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Summer vacations of all tax tribunals cancelled to clear pile-up of cases amid lockdown

NEW DELHI: There will no summer vacation in tax tribunals to make up for the loss of working hours due to the ongoing lockdown.

“Consequent to lockdown declared by the Government of India, there has been no sitting of the Benches at the Principal Bench and in all Regional Benches of the Tribunal from 16 March 2020,” a circular by the Customs Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) said.

“The Hon’ble President has, therefore, decided that there will be no summer vacation for the year 2020. Accordingly, the summer vacation declared for all the Benches stand cancelled,” a copy of the order reads.

Sources said a similar order has been issued for the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal. The offices were closed since March 16.

Sources in the revenue department said that there are already a number of pending cases in these courts and no fresh appeals are being filed during the lockdown period. The summer vacation would further hamper the clearing of cases.

The Madras High Court on Saturday decided to postpone its summer vacation falling between May 1-31 to ensure full and effective functioning of the courts in view of the COVID-19 lockdown. It further informed that both the principal bench in Madras and its Madurai bench will continue to function regularly during May 1 to May 31. It also declared that summer vacation of all subordinate courts stands cancelled.

Similar orders are being issued separately by other high courts and subordinate courts. Even the National Green Tribunal has decided to cancel its summer vacations, scheduled for the month of June.

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