Legal Affairs Recruitment  2022 | Check Here, How to Apply & Other Details

Legal Affairs Recruitment  2022: Online Applications are invited from eligible candidates for the following posts in the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT).

Legal Affairs Recruitment  2022

  • Last Date: 10 & 17.10.2022
  • Total Post: 44
Post NameVacancies
Vice-President04
Member (Judicial)18
Member (Accountant)22

Qualification & Other Terms

  • As per Tribunal ( Conditions of Service) rules 2021
Apply OnlineClick Here
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F&Q

  • Q.What Steps should be followed by New Users?

    Ans: New Users should REGISTER themselves with Unique E-mail ID and Mobile & LOGIN with the registered E-mail ID.

  • Q.Who has to fill the Form for Vice President, Judicial Member or Accountant Member?

    Ans: Fill the Form as per your Eligibility mentioned in Tribunal Rules 2021 and Act 2021

  • Q.What Documents have to be uploaded?

    Ans: Upload all the Documents mentioned in the Form in required Format and Size.

About The Department

1. FUNCTIONS AND ORGANISATIONAL SET UP

1.1 The Department has been allocated the following items as per the Government of India {Allocation of Business} Rules, 1961:-
1. Advice to Ministries on legal matters including interpretation of the Constitution and the laws, conveyancing and engagement of counsel to appear on behalf of the Union of India in the High Courts and subordinate courts where the Union of India is a party.
2. Attorney General of India, Solicitor General of India, and other Central Government law officers of the States whose services are shared by the Ministries of the Government of India.
3. Conduct of cases in the Supreme Court and the High Courts on behalf of the Central Government and on behalf of the Governments of States participating in the Central Agency Scheme.
4. Reciprocal arrangements with foreign countries for the service of summons in civil suits for the execution of decrees of Civil Courts, for the enforcement of maintenance orders, and for the administration of the estates of foreigners dying in India intestate.
5. Authorization of officers to execute contracts and assurances of property on behalf of the President under Article 299(1) of the Constitution, and authorization of officers to sign and verify plaints or written statements in suits by or against the Central Government.
6. Indian Legal Service.
7. Treaties and agreements with foreign countries in matters of civil law.
8. Law Commission.
9. Legal Profession including the Advocates Act, 1961 (25 of 1961) and persons entitled to practice before High Courts.
10. Enlargement of the jurisdiction of Supreme Court and the conferring thereon of further powers; persons entitled to practice before the Supreme Court, references to the Supreme Court under Article 143 of the Constitution of India.
11. Administration of the Notaries Act, 1952 (53 of 1952)
12. Income-tax Appellate Tribunal.

The Department has also been allocated administration of the following Acts:-
(a) The Advocates Act, 1961
(b) The Notaries Act, 1952
(c) The Advocates’ Welfare Fund Act, 2001

In addition, the Commercial Courts Act, 2015 and the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Act, 2019 is also being administered by the Department.

1.2 The Department is also administratively in-charge of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal and the Law Commission of India. The Department is also administratively concerned with all the matters relating to the Indian Legal Service. It is further connected with the appointment of Law Officers namely the Attorney General of India, the Solicitor General of India and the Additional Solicitor Generals of India. With a view to promote studies and research in law and for improvement in legal profession, this Department sanctions grant-in-aid to certain institutions engaged in these fields like Indian Law Institute.

2. ORGANISATIONAL SET-UP

The Department of Legal Affairs has a two tier set up, namely, the Main Secretariat at New Delhi and the Branch Secretariats at Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bengaluru. The nature of duties discharged can be broadly classified into two areas- Advice work and Litigation work.

MAIN SECRETARIAT:

i. The set up at the Main Secretariat includes Law Secretary, Additional Secretaries, Joint Secretary and Legal Advisers and other Legal Advisers at various levels. The work relating to tendering of legal advice and conveyancing has been distributed amongst groups of officers. Each group is normally headed by an Additional Secretary or a Joint Secretary & Legal Adviser, who, in turn, is assisted by a number of other Legal Advisers at different levels.
ii. The litigation work in the Supreme Court on behalf of all the Ministries/Departments of the Government of India and some administrations of the Union Territories is handled by the Central Agency Section presently headed by an officer of the rank of Additional Secretary who is assisted by Officers of Government Advocates cadre of the ILS and other supporting staff.
iii. The litigation work in the High Court of Delhi and CAT (Principal Bench) on behalf of all the Ministries/Departments of the Government of India is processed by the Litigation (High Court) Section presently headed by a Deputy Legal Adviser.
iv. The litigation work in the Subordinate Courts in Delhi is handled by the Litigation (Lower Court) Section presently headed by an Assistant Legal Adviser.
v. The Department has a special cell, namely, Implementation Cell for dealing with the implementation of the recommendations of the Law Commission and the administration of the Advocates Act, 1961 and the Advocates Welfare Fund Act, 2015. It also deals with the legal profession.
vi. There is one post of Joint Secretary & Legal Adviser each in Railway Board and Department of Telecommunications respectively. However, presently the work relating to these two organisations is being handled at Additional Secretary level. Apart from these the Officers of the Indian Legal Service are also posted in the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, SFIO, NTRO and CBI.

CREATION OF ILS:

With the development of the society the legal profession underwent a metamorphosis and several attempts have been made for proper dispensation of justice and to cater the legal needs of the society. One such attempt made in 1956 to cater to the needs of the Government qualitatively is creation of Central Legal Service (the forerunner of the present Indian Legal Service). The Government of India in the Ministry of Law and Justice established Indian Legal Service under the Indian Legal Service Rules, 1957, which came into force on the 1st October 1957. Since inception the officers of the Indian Legal Service have been rendering dedicated service to the nation by giving legal advice in important matters to various Ministries/Departments of the Government of India and drafting bills and ordinances which are introduced in Parliament. This service has given Governors to States, Secretary General to the Houses of Parliament, Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners, Judges to High Courts and Judicial Members to various Tribunals like CAT, ITAT, DRT etc. and Information Commissioner.

ROLE OF ILS:

The officers of the Indian Legal Service (ILS) manning the Department of Legal Affairs and Legislative Department being the principal legal organ of the Government of India have risen to the challenges and performed at optimum levels. The digital revolution has changed the dynamics of information sharing and the economy has created new areas of wealth creation. This necessitates the ILS officers to update the legal skill and acumen to cater to emerging legal needs. They being the Principal Legal Advisers to the Government have responded effectively and speedily to the demands made upon them by the various organs of the Government and play a pivotal role in both advisory as well as in drafting work.

2.1 ADVICE ‘A’ SECTION

During the period from 01.01.2021 to 31.12.2021 Advice ‘A’ Section has received 3592 references from various Ministries/ Departments of the Government of India for vetting of Documents and Legal opinions/Advices on various issues (including references for advice received from the office of Law Secretary, Addl. Secretaries and Joint Secretaries) which were duly attended and the opinion tendered by the officers of this Department were forwarded to the respective Ministries/ Departments, for needful action. In addition, the officers of this Department also participated in various National/ International Meetings and Conferences.
2. Apart from tendering legal advice, this section has also dealt with references and other communications received by the Hon’ble Minister and Officers of this Department.
3. 49 matters relating to RTI Application pertaining to the Advice A& B Sections were also dealt with.
4. 105 references relating to conveyancing including a number of international agreements were also dealt with.
5. During the aforesaid period, 90 Cabinet Notes and 61 references relating to State Bills and Ordinances were received for Examination.
6. Further, 12 (Twelve) Public Grievances were also dealt with by the Section.

2.2 ADVICE ‘B’ SECTION

Advice ‘B’ Section has received a total of 2802 references during the period from 01.01.2021 to 31.12.2021 from various Ministries/ Departments of the Government of India for vetting of legal Documents and Legal opinions/advice on various issues which were duly attended to by the Section.
2. During the aforesaid period total 87 Cabinet Notes/Legislative Proposals, around 1784 SLPs/Litigation matters were received for examination/advice.
3. In addition to this, the officers of this Department have participated in 179 National/International Meetings and Conferences.
4. This section has also dealt with references and official communications received by the Hon’ble Minister(s) office and officers of this department.
5. Further, 36 Parliament Question/Assurances were also dealt with.

2.3 ADVICE ‘C’ SECTION

During the year 2021, 18 new cases on different subjects were sent for the opinion of the Ld. Attorney General for India, Solicitor General of India and Addl. Solicitor General of India. Out of which 10 opinions were received and have been forwarded to the respective Ministries/Departments of the Govt. of India after the approval of the Law Secretary and Hon’ble MLJ.
The Section has rendered general and secretarial assistance to the Officers in the Department of Legal Affairs and Legislative Department of Ministry of Law and Justice and in location of precedent on different subjects.

2.4 JUDICIAL
1) Conduct of Central Govt. litigation before various courts of law through Law Officers/Panel Counsel during the period from 01.01.2021 to 29.12.2021:

a) Ld. Attorney General for India has been re-appointed for a further period of one year.
b) 07 new Asst. SGIs have been engaged afresh in various High Courts / Benches of High Courts across the country.
c) Following number of Advocates empanelled or their terms as panel counsel have been extended for the various courts / tribunals at the concerned states/UTs (figures are shown state/UT-wise):

Sl. No.State/UTTotal Number of Advocates empanelled in various categories
1.Himachal Pradesh57
2.Chandigarh72
3.Delhi108
4.Maharashtra26
5.Bihar02
6.Tamilnadu208
7.Kerala141
8.Karnataka168
9.Andhra Pradesh06
10.Telangana01
11.UT of J&K01
12.Odisha75
13.Rajasthan03
TOTAL868

d) Resignations of 10 panel counsel (including one Asst. SGI) have been processed.
e) 06 complaints against Law Officers/Asst. SGI/Panel Counsel have been processed.
f) 10 proposals were received and processed regarding separate panels of advocates for the specific representation of some particular Ministries / Departments / Boards for the approval of this Ministry.
g) Requests / proposals are received from a number of Ministries / Departments of the Government of India for the engagement of Law Officers, panel counsel and of private Advocates to represent them in various courts in the country on normal or special terms & conditions. During the period, about 102 such proposals have been processed.

2) Clarification on various issues viz. terms of engagement of panel counsel, issues related to fee schedule etc.

Various issues are received from time to time regarding the terms & conditions of engagement of panel counsel, their fee schedule etc. During the said period, about 95such clarifications have been issued.

3) Nomination of Arbitration panel counsel in domestic as well International commercial disputes, involving Government/PSE on the one hand and PSE/private party on the other:

Requests are received regarding engagement of Arbitration Panel Counsel to represent various Ministries / Departments in Arbitration cases. During the said period, in response to such requests, Arbitration panel counsel have been engaged in about 90Arbitration cases.

