also. Therefore, the Act bars filing of civil suits against any order passed under the Act.

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