Sec 5 – Powers of officers

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Sec 5 – Powers of officers 2017-04-14T11:34:23+00:00
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  • Ashish BadalaCA Ashish Badala
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    #1415 |

    (1) Subject to such conditions and limitations as the Board may impose, an officer of central tax may exercise the powers and discharge the duties conferred or imposed on him under this Act.
    (2) An officer of central tax may exercise the powers and discharge the duties conferred or imposed under this Act on any other officer of central tax who is subordinate to him.
    (3) The Commissioner may, subject to such conditions and limitations as may be specified in this behalf by him, delegate his powers to any other officer who is subordinate to him.
    (4) Notwithstanding anything contained in this section, an Appellate Authority shall not exercise the powers and discharge the duties conferred or imposed on any other officer of central tax.

    Priya MadrechaPriya Madrecha
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    5.1    Introduction
    Delgatus potest non delegare – the delegate must exercise the power conferred and not sub-

    delegate. While this is true on the principle of construction of statutes, the very law that creates the power also empowers creation of exception to this principle.
    5.2    Analysis
    An officer duly appointed under this act needs to be supplied with guidance as regards the manner of exercise of his authority including the boundaries for the same. The more is required to prescribe conditions and limitations for the exercise of powers conferred on officers of central tax during discharging their duties under this act.
    Apart from the boundaries laid down, very interestingly power of sub-delegation is conferred on officers of Central Tax. Please note in the event of sub-delegation, the duty to provide superintendence is implicit. While sub-delegation appears to subvert the course of administrative power, in the wisdom of the lawmaker the liberty to sub-delegate can at least be enabled in such a historical and hard-to-amend legislation. It would be interesting to see how this power would be exercised without causing too much dilution and subversion. All the administrative flexibility is Provided or at least enabled have been wisely limited to executive officers and not to appellate authorities.

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