4) Examination and processing of requests arising out of bilateral treaties in respect of service of summons etc. (Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties/reciprocal arrangements) and multilateral treaties (the Hague convention of 1965/1971):

M/o Law & Justice, Department of Legal Affairs is the Central Authority under Hague Convention, 1965 for service abroad of judicial & extra judicial documents in civil and commercial matters. Under this obligation, about 2000 requests have been processed.

2.5 NOTARY

The administration of the Notaries Act, 1952 and the Rules, 1956 framed thereunder comes under the purview of the Notary cell. The Notary Cell deals with examination/scrutiny of the online applications received from different States/Union Territories in the country, processing of these applications and holding of interviews for appointment as notaries. This Cell conducts inquiries into the allegations of professional misconduct on the part of the Notaries. The Notary Cell also deals with RTI applications, First and Second Appeal of RTIs. The Notary Cell also handles court cases filed in various High Courts throughout India.
The Notary Cell also renews certificates of practice of notaries, issued by the Central Government every five years. For sufficient reasons, it also grants extension/change of the area of practice to the notary public, on receipt of an application for the purpose.
So far, approximately, 22454 notaries have been appointed by the Central Government in various parts of the country. About 1203 Notary Certificates have been renewed during the period under consideration.

2.6 IMPLEMENTATION CELL

Administration of Statutes: The Cell is concerned with the administration of the following Acts:-
(i) The Advocates Act, 1961
(ii) The Advocates’ Welfare Fund Act, 2001.
The Bar Council of India is a statutory body established under section 4 of the Advocates Act, 1961 that regulates the legal practice and legal education in India. Its members are elected from amongst the lawyers in India and as such represents the Indian bar. It prescribes standards of professional conduct, etiquettes and exercises disciplinary jurisdiction over the bar. It also sets standards for legal education and grants recognition to universities whose degree in law will serve as a qualification for students to enroll themselves as advocates upon graduation. Rules framed by Bar Council of India under the Advocates Act, 1961 and The Advocates Welfare Fund Act, 2001 are available on the official website of the Bar Council of India i.e. www.barcouncilofindia.org.

The Advocates’ Welfare Fund Act, 2001: Social security in the form of financial assistance to junior lawyers and welfare schemes for indigent or disabled advocates has always been a matter of concern for the legal fraternity. Certain States enacted their own legislation on the subject. The Parliament enacted “Advocates’ Welfare Fund Act, 2001” applicable to the Union Territories and the States which do not have their own enactments enabling them to create “Advocates’ Welfare Fund”. This Act makes it compulsory for every advocate to affix stamps of the requisite value on every Vakalatnama filed in any Court, Tribunal or other Authority. Sums collected by way of sale of “Advocates’ Welfare Fund Stamps”constitute an important source of the Fund. Any practicing Advocate may become member of the Fund on payment of an application fee and annual subscription. The Fund shall vest in and be held and applied by the Trustee Committee established by the appropriate Government. The Fund shall, inter alia, be used for making ex-gratia grant to a member of the fund in case of a serious health problem, payment of a fixed amount on cessation of practice and in case of death of a member, to his nominee or legal heir, medical and educational facilities for the members and their dependents, purchase of books and for common facilities for advocates.

Law Commission Reports: The Implementation Cell is responsible for processing of reports of the Law Commission, laying them before the Parliament and forward reports to the concerned Ministries/Departments for their examination /implementation as well as pursue them for expeditious action. Till 31.12.2021 the Law Commission of India has submitted 277 out of which 277 reports have been laid before both the Houses of the Parliament. All the reports received till 31.12.2021 have also been forwarded to the concerned Ministries/Departments for their examination/implementation or further action at their end. The Implementation Cell, in pursuance of the recommendations of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievance, Law & Justice, since 2005 has been continuously laying Annual statement showing the status of pending Law Commission Reports before both the Houses of the Parliament. The last of such Statement (14th Statement) was laid on the Table of both the Houses of Parliament (in Lok Sabha on 11.12.2019 and Rajya Sabha on 12.12.2019). The Commission also makes its reports available through its website i.e. www.lawcommissionofindia.nic.in.

2.7 RTI CELL

Under the provisions of the Right to Information Act, 2005 the RTI Cell acts as a nodal agency for RTI matters. The RTI Cell receives and thereafter forwards the RTI application to the concerned Central Public Information Officers/Public Authorities. It also coordinates follow-up action on Appeals/orders received from the Central Information Commission. The RTI Cell is also responsible for submission of quarterly return on RTI applications/Appeals to the CIC. The RTI Applications/Appeals received online on RTI Web Portal are also being forwarded online to the concerned CPIO/Public Authority and Appellate Authority.

2. Department of Legal Affairs has presently 12 CPIOs at the level of Under Secretary/Joint Secretary and 5 Appellate Authorities at level of Additional Secretary, Joint Secretary and equivalent Officers. The details of the RTI Applications/Appeals received from 01.01.2021 to 06.12.2021 are as follows:-

S.No.RTI MattersTotal (01.01.2021 to 06.12.2021)Anticipated from (07.12.2021 to 31.03.2022)
1.RTI Requests21601500
2.First Appeals Disposed off174N/A
3.Second Appeals before Hon’ble CIC33N/A

2.8 LIBRARY & RESEARCH SECTION

The Library and Research Section is a specialized research oriented unit which looks after requirement of Legal Books/Journals/Online Legal Services and other research materials of the Ministry of Law & Justice. This section provides reference and legal research services to the Hon’ble MLJ, Law officers and ILS officers of Department of Legal Affairs and Legislative Department.
2. During this period, Library and Research Section acquired 300 numbers of books and 348 numbers of Bare Acts.
3. The Library and Research Section subscribes to 14 Indian law Journals and 2 foreign Law journals.
4. The Library and Research Section has subscribed/renewed to the following Online Services/CD ROM for retrieval of Case Laws, Judgments and Articles etc. for the use of Officers of this Ministry:-
a) AIR Comprehensive Software/Database.
b) SCC online case finder.
c) SCC online (IP) Services.
d) Manupatra Online (IP) Services.

2.9 LITIGATION IN DELHI HIGH COURT

The Litigation (HC) Section handles the Litigation work in Delhi High Court on behalf of all the Ministries/Departments of Govt. of India except for Railways and Income Tax Departments. Officer-in-Charge assisted by ALA/Superintendent (L) and other staff looks after the Litigation work as follows: –
(a) The cases dealt with and contested in Delhi High Court are generally related to: –
Civil and Criminal Writ Petitions under Article 226 & 227 of the Constitution of India, Civil Misc. Applications, Division Bench Appeals, Company Applications, Execution Applications and Criminal Misc.
(b) And the cases dealt with and contested in Courts other than Delhi High Court are generally related to: –
National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission, Industrial Tribunal-cum-Labour Court, NCLT, NCLAT, Un-lawful activities (Prevention Tribunal), Debt Recovery Tribunal, Debt Recovery Appellant Tribunal, Immigration Appellate Committee, Appellate Tribunal for Electricity, Central Information Commission, District Consumer Form, NGT etc.
2. The Litigation work is dealt with by two Sections- Litigation (HC) Section ‘A’ and ‘B’ being supervised by Assistant (Legal)/Superintendent (L). Section ‘A’ deals with the advance notices pertaining to the Writ Petitions, Letters Patent Appeals (LPA), and Miscellaneous Petitions under Article 226 & 227 of the Constitution of India including matters of general natures. Section ‘B’ deals with the Original Revisions etc. and the Writ Petitions filed on behalf of the Union of India in the Hon’ble Delhi High Court. This Section also deals with in matters related to other Courts/Tribunals as mentioned in para 1(b) above.
3. To conduct Central Govt. litigation, there is one Additional Solicitor General of India (ASG), 27 numbers of Central Govt. Standing Counsel (CGSC), panel of 07 Special Counsel, 237 Senior Counsel and 167 Govt. Pleaders (GP). In matters of public importance and also involving complicated questions of Law, one of the Law Officers namely- Attorney General of India/ Solicitor General of India/ Additional Solicitor General of India is engaged. Close liaison is being maintained with the concerned Departments and Counsels to safeguard the Govt. interests in Delhi High Court. The Deputy Legal Adviser and other Officers keep a close watch over the progress of the cases at each stage.
4. Litigation (HC) Section has been allocated budget of Rs.10Crore for the F.Y 2021-22. During the period from 01/04/2021 to 30/11/2021 this Unit has paid the payment of around 8500 professional fee bills amounting to Rs.8 Crore, in respect of ASG & Counsel. Further, fee bills to the tune of Rs.4 Crore are under payment process subject to revision of Budgetary Estimates.
5. During the period from 01/01/2021 to 30/11/2021 Litigation (HC) Section has engaged Law Officers and Govt. Counsel in 5626 cases to conduct the litigation in Delhi High Court. Section wise details of receipt of cases and estimated receipt as follow: –

Litigation High Court Sections

SECTIONCases received from 01/01/2021 to 30/11/2021Estimated receipt of cases from 01/12/2021 to 31/03/2022Total
A516920007169
B457170627
Total562621707796

2.9.1 LITIGATION AFT DELHI

During the period from 01/01/2021 to 30/11/2021, the Litigation AFT Section has engaged Govt. Counsel in 2490 cases to conduct the litigation in AFT Delhi. Details of receipt of cases are as follow: –

SECTIONCases received from 01/01/2021 to 30/11/2021Estimated receipt of cases from 01/12/2021 to 31/03/2022Total
AFT24909503440

2.9.2 LITIGATION IN CAT (Principal Branch)

The Litigation CAT (PB) Delhi Cell looks after the Cases/Litigation work related to the Ministries and Department of UOI. And nominate the Counsel from the approved panel to defend the interest of Ministries/Departments of UOI in CAT (PB), Delhi.
2. During the period from 01/01/2021 to 30/11/2021 Litigation CAT (PB) Cell has engaged Govt. Counsel in 1100 cases to conduct the litigation in CAT (PB). Details of receipt of cases are as follow: –

Litigation in CAT (PB) Delhi

SECTIONCases received from 01/01/2021 to 30/11/2021Estimated receipt of cases from 01/12/2021 to 31/03/2022Total
CAT (PB) Cell11004001500

