Sec 168 – Power to issue instructions or directions

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Sec 168 – Power to issue instructions or directions 2017-04-14T02:09:19+00:00

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  • Miloni ShahMiloni Shah
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    #965 |

    (1) The Board may, if it considers it necessary or expedient so to do for the purpose of uniformity in the implementation of this Act, issue such orders, instructions or directions to the central tax officers as it may deem fit, and thereupon all such officers and all other persons employed in the implementation of this Act shall observe and follow such orders, instructions or directions.
    (2) The Commissioner specified in clause (91) of section 2, sub-section (3) of section 5, clause (b) of sub-section (9) of section 25, sub-sections (3) and (4) of section 35, sub-section (1) of section 37, sub-section (2) of section 38, sub-section (6) of section 39, sub-section (5) of section 66, sub-section (1) of section 143, sub-section (1) of section 151, clause (l) of sub-section (3) of section 158 and section 167 shall mean a Commissioner or Joint Secretary posted in the Board and such Commissioner or Joint Secretary shall exercise the powers specified in the said sections with the approval of the Board.

    Priya MadrechaPriya Madrecha
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    168.1  Introduction
    This Section empowers the Competent Authority to issue orders, instruction or directions to the lower authorities to bring in uniformity in the implementation of the Act. 168.2  Analysis
    There are three aspects to the provision, namely:
         authority issuing the instruction
         persons whom it binds, and
         its efficacy
    It is the Competent Authority who is empowered to issue the orders, instruction or directions. The purpose is to bring in uniformity in the implementation of the Act; and it is binding on all GST officers.
    Thus, any circular which is general or administrative in nature is binding on the assessing officer and other officers at basic level. Once the circular is cited they cannot ignore it and decide the matter independently. The circular or instruction is not binding on the assessee. As regards contrary views regarding binding force of a Circular which is against the legal provisions on the assessee or the Authorities is not expressly addressed in this Section. However, officers are not liable for passing orders contrary to law involving interpretation by higher judiciary if it can be shown that such orders are in conformity with orders, instruction or directions issued under this Section.
    Sub-section (2) designates the Commissioner or Joint Secretary posted in the Board for exercising certain powers conferred under specific provisions. Such powers would be exercised with the approval of the Board.

    168.3 Comparative review
    Central Excise, Customs, majority of the State VAT enactments and Income Tax contain similar provisions.
    168.4 Related provisions
    Statute      Section / Rule / Form      Description
    Central
    Excise
    Act, 1984     Section37B.
    Instructions to Central Excise
    Officers. –     The Central Board of Excise and Customs constituted under the Central Boards of Revenue Act, 1963 (54 of 1963), may, if it considers it necessary or expedient so to do for the purpose of uniformity in the classification of excisable goods or with respect to levy of duties of
    excise on such goods, issue such orders, instructions and directions to the Central Excise Officers as it may deem fit, and such officers and all other persons employed in the execution of this Act shall observe and follow such orders, instructions and directions of the said Board :
    Provided that no such orders, instructions or directions shall be issued)
    so as to require any Central Excise Officer to make a particular assessment or to dispose of a particular case in a particular manner; or
    b) so as to interfere with the discretion of the Commissioner of Central Excise (Appeals) in the exercise of his appellate functions.
    168.5 MCQs
    1.      The Competent Authority can issue instruction to the field formation to bring in
    uniformity to all officers
    (a)    True
    (b)    False

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