2.9.3 LITIGATION (LOWER COURT) SECTION, TIS HAZARI

The Litigation work in the various District Courts as well as Consumer Forum/Tribunals in Delhi/New Delhi on behalf of all Ministries/Departments of Government of India except Railways and Income- tax Department is handled by Litigation(LC) Section. The Litigation work, in the above said Courts/Tribunals are look after by an Assistant Legal Adviser & In-Charge Assisted by a Superintendent(Legal) and Assistant (Legal).
2. There is a panel of Senior Panel Counsels and Additional Central Government Counsels are nominated for contesting the Cases on behalf of Union of India, i.e. Government of India. On receipt of request from the Administrative Ministry/Department, action is taken to engage a suitable Govt. Counsel to appear on their behalf in the Courts. During the period under report this Section engaged Counsels in 363 Cases. Close liaison is maintained with the various Department as well as Govt. Counsels at all times to safeguard the interest of the Government (Union of India) in the District Courts/Consumer Forums/Tribunals.
3. When Cases are decided by the Hon’ble Courts, the Govt. Counsels submit their fee bill in a prescribed format. The fee bills are scrutinized very carefully, having regard to the terms and condition of the appointment before certifying and making payment at the prescribed rates. The period under report this Section received 20 fee bills from Government Counsel/Senior panel Counsels. Finance year 2021-22, this Section has allocated budget of Rs.1,30,00,000/-(One Crore and Thirty lakhs only). Out of this amount Rs.4,15,955/- (Four Lakh Fifteen Thousand Nine Hundred Fifty Five only) has been paid to the Government Counsels/Senior Panel Counsels for their Professional Fee Bills.
4. In order to keep pace with the development of information Technology in the Judiciary especially at the level of District Court/Subordinate Courts and also to ensure effective functioning of the Lower Court ( Litigation) Section, a proposal for computerization of this Section was submitted to competent Authority along with the system-study Report conducted by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) server of District and Session Court with the Litigation (LC) Section.
5. The Assistant Legal Adviser who is also the Branch Officer of this Section has been as Central Public Information Officer under the Right to Information Act.2005.The Superintendent (Legal) who supervise the Litigation(LC) Section.

2.10 CENTRAL AGENCY SECTION

Central Agency Section (CAS) was setup in the year 1950. This office is responsible for conducting litigation before Hon’b1e Supreme Court of India on behalf of all Ministries/ Departments of the Central Government and also on behalf of NCT of Delhi, Union Territories, the office of the Comptroller & Auditor General of India and all field offices under CAG i.e. Accountant General offices. All Special Leave Petitions/ Civil Appeals on behalf of Union of India are filed after obtaining opinion of Law Officers on the feasibility of filing Special Leave Petitions/ Civil Appeals in the Supreme Court of India through Central Agency Section. This office is presently looked after by an Additional Secretary; who has been declared as In- charge of this office and has been delegated the power of Head of Department. He is assisted by 08 Government Advocates on regular basis and 01 Advocate-on-Record on contractual basis and other Gazetted and Non Gazetted staff. As on 08.3.2022, there are 11 Law Officers and 813 Advocates in Government Panel. The Central Agency Section functions from the Supreme Court Compound, New Delhi.

The activities of the Central Agency Section pertain to:
• References of the Ministries/ Departments of Government of India received through the Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Law and Justice to obtain the opinion of Ld. Attorney General, Ld. Solicitor General and Ld. Additional Solicitor Generals.
• Engagement of Law Officers/ approved Panel Counsels for various cases.
• Conduct and supervision of litigation on behalf of Union of India/ NCT of Delhi. C&AG and Union Territories in the Supreme Court of India.
• Supervision of records, R&I section, Fee Bill Units, Computer Cell and Administration Division which includes Cash section also.

2. Government Advocates in the Central Agency Section are Advocates—on-Record of the Supreme Court. They appear before the Supreme Court in matters pertaining to the Union of India, NCT of Delhi, C&AG and Union Territories as per the Supreme Court Rules.
3. As per record available in Central Agency Section, during the year 2021, the Central Agency Section has received 2546 new cases from various Departments of Government of India, NCT of Delhi, C&AG and Union Territories in which the Union of India or Union Territories are either petitioner or respondent.

2.11 LAW COMMISSION OF INDIA

The Law Commission of India is constituted normally every three years with definite terms of reference to work for Law Reforms. The 22nd Law Commission has been constituted vide notification dated 21.02.2020 but the Chairman and Members are yet to be appointed. The Commission is aided in its work on the legal side by the Law Officers of Indian Legal Service and on the administrative side by the Officers of the Central Secretariat Service.

Terms of Reference: The Terms of Reference of the Twenty-second Law Commission consisted of the following:
A. Review/Repeal of obsolete laws:
i. Identify laws which are no longer needed or relevant and can be immediately repealed.
ii. Identify laws which are not in harmony with the existing climate of economic liberalization and need change.
iii. Identify laws which otherwise require changes or amendments and to make suggestions for their amendment.
iv. Consider in a wider perspective the suggestions for revision/amendment given by Expert Groups in various Ministries/Departments with a view to coordinating and harmonizing them.
v. Consider references made to it by Ministries/Departments through the Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Law and Justice in respect of legislations having bearing on the working of more than one Ministry/Department.
vi. Suggest suitable measures for quick redressal of citizens grievances, in the field of law.
B. Law and Poverty:
i. Examine the Laws which affect the poor and carry out post-audit for socio-economic legislations.
ii. Take all such measures as may be necessary to harness law and the legal process in the service of the poor.
C. Keep under review the system of judicial administration to ensure that it is responsive to the reasonable demands of the times and in particular to secure:
i. Elimination of delays, speedy clearance of arrears and reduction in costs so as to secure quick and economical disposal of cases without affecting the cardinal principle that decision should be just and fair.
ii. Simplification of procedure to reduce and eliminate technicalities and devices for delay so that it operates not as an end in itself but as a means of achieving justice.
iii. Improvement of standards of all concerned with the administration of justice.
D. Examine the existing laws in the light of Directive Principles of State Policy and to suggest ways of improvement and reform and also to suggest such legislations as might be necessary to implement the Directive Principles and to attain the objectives set out in the Preamble to the Constitution.
E. Examine the existing laws with a view for promoting gender equality and suggesting amendments thereto.
F. Revise the Central Acts of general importance so as to simplify them and to remove anomalies, ambiguities and inequities.
G. Recommend to the Government measures for making the statute book up-to-date by repealing obsolete laws and enactments or parts thereof which have outlived their utility.
H. Consider and to convey to the Government its views on any subject relating to law and judicial administration that may be specifically referred to it by the Government through Ministry of Law and Justice (Department of Legal Affairs).
I. Consider the requests for providing research to any foreign countries as may be referred to it by the Government through Ministry of Law and Justice (Department of Legal Affairs).
J. Examine the impact of globalization on food security, unemployment and recommend measures for the protection of the interests of the marginalized.

Encouragement to students: The Commission conducts voluntary internship programmes, viz., Summer Internship Programme and Winter Internship Programme. The internship programme is conducted by the Law Commission with a view to train and inculcate orientation in legal research and law reform amongst law students to have better understanding of Law in its making and establishment of the Rule of Law.

Objectives & Achievements: Various Law Commissions have submitted 277 Reports so far on different subjects.

Follow-Up: The Reports of the Law Commission are laid in Parliament from time to time by the Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Law and Justice and forwarded to the concerned administrative Departments/Ministries for implementation. They are acted upon by concerned Departments/ Ministries depending on the Government’s decision. Invariably, the Reports are cited in Courts, Parliamentary Standing Committees, in academic and public discourses.

2.12 NEW DELHI INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION CENTRE (NDIAC)

Steps taken for strengthening the Arbitration Mechanism:

In order to strengthen institutional Arbitration mechanism in the country, a High Level Committee (HLC) under the Chairmanship of Justice B.N. Srikrishna, former Judge, Supreme Court of India, was constituted by the Central Government to promote and strengthen institutionalization of arbitration mechanisms in India. The Committee submitted its Report on 30th July 2017. Taking into consideration, inter alia, the recommendations of the High Level Committee (HLC), the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act 2019 and the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Act 2019 have been enacted.
The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Act, 2019 provides for establishment of the Arbitration Council of India (ACI) which will frame, review and update norms to ensure satisfactory levels of arbitration and will also frame policies governing the grading of arbitral institution. ACI will lay down norms to bring uniformity of standards among the arbitral institutions in the country. The amendment further minimizes the court intervention in arbitration matters by providing that parties may approach the Supreme Court and High Courts designated and ACI graded arbitral institutions for the purpose of appointment of arbitrators under section 11 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. Presently necessary steps for establishment of Arbitration Council of India are underway.
The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre Act, 2019 provides for establishment of an institution of National Importance, namely the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre for creating an independent and autonomous regime for institutional arbitration. It is proposed to develop the NDIAC as a preferred seat for domestic and international commercial arbitration.
The New Delhi International Arbitration Centre shall, inter alia, provide facilities and administrative assistance for conciliation, mediation and arbitral proceeding, maintain panels of accredited arbitrators, conciliators and mediators both at national and International level or specialists such as surveyors and investigators; provide facilities and administrative assistance for conciliation, mediation and arbitral proceedings; promote research and study, providing teaching and training, and organizing conferences and seminars in arbitration, conciliation, mediation and other alternative dispute resolution matters.
Presently, necessary steps for establishment of the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre are underway.

Steps taken for strengthening and promoting Mediation as ADR Mechanism:

With the objective of promoting, encouraging and facilitating mediation especially institutional mediation for resolution of civil and commercial disputes, enforcing mediation settlement agreements, providing for a body for registration of mediators, encouraging community mediation and making online mediation as an acceptable and cost effective process and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto, a comprehensive standalone law on Mediation has been introduced during the winter session of the Parliament on 20.12.2021.
Mediation as is known is more informal and facilitates negotiations between the disputant parties which may culminate in a settlement. Thus, mediation, in contrast to arbitration, helps people and businesses in conflict to preserve their relationships, as the settlement arrived at in the process is on voluntary and consensual basis and at times private. The Bill has been referred for examination and report, to the Parliamentary standing Committee on 20.12.2021.

2.13 THE COMMERCIAL COURT ACT, 2015

Commercial and financial markets have a big role to promote a country’s economic standing in the comity of nations. For such economic activities to prosper, simple framework of rules that encourage investors and promote business activities is a pre-requisite. Therefore, the Government has given high priority to frame business facilitating laws and rules inter-alia with a view to make India one of the preferred destinations for investment and business. In this context, the Government had earlier enacted the Commercial Courts Act, 2015.
Carrying the agenda forward and to continue with the economic reforms in the country, the Central Government has taken several steps to boost the investment and business friendly atmosphere in the country and facilitate quick resolution of disputes with least interference of the courts. In this endeavor, the Central Government has amended the Commercial Courts, Act, 2015 in 2018. The Amendments have facilitated the fast tracking of Commercial disputes by reducing the specified value of a commercial dispute to Rs. 3 lakh from the earlier Rs. 1.00 Crore and establishment of Commercial Courts at District Judge level in the jurisdiction of High Courts enjoining Ordinary Original Civil Jurisdiction. And to ease the load on the judicial system, a necessary “Pre-Institution Mediation and Settlement” (PIMS) (an ADR Mechanism) which provides for certain cases being referred for Mediation at the first instance for its settlement has been introduced. The mediation is to be conducted under the aegis of the State Legal Services Authority and District Legal Services Authority as provided under the National Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. On failure to resolve dispute through PIMS mechanism, the claimant can approach the courts for resolution of their commercial dispute. The amended Act also provides for establishment of Commercial Appellate Court at District level in such territories wherein the High Courts do not enjoy ordinary original civil jurisdiction and the commercial dispute case at the first instance is decided by a Court subordinate to that of District Judge.
State wise data (High Courts) on establishment of Commercial Courts of different levels as on 30.06.2021 is at Annexure II.

2.14 INDIAN LAW INSTITUTE (ILI)

Introduction: ILI is a premier Legal Research Institute established on 27th December, 1956. The objective of the Institute is to promote advanced studies and research in law and to contribute substantially in reforming the administration of Justice, so as to meet the socio economic aspirations of the people through law and its instrumentalities. The Institute got the status of Deemed University in the year 2004. The Institute got its first ever accreditation with ‘A’ grade by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) during March, 2017 with a CGPA of 3.35 on a 4.00 point scale. The Institute is conducting Masters in Law and Doctoral courses as well as PG Diploma Courses in various areas of law, i.e., Alternative Dispute Resolution, Corporate Laws and Management, Cyber Law and Intellectual Property Rights Laws.

Academic Programmes: After the conferring of Deemed University status upon it in the year 2004, the institute launched research oriented LL.M. programme. The admission in LLM programme is strictly on merit in Common Admission Test (CAT) conducting every year and Interview. Presently the following programmes are conducted by the Institute:

Programme(s)Students Enrolled in academic session 2021-22
LL.M.- 1 Year (Full Time)41
P G Diploma Courses( Alternative Dispute Resolution, Corporate Laws and Management, Cyber Law and Intellectual Property Rights Laws)235
No. of seats in Ph.D in Law38*
Total No. of Students314

* 10 students are yet to be enrolled.
The Institute has a Ph.D. programme. There are 28 scholars enrolled as on date.
E Learning courses of three months duration on “Cyber Law” (39th batch) and “Intellectual Property Rights and IT in the Internet Age” (50th batch) was completed on October 19, 2021.
64 students were enrolled for the 40th batch of online certificate course in Cyber Law and 59 students were enrolled for the 51st batch of online certificate course in IPR.

Activities of the Institute: Web Series of Lectures/ Conferences/ Talk/ Seminars conducted by the Indian Law Institute
Webinar on ‘PIL-The Vitalizing of Indian Constitution to empower average citizens’ on January 15, 2021
Webinar on ‘Women Prisoners: World’s First Focus on Women Prisoners’ on January 17, 2021
Webinar on “Innovator Genius: V.R. Krishna Iyer and the Cautious Protagonist – P.N. Bhagwati” on January 19, 2021
AzadikaAmritMahotsav: Celebration of 75th Anniversary of India’s Independence: Talk on March 12th, 2021
As a part of the initiative of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ with its theme of celebration of the 75th Anniversary of independence, events have been held across the country and the Indian Law Institute organised the following events:
(i) A Talk on March 12, 2021 on the subject of “Historic significance of the Dandi March” and “the call by Mahatma Gandhi to the people of India to boycott the Indian Salt Act of 1882” as a part of celebration to Commemorate the “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” on account of celebration of 75th Anniversary of India’s Independence.
(ii) Conference on commemorating the Indian independence movement on 16th April, 2021.
(iii) Virtual Talk on “Thinking Constitutional Principles and Constitutional Cultures” on September 25, 2021.
(iv) Virtual Talk on “The Limits of Liberty: Rights and Duties in the Indian Constitution” on September 30, 2021.
(v) Virtual Talk on “Human Rights in the Brazilian Supreme Court Achievements and Challenges” on October 05, 2021.
(vi) Virtual Talk on “Access to Justice :Sensitising Law Students to the Unmet Justice Needs of the Society” on October 11, 2021.
(vii) Virtual Talk on “Environmental Rule of Law and Protection of the Environment” on October 20, 2021.
(viii) Virtual Talk on “Gender Equality and Labour Laws in India” on October 26, 2021
(ix) Virtual Talk on “National Unity Day & Contemporary Imperatives for Legal Research in India” on October 31, 2021.
(x) Virtual Talk on “The Rights of the Indigenous and the Relationship with the Rights of Nature in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights” on November 3, 2021.
(xi) Virtual Talk on “Indian Constitution : Living Document” on November 26, 2021
Indian Law Institute in joint collaboration with the Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India, organized week-long series of lectures from August 9, 2021 till August 13, 2021 and again from November 8, 2021 to November 14, 2021 to mark the celebration of Aazadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the initiative launched by the Government of India to celebrate the completion of 75 glorious years of Indian independence.
To revisit the workings of the magnificent constitution of our nation, a virtual talk was held on August 19, 2021 on the theme, “Progressive Unfolding of the Indian Constitution” as a part of the same project.
Webinar on “Judicial Activism, Fundamental Rights and the Brazilian Supreme Court House Decisions during COVID-19” on September 7, 2021 by Prof. (Dr.) Deilton Ribiero BRASIL.
Webinar on “‘Law, Literature and Life on September 9, 2021 by Prof. (Dr.) R. VenkataRao.
The Institute also developed audio-visual documentary clipping of 30 minutes covering “an overview of Constitution of India and Fundamental Duties” to commemorate 70th Anniversary of the Constitution of India as per the directive of the Ministry of Law and Justice. These audio visuals were placed on the websites of the Institute as well as Department of Legal Affairs and is available for free download by schools and colleges for screening it to their respective students.

Visits: Hon’ble Union Minister of Law and Justice, Mr. KirenRijiju visited Indian Law Institute on September 17, 2021 and interacted with the faculty members and the administration to discuss about reforms in legal education and role of institutions imparting legal education in facilitating access to justice to the marginalized groups.
Hon’ble Minister of State for Law and Justice, Prof. S.P. Singh Baghel visited Indian Law Institute on October 8, 2021.
Hon’ble Minister of State for Education, Smt. Annpurna Devi visited Indian Law Institute on November 11, 2021.

Book Release: The Institute released the following Books:
“Clinical and Continuing Legal Education: A roadmap for India” -edited by Prof. (Dr.) S. Sivakumar, Dr. Prakash Sharma & Abhishek Kumar Pandey
“Rethinking Law and Violence” – edited by Prof. Dr. Jyoti Dogra Sood and Dr. Latika Vashist.
“Dispelling Rhetorics: Law of Divorce and Gender Inequality in Islam” – edited by Prof. Dr. Manoj Kumar Sinha and Prof. Dr. Furqan Ahmed.
A function for the release of the book “Law of Sedition in India and Freedom of Expression” was organized at the Indian Law Institute on September 24, 2021 at 4:00 pm.

Publications: The following research publications have been released by the ILI during the period of report:
Journal of the Indian Law Institute (JILI) – Published quarterly containing research articles on contemporary legal issues of National/International Importance.
ILI Newsletter – Published quarterly referring various activities undertaken by the Institute during the year and forthcoming activities.
Index to Legal Periodicals – Published yearly and contains indexes, periodicals (including year books and other annual publications) pertaining to law and related fields being received (either by subscription or exchange or complementary) by the ILI Library.
Annual Survey of Indian Law –Published yearly and is a very prestigious publication of the Institute and contains Annual Survey of Indian Law including latest trends in every branch of law of importance.
Book titled Human Rights of Vulnerable Groups: National and International Perspectives by Prof. (Dr.) Manoj Kumar Sinha and Arya A. Kumar
ILI Law Review (Summer) & (Winter)

Forecast of Activities:

Forthcoming Publications:
Journal of Indian Law Institute (JILI) Vol 63 ( July-September,2021)
ILI Newsletter Vol XXIII, Issue III, (July -September,2021)

Annual Survey of Indian Law – 2020.

Index to Legal Periodicals – 2020.

* Due to pandemic situation, the above quarterly and annual Report / Journal are yet to be published.
Looking to current pandemic situation, the Institute will engage academicians in online intellectual activities and all classes will be conducted through virtual platform only. The Institute will continue organize series of Webinars in the remaining period of this financial year in line with the directions of the Ministry of Human Resource and Development, Government of India and the University Grants Commission.

Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav: Celebration of 75th Anniversary of India’s Independence:

As a part of the initiative of ‘AzadikaAmritMahotsav’ with its theme of celebration of the elixir of independence, the Institute will continue to organize various events commemorating the Indian independence movement in joint collaboration with the Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India during the remaining part of the current financial year.

Seminar/Conference/Training Programme/Workshop:

The Institute shall organize series of Training Programmes in collaboration with National Human Rights Commission for Police Officers, Prison Officials, Media Personnel and Judicial Officers during the remaining period of financial year 2021-22.

2.15 BRANCH SECRETARIAT, KOLKATA

During 2021-2022, the Branch Secretariat, Kolkata is headed by Additional Government Advocate who is functioning as In-charge. The Branch Secretariat, Kolkata is functioning from 2nd& 3rd Floor, Middle Building, 11, Strand Road, Kolkata-700001. It has eight wings viz. Advice, Litigation, CAT/Lower Court, Administration, Cash &Accounts, Hindi, Counsel Fee Bill, and R & I Section. In addition, this Branch Secretariat has a Library containing more than 10800 books.
2. The Litigation Wing of the Branch Secretariat, Kolkata looks after the entire litigation matters pertaining to the High Court at Calcutta both in the Original as well as Appellate Side. The Branch Secretariat is looking after litigation of the Union of India before Hon’ble High Court at Calcutta includes its Circuit Benches at Port Blair and Jalpaiguri and also various Tribunals, District Forums, State Commissions and Lower Courts covering 12 States and one Union Territory. The Branch Secretariat also looks after the service matters relating to Central Government employees before the Central Administrative Tribunal, Calcutta Bench as well as the other benches at Cuttack, Guwahati, Patna and Circuit Benches at Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The Branch Secretariat, Kolkata also engage Government Panel Counsel to appear/oppose the matter for and on behalf of the Ministries/Departments before CGIT, Arbitration, NGT, NCLT, NGT, CESTAT, State Consumer Commissions and DRAT, DRT, District Consumer Forums, Lower Courts etc. This Branch Secretariat also engages Counsel in Arbitration matters before the Ld. Arbitrators on receipt of specific requests from concerned Ministries/Departments.
3. The Advice Wing of this Branch Secretariat renders legal advice upon the references received from various Ministries/Departments and also conducts litigation pertaining to all the Central Government Ministries/Departments including the Income Tax Department, FERA/FEMA, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Home, Ministry of External Affairs and all other Ministries/Departments having their offices at West Bengal, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Tripura, Mizoram and Sikkim and Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and other Central Government Office situated outside the Eastern Zone but cause of action arise in Kolkata or being their headquarter in Kolkata (e.g. Ordnance Factory Board).
4. During 2021-2022, the Advice Wing is headed by the Additional Government Advocate. During January, 2021 to 6thDecember, 2021 a total number of 815 references were received for legal advice and dealt with by the Branch Secretariat, Kolkata. All the advices were rendered within the prescribed period and it is estimated that approximately 250 references will be received during 7th December, 2021 to 31st March, 2022.
5. In litigation wing, Government Advocates act as Advocate-on-Records In Original Side and is notified as Government Pleader within the meaning of Order-XXVII Rule 8B(a) of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and get the matter heard/argued or through panel Counsel engaged for this purpose. Ld. Additional Solicitor General of Calcutta High Court appeared in important matters assisted by Panel Counsel so engaged by Branch Secretariat.
6. During January, 2021 to 6th December, 2021 2690 number of references received at this Branch Secretariat, Kolkata relating to High Court at Calcutta from and on behalf of different Ministries/Departments and Autonomous body etc. and 2184 cases disposed as per the information received from the Counsels/Departments and website of the Calcutta High Court. It is estimated that approx. 870 references will be received and approx. 400 number of cases will be disposed of during 7th December, 2021 to 31st March, 2022. The total 55 number of references received during January, 2021 to 6th December, 2021 regarding National Company Law Tribunal, Kolkata Bench and it is estimated that approx. 25 references will be received during 7th December, 2021 to 31st March, 2022.
7. During January, 2021 to 6th December, 2021 a total number of 619 cases received in the Branch Secretariat, Kolkata for engagement of Counsels on service matters before Hon’ble CAT, Kolkata and Port Blair Bench and it is estimated that approx. 200 references will be received during 7th December, 2021 to 31st March, 2022. The number of cases in Courts below including arbitration cases handled during January, 2021 to 6th December, 2021 was 147 it is estimated that approx. 50 references will be received during 7th December, 2021 to 31st March, 2022. Also, Officers of this Branch Secretariat had conferences with Departmental Officers and engaged Counsels for smooth conduct of the Litigation and early disposal of matters.
8. Branch Secretariat, Kolkata has Appellate Authority (Additional Government Advocate), CPIO and ACPIO to deal with the RTI matters. During 2021-2022 total 29 RTI references and 4 appeals were received till 6th December, 2021 and duly disposed of within stipulated time.
9. During 2021-2022 claims of the professional fee bills submitted by the panel counsel have been speedily processed and of the sanctioned Revised Estimates of Rs.2,00,00,000/- for payment towards Professional Fees to the Counsel and Retainership Fee for Standing Counsel for West Bengal State. An amount of Rs.1,74,90,943/- have been utilised to make payments to them till 6th December, 2021. The remaining amount of the budget will be paid in the next three months of 2021-2022.
10. The Hindi Section of this Branch Secretariat is striving for effective use of Hindi as official language. During January, 2021 to 6th December, 2021 all quarterly meetings of Rajbhasha Coordination Committee has been organised regularly following the COVID protocol and Hindi workshops were also organised regularly following the COVID protocol. Most of the employees had obtained working knowledge in Hindi under Hindi Teaching Scheme. Reference matter has been prepared and distributed among Sections for doing work of regular nature in Hindi. ‘HINDI PAKHWADA’ was also observed in this Branch Secretariat with great enthusiasm during September 2021 following the COVID protocol. During ‘HINDI PAKHWADA’ six competitions were organised and the winners were granted prizes. Required reports are being forwarded on regular basis in the prescribed proforma to Main Secretariat. Various stamps, the Statement regarding Earned Leave, Half Pay Leave and Commuted Leave of the Branch Secretariat, Kolkata have already been made ‘bi-lingual’.
11. Various budget and accounts related work in the Branch Secretariat, Kolkata are being done online using various software provided by NIC and also using the portal based payment system ‘PFMS’ developed by NIC. All payments to employees, Government Counsels and other service providers are being made online through PFMS portal. Further, the tax deducted at source is being intimated to the Income Tax Department online in electronic format 24G every month. Subsequently quarterly return of TDS are also been prepared in electronic format 24Q and 26Q and submitted to the Income Tax Department through TIN facility centre through CDs. New format in respect of GST-TDS is deducted and a return is filed to the GST Authority. Periodical reports are directly submitted to Pay & Accounts Office online. Licence Fee for Office Accommodation is being paid through PFMS portal. For procurement of Goods, Stationeries and other Services, Government e-procurement website https://gem.gov.in is being used extensively. New pension cases are being processed through ‘Bhavishya’ online portal.
12. The Library of this Branch Secretariat, Kolkata, containing more than 10800 books and journals, is proving its worthiness and is very helpful for use in Litigation and also adhering advice as well to Government Ministries/Departments. Online legal library ‘Manupatra’ and ‘SCC Online’ have also been subscribed by this Branch Secretariat.
13. The last audit of the Branch Secretariat, Kolkata was conducted by an Audit Party from the Office of the Director General of Audit: Central, Kolkata with effect from 01.04.2016 to 31.03.2018. Six audit objections were made during the course of periodical inspection of accounts by the Audit Party. Action has already been taken and intimated to the Audit to drop the paras of audit objection.
14. The software ‘LIMBS’, developed by NIC, is also functional in the Branch Secretariat, Kolkata. The matters pertaining to Ministry of Law duly updated by Litigation section in the said portal. Instructions had already been given to Panel Counsel to create login ID in LIMBS portal so that they can upload the Orders of the Court and claim fee bills through LIMBS.
15. Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav has been observed in the Branch Secretariat, Kolkata with great enthusiasm from 8th November, 2021 to 14th November, 2021. Various programmes were organised during said programme to commemorate the 75th year of Indian Independence like plantation of tree, holding of an workshop with panel advocates, display of photographs of The First Constituting Assembly of India, display of posters and banners etc. Besides, during the period from 08.11.2021 to 14.11.2021 all the Official communication of this Branch Secretariat had been printed with the Hindi and English logos of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav at the top.
16. The Preamble of the Constitution of India was read by All the Officers and employees of the Branch Secretariat, Kolkata on the occasion of the Constitution Day on 26th November, 2021. All of the employees have downloaded the Certificate regarding reading of the Preamble from the concerned website.
17. Cleanliness Drive under ‘Swachchta Abhiyaan’ is being continued in the Branch Secretariat, Kolkata as a regular process. During Swachchta Pakhwada from 16.10.2021 to 31.10.2021 all the Sections in the Branch Secretariat, Kolkata have reviewed the files as per the Record Retention Schedule issued by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances for weeding out or otherwise retain the reviewed files thereby cleaning up the office. 11191 files have been reviewed during said period. A pledge was undertaken by all the Officers and staff on 18.10.2021 who also actively participated in the Swachchta Pakhwada. This Branch Secretariat has got a cleaner and beautiful look due to constant endeavour of Officers and members of staff and is under continuing process of its further betterment.

2.16 BRANCH SECRETARIAT, BENGALURU

The Branch Secretariat has jurisdiction over the States of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in handling litigation and advice of various Central Government Departments/ Ministries. An Assistant Legal Adviser heads the Branch Secretariat, Bengaluru.

Advice: The Branch Secretariat renders legal advice to all the Central Government Departments and offices located in the States of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. 530 references were received during period from 01.01.2021 to 30.11.2021 for advice and about 200 advice cases are expected for the remaining period upto 31.03.2020. The advice work includes scrutiny and vetting of pleadings i.e., statement of objections, counter affidavits to be filed before the High Courts i.e., High court of Karnataka, Bengaluru, Benches of High Court of Karnataka at Dharwad and Kalaburagi and the High Court for the State of Telangana at Hyderabad and High Court of Andhra Pradesh at Amaravathi, respectively, reply statement filed before Central Administrative Tribunals at Bengaluru and Hyderabad, written statement, counter affidavits, counter statements, versions filed before District Courts, Subordinate Courts and various other Tribunals.

Examining the feasibility of filing SLP, Appeals, review etc. interpretation of laws guiding Departments on legal sustainability of their action and holding discussions with the administrative Departments, whenever necessary.

Litigation: The Branch Secretariat supervises the entire litigation of the Central Government Departments and offices in the High court of Karnataka, Bengaluru, Circuit Benches of High Court of Karnataka at Dharwad & Kalaburagi and High Court for the State of Telangana at Hyderabad and High Court of Andhra Pradesh at Amaravathi, Subordinate Courts located at Bengaluru city and most of the districts of Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, and CAT in these States. This Branch Secretariat also looks after the work of Government litigation in the District Consumer Dispute Redressal Fora, the State Consumer Redressal Commissions of the States, Central Govt. Industrial Tribunal and Debt Recovery Tribunal. 3340 litigation matters, which include nomination of counsel, counsel fee bills and general correspondence relating to litigation, were received during the period from 01.01.2021 to 30.11.2021 and about 1250 litigation matters are expected for the remaining period upto 31.03.2022. The function of the Branch Secretariat in this regard includes engagement/ nomination of the Counsel and distribution of cases among the Central Government Counsel.

Counsel’s fee bills: This Branch Secretariat itself processes counsel fee bills and pays the fees directly from its centralized funds to the Assistant Solicitor General of India and Central Government Counsel in the High Court of Karnataka, Bengaluru. 325 fee bills were received during the from 01.01.2021 to 30.11.2021 and about 150 fee bills are expected for the remaining period upto 31.03.2022. So far as the Circuit Benches of High Court of Karnataka at Dharwad and Gulbarga are concerned, the counsel fee bill is borne by the Department concerned on whose behalf the Counsel conducts the cases and not by the Branch Secretariat, Bengaluru. The Departments concerned pay the fee for Central Government panel Counsel in CAT, District and subordinate Courts. Hence this Branch Secretariat is not certifying counsel fee bills. However, this Ministry clarify as and when requests are received.

Observance of Hindi Month: The Hindi Month was celebrated in Branch Secretariat, Department of Legal Affairs, Bengaluruby conducting various competitions for the officers and staff. All participated actively with enthusiasm in 5 competitions which were held by taking the assistance of the Assistant Director of the Hindi Teaching Scheme, Ministry of Home Affairs, Bengaluru who judged the competitions and delivered speech on the valedictory function and distributed prizes to the winners.

Vigilance Awareness Week: Observance of the Vigilance Awareness Week every year is a part of the multi-pronged approach by CVC to sensitise the public on Prevention of and the fight against Corruption in this Country.

Branch Secretariat, Department of Legal Affairs, Bengaluru had observed the Vigilance Awareness Week, 2021 from 26th October, 2021 to 1stNovember, 2021.The INTEGRITY PLEDGE was administered by Shri. B. Nanda Kumar, Assistant Legal Adviser & In-Charge in his chamber at 11 AM on 26th October, 2021. All the officials/Officers attended the event and took the oath of the Integrity Pledge, by observing the norms of social distancing and other safety measures stipulated for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also, posters under public Interest Disclosure & Protection of Informer Resolution, 2004 (PIDPI) of Central Vigilance Commission, New Delhi on corruption were prepared by Branch Secretariat, Bengaluru and displayed inside the office ad inside the KendriyaSadan Office Complex, Bengaluru for wider publicity.

Special campaign for weeding-out of old files: Branch Secretariat, Bengaluru review, identify, list the old files and more than 7000 files weeded out under special campaign.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month: The month of October, 2021 was celebrated as National Cyber Security Awareness Month. A poster emphasizing the importance of use of official NIC email ID for official work, installing KAVACH application, not to share official password and OTP with anybody and not to leave the computer unlocked was prepared and displayed by Branch Secretariat.

Observance of National Unity Day: Branch Secretariat, Department of Legal Affairs, Bengaluru had observed the National Unity Day by observing the norms of social distancing and other safety measures stipulated for the COVID-19 pandemic.
The PLEDGE was administered by Shri. B. Nanda Kumar, Assistant Legal Adviser & In-Charge in his chamber on 29th October, 2020. All the officials/Officers attended the event and took the oath of the National Unity Pledge.

Observance of Constitution Day: The 26th of Novermber, 2021 which is being to be celebrated as the Constitutional Day and all the officers & staff gathered in the chamber of the Assistant Legal Adviser & In-Charge by observing the norms of social distancing and other safety measures stipulated for the COVID-19 pandemic and read the Preamble of the Constitution of India.

Azadi ka Amrit Mohotsav: To celebrate the 75th Year of Independence (AzadikaAmritMahotsav), a Senior Panel Counsel was invited to deliver a lecture on “India’s Independence and Judiciary” to the officer’s and staff of Branch Secretariat, Bengaluru. Posters both in English & Hindi with the slogan “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas” has been prepared by the Branch Secretariat and has been displayed insite the office premised and the Kendriya Sadan office complex at prominent locations for maximum visibility and publicity.

2.17 BRANCH SECRETARIAT, CHENNAI

Deputy Legal Adviser heads the Branch Secretariat at Chennai.

Advice: The Branch Secretariat renders legal advice to all Central Government Offices located in the States of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the Union Territory of Pudhucherry.

Around 608 references have been received for advice and disposed of and an estimated 150 references are likely to be received for the period 1st January 2022 to 31st March 2022.

Litigation: The Branch Secretariat, Chennai looks after the entire litigation work of Central Government (except cases relating to Railways, Income-Tax, Central Excise and Customs, etc.) in the High Court of Madras, Madurai Bench of Madras High Court and High Court of Kerala. It also looks after the Central Government litigation work in the City Civil Courts, Presidency Courts of Small Causes, Subordinate Courts, Tribunals, Consumer Fora, etc. in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Besides, the Branch Secretariat, Chennai has also been entrusted with the work of Central Government litigation before the Madras Bench of Central Administrative Tribunal at Chennai and Ernakulam Bench of Central Administrative Tribunal in Kerala. During the given period about 5265 litigation matters were received and disposed of accordingly which include receipts, fee bills and files opened regarding High Court/CAT/LC etc.

The Branch Secretariat keeps the Ministries and Departments of the Central Government informed about the important developments of their cases as well as the results of the litigation with suitable advice for further action, if required. Pleadings, affidavits etc., to be filed in the Courts/ Tribunals / Consumer Fora / Arbitration matters in Tamil Nadu and Kerala are scrutinized and vetted at the draft stage. Functions of Branch Secretariat, Chennai also include engagement / nominations of the Counsel and collection of materials from the Central Government Departments involved in the cases for being passed on to the Counsel after necessary scrutiny of the documents from the legal angle.

Counsel fee bills: The Branch Secretariat itself makes payment of professional fees directly from its funds to the Additional Solicitor General of India, Assistant Solicitor General, Senior Panel Counsel and the Central Government Standing Counsel in respect of cases before the Madras High Court and Madurai Bench of Madras High Court. During the relevant period i.e. 1st January 2021 to 15th December 2021, around 2609 fee bills pertaining to High Court, CAT and Lower Court were processed and an amount of Rs. 3,65,08,687/- were paid to Counsels including payment towards Retainer Fees.
Fee Bills preferred by the Central Government Counsel for appearance before the Central Administrative Tribunal and Subordinate Courts are scrutinized / certified and sent to the Departments concerned for payment.

Observation of 7th International Day of Yoga on 21st June, 2021

In view of the prevailing covid-19 pandemic situation, all officers/officials were encouraged to participate in the ‘International Day of Yoga’ celebration alongwith their family on 21.06.2021 from their respective place of stay to avail multiple health benefits.

Observance of ‘Hindi Month’ in September 2021

In accordance with directives of Department of Official Language, Main Secretariat, Hindi Month was observed in September 2021. In order to encourage usage of Hindi in day-to-day official work, various competitions were conducted under the guidance of Deputy Director, Hindi Teaching Scheme, Chennai. All officers/officials of Branch Secretariat participated enthusiastically in these competitions and other related activities. During the prize distribution function, the Deputy Legal Adviser/In-charge, Branch Secretariat and the Deputy Director, Hindi Teaching Scheme provided valuable suggestions to improve usage of Hindi in day-to-day official work.

Observation of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’

The official logo of the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, (bilingual – Hindi and English) has been placed in various locations of the office premises; and also in files bearing official correspondences.

Observance of ‘Vigilance Awareness Week’

As per CVC guidelines, ‘Vigilance Awareness Week’ with the theme ‘Independent India @ 75 Self Reliance with Integrity’ was observed in this Branch Secretariat as per the guidelines of Central Vigilance Commission from 26th October to 1st November, 2021.
‘Integrity pledge’ was administered to all officials of this Branch Secretariat by the Deputy Legal Adviser/In-charge on 26th October, 2021.

‘Swachcha Bharat’ Mission

The Deputy Legal Adviser &Incharge of this Branch Secretariat has been periodically monitoring and inspecting cleanliness activities of the office. In view of the prevailing covid-19 pandemic situation, necessary priority has been accorded towards cleanliness of office premises, hand sanitization, wearing masks, social distancing etc.

Retainer Fees

Out of its allotted funds, the Branch Secretariat has been entrusted with the job of making payment of Retainer Fee to Standing Government Counsel of district & subordinate courts in Tamil Nadu.

Implementation of e-office

This office had already initiated correspondence with NIC, Chennai and BSNL, Chennai for provision of necessary pre-requisites towards implementation of
e-office in this Branch Secretariat. E-payment of all bills including fee bills are being made and directly credited to concerned Counsel. Further, necessary modifications have been incorporated in the ‘Litcase’ software under the guidance of concerned NIC personnel, so that information/data related to Fee Bill receipts and their disposal are duly updated.

RTI receipts

During the period, i.e. from 1st January, 2021 to 15th December 2021, 66 RTI applications (including online, transfer from other Public authorities and physical) and 2 RTI appeals were received and disposed within the prescribed time limit.

2.18 BRANCH SECRETARIAT, MUMBAI

Organisation: Branch Secretariats at Mumbai is presently being headed by Additional Government Advocate. As far as the work handled by Mumbai Branch Secretariat is concerned, it includes tendering of legal advice, handling of litigation work pertaining to Bombay High Court, litigation pertaining to other subordinate courts which falls under the territorial jurisdiction of entire Western Region consisting of States of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Goa and Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadar Nagar Haveli also the administration of the Branch Secretariat.
The work of the Branch Secretariat is bifurcated into separate sections for its smooth functioning, i.e. Advice Section, Misc. Original Side Litigation Section consisting of Misc. Original Side Litigation, Arbitration, Suits, Land Acquisition References, Company matters and cases pertaining to DGFT/FERA/FEMA in Original Side as well as Appellate Side and Appellate Side Litigation Section consisting of Criminal Side Matters. Each Section is headed by a senior Officer of this Branch Secretariat who is assisted by another officer.

Functions & Duties: The Ministry of Law & Justice, Department of Legal Affairs, Branch Secretariat, Mumbai renders advice to various Ministries/Departments of Government of India on receipt of the respective references by it on different kinds of legal matters and attends to the litigation work of the Central Government in Bombay High Court, C.A.T., National Company Law Tribunal other Tribunals and before all the Subordinate Courts of entire Western Region. The entire work is performed by its Officers under the guidance of the Additional Government Advocate/In-charge of this Branch Secretariat. This Branch Secretariat is always guided by the Hon’ble Law Secretary.

Legal Advice: The references received from various Ministries/Departments of Central Government seeking legal advice are examined at the first instance by the Superintendent (Legal) and thereafter put up to the Additional Government Advocate/In-charge who in turn mark the cases as per extant work allocation Order. If required, the advice matters are also referred to the Ld. Additional Solicitor General of India for his expert opinion.
As far as the current year is concerned, this Branch Secretariat has received about 2992 cases being reference seeking advice and this Branch Secretariat has disposed all 2992 cases.

Litigation: The litigation of this Branch Secretariat is looked after by the Additional Government Advocate/Incharge and other officers who help in discharging the duties and in handling the litigation matters filed in Bombay High Court either filed by the Government of India or against it. So also, the litigation pertaining to Sub-ordinate Courts is handled by the Branch Secretariat. Wherever necessary the litigation is handled through the Advocates/Counsel appointed/empanelled on the Panel of Government of India for Bombay High Court on its Ordinary Original Civil Jurisdiction, Appellate Jurisdiction & Criminal Jurisdiction and through other Counsel empanelled on different Panels appearing before the different Courts of law.
As far as the current year is concerned, this Branch Secretariat has received about 1797 cases in different litigation sections. The Counsel are engaged for protecting the interest of Government of India involved in the matter through different Central Government Ministries/Departments and about 1316 litigation cases have been disposed of before the Hon’ble High Court and 481 cases are pending.

Administration: The Additional Government Advocate/In-charge is the head of the Administration of the Branch Secretariat, Mumbai. He is normally assisted by DDO, Section Officer and Assistant Section Officers in handling the day-to-day administrative matters of the Branch Secretariat.

Official Language: The Additional Govt. Advocate & In-charge of this Branch Secretariat also works in the capacity of “Vibhagiya Rajbhasha Adhikari” and other officers nominated by him work for promotion and maximum usage of Official Language in the Branch Secretariat. A “Rajbhasha Samiti” is constituted in this Branch Secretariat. The Committee is submitting the periodical Reports to the In-charge.

Right to Information Act, 2005: The Addl. Govt. Advocate has been designated as Appellate Authority, Assistant Legal Advisor as the CPIO and one Superintendent as CAPIO.
This year this Branch Secretariat received 29 numbers of application and 08 appeals. All these RTI applications & appeals are disposed within prescribed limit time.

Disposal of Pending matters: Under Special campaign for weeding-out of old files this Branch Secretariat disposed 8133 number of redundant files.

Awareness Program on Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace: A workshop on Awareness Program on Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition &Redressal) Act, 2013was organized by the Mumbai Branch Secretariat on 09.12.2021. Mrs. Neeta Masurkar, Sr. Panel Counsel Group-I presided over the said workshop which was attended by all the officers and staff.

Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav: Complying with the directives of Government of India, Ministry of Culture, the Branch Secretariat, Mumbai celebrated Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. The Ministry of Law & Justice was assigned to hold iconic/impactful events as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav from 8th November, 2021 to 14th November, 2021. Accordingly, this Branch Secretariat held various events and activities during the said period viz. Reading of Preamble of Constitution and Group Discussion, Lecture on Fundamental Rights and Duties, Importance of RTI Act, Discussion on Litigation of High Court & Subordinate Courts and Seminar/Workshop on access to Justice/Legal aid to the downtrodden people.

2.19 PARTICIPATION IN SHANGHAI COOPERATION ORGANISATION (SCO) RELATED ACTIVITIES

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a permanent Inter-Governmental Multilateral Organisation, established on 15th Jun, 2001 in Shanghai, China by the Leaders of China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan & Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan joined SCO as full-fledged member in the historic meeting of the Heads of State Council of the SCO during 8-9 June, 2017 at Astana.

The SCO’s main goals are as follows: strengthening mutual trust and neighborliness among the member states; promoting their effective cooperation in politics, trade, the economy, research, technology and culture, as well as in education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection, and other areas; making joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security and stability in the region; and moving towards the establishment of a democratic, fair and rational new international political and economic order.

There are four Observers States of SCO viz. Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia. In addition, the SCO has six dialogue partners namely, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka.

The Department of Legal Affairs, at various levels has been participating in the Sessions of the Minister of Justice of the SCO in the recent past.

The Eighth Meeting of Ministers of Justice of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Member States was hosted by India on 6th August, 2021 and attended by Shri Kiren Rijiju, Hon’ble Minister of Law & Justice and Prof. S.P. Singh Baghel, Hon’ble Minister of State of Law & Justice. The Ministers of (Law and) Justice of India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan participated in the meeting.

As part of various forum of discussion within the multilateral framework of the SCO, the meeting of the Prosecutors General of SCO Member States is held every year by rotation. The Forum is, inter-alia, utilised by the SCO Member States to discuss and exchange experiences in the Prosecutors Office of the SCO Member States, modern practice and effective mechanism for countering and combating corruption. In the past, after becoming full-fledged member, India has participated in the 15th – 18th meeting of the Prosecutors General during 2017-2019.
The Nineteenth Meeting of Prosecutors General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Member States was hosted by Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Law & Justice, Government of India and presided by Shri Tushar Mehta, Ld. Solicitor General of India on 29th October, 2021.

2.20 INCOME-TAX APPELLATE TRIBUNAL (ITAT)

Origin:

Section 252 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 provides that the Central Government shall constitute an Appellate Tribunal consisting of as many Judicial Members and Accountant Members as it thinks fit, to exercise the powers and discharge the functions conferred on the Appellate Tribunal by the said Act. The Income-tax Appellate Tribunal was established on 25th January, 1941, in pursuance of a similar provision contained in the erstwhile Indian Income-tax Act, 1922.

Bench Strength:

As constituted presently, the Tribunal consists of 63 Benches. For 63 Benches spread over 30 stations (including 02 Circuit Benches) throughout the country, present sanctioned strength of Members is 126 including one (01) President and ten (10) Zonal Vice-Presidents.

Powers and Functions:

The Income-tax Appellate Tribunal, constituted under the Income-tax Act, deals with second appeals in all matters of direct taxes, including appeals against the revisionary orders of Administrative Commissioners as well as orders denying registration under Section 12A or under Section 80G of the Income-tax Act 1961, etc. The Appellate Tribunal also deals with second appeals in all matters of the Black Money (Undisclosed foreign income and assets) and imposition of Tax Act, 2015 including any revisionary order passed by the Principal Commissioner/Commissioner under the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015.
The powers and functions of the Appellate Tribunal are exercised and discharged by the Benches constituted by the President of the Tribunal from amongst the Members thereof. Generally, a Bench consists of one Judicial Member and one Accountant Member. However, in appropriate cases, at the discretion of the President, a Bench may consist of more than two Members. The President or any other Member of Tribunal authorised in this behalf by the Central Government may, sitting singly, dispose of any case which has been allotted to the Bench of which he is a Member and which pertains to an assessee whose total income as computed by the Assessing Officer in that case does not exceed fifty (50) lakhs rupees and the President may, for the disposal of any particular case, constitute a Special Bench consisting of three or more Members, one of whom shall necessarily be a Judicial Member and one Accountant Member, subject to the provisions of the Income-tax Act, 1961.

Procedure and Rules:

The Appellate Tribunal has the power to regulate its own procedure and the procedure of its Benches in all matters arising out of the exercise of its powers or in the discharge of its functions, including the places at which the Benches shall hold their sittings.
The Appellate Tribunal has, accordingly, framed its own rules called the Income-tax (Appellate Tribunal) Rules, 1963. The said Rules are best suited for the expeditious disposal of all matters pending before the Appellate Tribunal.
The Appellate Tribunal functions as the final fact finding authority not only in the matters concerning Income-tax but also in all matters of taxation such as Wealth-tax, Gift-tax, etc. The Appellate Tribunal is manned by efficient personnel discharging their functions to the best of their ability and balancing the scale of justice evenly between the tax payer and the Revenue, without fear or favour.
The matters, which the Appellate Tribunal disposes, are of vital importance involving revenue to the tune of several crores. The Tribunal is entrusted with the responsible task of deciding intricate questions of law and fact. The presence of both the Judicial and Accountant Members ensures that Questions of Law and facts, which arise for consideration are properly enquired into and that the accountancy point, as well as the legal angle, are weighed properly. The Appellate Tribunal allows the representatives of both the parties to appear before it and invariably hears them before passing any order. The Members hear the parties, peruse the evidence on record, make their own notes, refer to the authorities cited at the Bar, confer among themselves and then pass final orders. The procedure, which ensures that Questions of fact and law are properly and judicially decided, is by itself a succour to the parties and inference drawn by the Tribunals are found to be beyond reproach.

Pendency of Appeals:

At the beginning of year 2021 i.e. 01.01.2021, the Pendency of the appeals was 79754 and as on 31st December, 2021 the number of appeals pending in the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal stands at 54315.
It may be seen from the following table that the commitment to reduce pendency is showing encouraging results:

Year(April to March)InstitutionDisposalPendency at the end of year
2014-20154508930494103238
2015-2016397435101091971
2016-2017488004838592386
2017-2018502224979192817
2018-2019511545176692205
2019-2020458425003188016
2020-202195153097166560
2020-2021(April, 2021 to December,2020)121222436754315

Efforts for Reduction of Pendency:

Necessary instructions have already been issued to all the Benches to scrutinize and identify cases which are covered by decisions of I.T.A.T., High Courts, and the Supreme Court and post them on priority basis. This includes group and small matters. The members of the Bar have also been requested to bring all such covered cases to the notice of I.T.A.T., for out of turn posting. Besides, appeals dealing with Search & Seizure matters and appeals against Order passed under Section 263 by the administrative Commissioners are also given priority in their disposal. Similarly, appeals against the denial of registration to charitable institutions under Section 12A and denial of recognition under Section 80 G are also given priority. Appeals of Senior Citizens are also taken up for priority hearing, wherever the Tribunal is so approached. Further, as per amendment made in Income Tax Act 1961 by Finance Act 2015 now the appeal involving assessed income uptoRs. 50 lakhs can be heard by Single Member Bench. The said amendment has had further in speedy disposal of cases. The pendency figure of Single Member Cases is as under:-

MonthTotal Pendency
January,202112068
February,20219844
March,20218699
April,20217518
May,20217187
June,20216739
July,20216352
August,20216089
September,20215911
October,20215516
November,20215276
December,20215221

The pendency figure of Wealth Tax Cases is as under:-

MonthTotal Pendency
January,2021283
February,2021272
March,2021236
April,2021227
May,2021225
June,2021233
July,2021231
August,2021229
September,2021221
October,2021223
November,2021238
December,2021229

Out of 126 sanctioned post of Members, required for running 63 Benches of the ITAT, only 90 posts of Members are filled up. Out of 90, 21 Members have joined the Tribunal recently in December, 2021. Despite the constraints of vacancies in the tribunal and the situation imposed by Covid-19 pandemic, the Tribunal made serious and honest attempts to continue with dispensing impartial, easy and speedy justice to the tax litigants. For this purpose, the Tribunal started hearing of cases through Video Conferencing. The Court Room hearing by way of Video Conferencing were devised and carried out by the existing staff of the ITAT and no outside expert agency was utilized. The system of virtual court hearing has yielded satisfactory results. As a part of ‘AzadiKaAmritMahotsav (AKAM)’, for one week i.e. from 08.11.2021 to 12.11.2021, 75 Benches of the Tribunal functioned, and 1454 cases were heard.

Digitization:

The process of Digitization started in the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal in early 2000 and in recent years, this process has gained great momentum with several innovative projects being implemented in day-to-day activities of the Tribunal. Over the years, various projects have been undertaken and implemented by the Tribunal to live up to its motto “Nishpaksh Sulabh Satvar Nyay”. The details of such projects are as under:-

(a) ITAT Online Project

This project was the first initiative to automate the process of judicial administration in the Tribunal starting from receipt and registration of appeals and applications till disposal and uploading of Tribunal orders. This project was commissioned and implemented in all Benches of the Tribunal in a phased manner. ITAT Online is a web-based application which can be accessed from anywhere and anytime. As of now, all Benches of ITAT have been connected to the ITAT Online database and activities like registration, data updation, Tribunal order uploading, etc., are being carried out through the web application. Web-cum-Database Server of this project has been setup in National Informatics Centre Cloud Server.

(b) ITAT Official Website

As an extension of the ITAT Online Project, Official Website of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal was redeveloped in 2016 and commissioned to deliver judicial and general information to the public. The Official website has been redesigned to make it more users friendly, informative, responsive, updated and compliant with the Government of India’s Guidelines for Websites. Dynamic information like Cause Lists, Constitution, Case Status, Order Search, Pronouncement Search, etc. have been provided to cater to the judicial information needs of the litigants before the Tribunal. This apart, static information like Holiday Lists, Tenders and Auctions, Notice Board, Right to Information, etc. have been made accessible to the litigants in particular, and public in general. This website is widely used and appreciated.

(c) Digital Display Boards

As an innovative and eco-friendly step, physical notice boards have been replaced by digital notice boards at ITAT, Delhi Benches. Cause Lists, Constitutions, Friday lists, etc. are being digitally displayed in the digital notice boards.

(d) Launching of Mobile Application

Android version of ITAT Judicial Information Portal has been developed and released for the benefit of appellants, respondents as well as their counsels. Owing to its simplicity and ease of use, the app has been very useful.

(e) Budget and Expenditure Monitoring System

For monitoring and consolidating the budget availability and expenditure position efficiently and accurately in real-time basis, ITAT has implemented an online application namely Budget Man, developed by in-house talent, This application has enabled the Head Office to generate periodical budgetary statements on click of a button.

(f) CCTV Cameras

As per the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, and guidelines of Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Law & Justice, CCTV Cameras with audio and video recording facility have been installed in court rooms and other important entry points of various Benches of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal. Currently, CCTV Cameras have been installed and operational at 26 Benches of ITAT. CCTV Cameras are working in good condition and recording are regularly done and reports have been received from these Benches. Procurement / installation is in progress at 04 more Benches.

(g) E-Court

E-Court Project is aimed at connecting of non-functional benches with functional benches and conducting of judicial proceedings through video conferencing. E-Court infrastructure has been setup at all Benches of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal. Hearings at ITAT Rajkot, Guwahati, Ranchi and Patna Benches are conducted through E-Courts.

(h) Infrastructure Up-gradation

ITAT has always been conscious that better computerization needs better infrastructure. The Members of ITAT have also been equipped with latest IT hardware and Dictation Software to assist in dictation of orders.

Recent Achievements in Year 2021

(a) Launching of ई-द्वार (ITAT E-Filing Portal)

ई-द्वार, the E-Filing Portal of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, has been launched for enabling the appellants to file their appeals, cross objections and applications from their doorsteps. The portal has been developed in accordance with the revised forms of Memorandum of appeal/cross objection. Since it’s launch, more than 600 appeals, cross objections and applications have been filed by the appellants through ई-द्वार before various benches of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal.

(b) Publishing of Daily Orders

As a major step in promoting transparency in judicial administration, ITAT has started publishing of the daily orders passed by various Benches of the Tribunal on the official website. All the Members have started signing the daily order sheets generated by the JudiSIS software (an in-house internal judicial application). These daily orders appear in the case details page on ITAT Judicial Information Portal.

(c) Paperless Courts

Under the guidance of the Hon’ble President, ITAT, as a pilot project, the trial run of court proceedings in paperless environment has been successfully conducted and the President’s Court Room at ITAT, Delhi has been upgraded as Paperless Court.

(d) API linkage with LIMBS

For the purpose of minimising manual data entry, LIMBS portal has been integrated through APIs with various Courts/Tribunal. Recently, the LIMBS portal has been linked with ITAT which shall facilitate seamless data transfer between the applications, and shall help in auto updation of records on the LIMBS portal pertaining to cases in ITAT.

Other Important Events and ActivitesIn Year 2021

(a) The National conference of ITAT 2021 was organised on 27th and 28th Feb, 2021 at Kevadia District, Narmada, Gujrat.
(b) As part of celebrations of “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM)”, various iconic/ impactful event viz. Essay Competition & Quiz Competition about freedom struggle, webinar for Bar Association, DRs and staff of all Benches of ITAT on pillars of ‘AKAM’, inter personal discussion of Zonal Vice-Presidents on ‘Freedom Struggle, Ideas at 75, Actions at 75 and Resolves at ‘75’ of Zonal Vice-Presidents, singing/recitation of Patriotic songs/poems, singing of National Anthem – were organized in all the benches of ITAT. Further, for one week i.e. from 18.11.2021 to 22.11.2021, 75 Benches of the Tribunal functioned.
(c) “Swachhta Pakhwada” was organized at all the Benches of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal as per the guidelines of Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitization, Government of India. “Swachhta Pledge” was administered to all officers and staff of ITAT on 02.10.2021.
(d) ‘Rashtriya Ekta Diwas’, the National Unity Day was observed in all Benches of the ITAT on 31.10.2021.
(e) ‘Samvidhan Diwas’, the Constitution Day was celebrated in all Benches of the ITAT on 26.11.2021.
(f) One-day awareness programme on prevention of Sexual Harassment of women at work place was conducted on 09.12.2021 at all Benches of ITAT.

The Premises of Benches of ITAT

At the following stations, the ITAT is functioning from its own building:-
(i) JAIPUR
(ii) BANGALORE
(iii) CUTTACK

At the following stations, pieces of land have been purchased by the ITAT for construction of office-cum-residential buildings:-
(i) PUNE
(ii) LUCKNOW
(iii) GUWAHATI
(iv) KOLKATA
(v) AHMEDABAD

Details of Status of Land Building:-

(i) Pune: A proposal for construction of Training Centre, Guest House and Staff Quarters at Akurdi has been approved and estimate of expenditure on Construction and preliminary drawings and lay out has been received from CPWD, Mumbai.
(ii) Lucknow: The construction of office-cum-residence building of ITAT, Lucknow is in full swing and is likely to be completed by March, 2022.
(iii) Guwahati: I.T.A.T., purchased 1 Bigha, 3 Katha, 1 Lessa at Fancy Bazar, Uzanbazar, Guwahati from Central Inland Water Transport Corporation (CIWTC), A Govt. of India Undertaking Organization, under Ministry of Shipping for a consideration amount of Rs. 4,03,00,000/-. The matter of delivery of possession of the property is being pursued with the Ministry of Shipping.
(iv) Kolkata: The WBHIDCO Ltd. has allotted 1.25 Acres of leasehold land vide letter dated 19.09.2019 at Financial & legal Hub developed by West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd. (WBHIDCO)] at a cost of Rs. 16.25 Crore. A Preliminary Estimate for Rs. 66.39 crore has been received from CPWD, Kolkata for construction of office building & residential complex at ITAT, Kolkata.
(v) Ahmedabad: The Ministry accorded permission and approval for the purchase of land at ITAT, Ahmedabad. Accordingly, a land admeasuring 11,559 sqmts has been allotted for construction of office building/Staff Quarters for ITAT, Ahmedabad Benches, Ahmedabad land at FP No. 60, TP No. 694 of Joje Sola, Tal. Ghatlodiya at cost of Rs. 76,46,16,869/- by the state Government of Gujarat and transferred/entered in Govt. land records in the name of ITAT, Ahmedabad. Estimate from CPWD, Ahmedabad, is awaited for construction of office building of ITAT, Ahmedabad.
(vi) Delhi: In addition to the above, the construction of office building of the ITAT, Delhi Benches, New Delhi by the NBCC India Ltd. in Tower ‘B’ at World Trade Centre, Nauroji Nagar, New Delhi is in full swing and the same is likely to be completed by December, 2022.
(vii) Raipur: An Office space admeasuring 8730 sq.ft area in the newly constructed GPOA Building at Naya Raipur (Atal Nagar), Chhattisgarh has been allotted to the ITAT, Raipur Bench, Raipur by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, New Delhi. The partition work of the newly allotted office space is complete and the possession of the office accommodation has been handed over to ITAT. The office space is being furnished through purchase of furniture and fixture through GeM.

Benevolent Fund:

A Benevolent Fund, the corpus of which has been built out of voluntary contributions by the officers and staff, also exists in the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal. The President, Income-tax Appellate Tribunal, is the patron. Officers and staff contribute voluntarily to this fund and disbursements are made to officials in need of medical or other emergent situations on the recommendation of Committee formed under the Rules.

Right to Information Act, 2005:

RTI Act 2005 has already been implemented by the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal. All the 28 stations (63 Benches) of ITAT are registered on the website of CIC, Delhi. 25 Stations have submitted RTI Annual Returns for the year 2020-21.

Implementation of Official Language Policy:

In accordance with the provisions of the Official Language Act, 1963, every endeavor is being made to ensure the progressive use of Hindi in the Benches of the ITAT.

With a view of keeping a constant monitoring on the implementation of the official language policy prescribed by Department of official language, Government of India and to provide guidance, as and when required, Official Language Implementation Committees (OLICs) have been constituted at all the Benches of Income-tax Appellate Tribunal.

Progress in achieving the targets set for Hindi correspondence and implementation of Official Language Policies is monitored by the Official Language Implementation Committee (OLIC) of the concerned Bench and periodical reports, forwarded by the Benches regarding progressive use of Hindi, are regularly scrutinized at ITAT Head Office at Mumbai. Training in Hindi/Hindi Typing/Hindi Stenography is offered by nominating sufficient number of officials under Hindi Teaching Scheme, of the Department of official language, Government of India.

Hindi workshops are also held in all the Benches for proper implementation of the Official Language policy and to encourage use of Hindi and to remove the hesitation of officers / employees to work in Hindi.

Sufficient funds are provided to purchase Hindi Books at all the Benches. All offices of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal were instructed to make expenditure towards purchase of Hindi Books (i.e. 50% of total library grant) as per the Official Language policy and in accordance with the targets fixed by the Department of Official Language, Government of India.

With a view to create awareness in regard to the use of Hindi in official work as well as to accelerate the pace of its progressive use, Hindi Day & Hindi Fortnight have been organized at all benches.

An Annual Magazine ‘Srijan” is published at Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, Mumbai. It contains photos of the Hindi Pakhwada Programmes, Hindi Workshops, besides articles, stories, poems and travelogues, etc. written by Members, Officers and employees of various Benches of ITAT.

The first sub-committee of Hon’ble Parliamentary Committee on Official Language inspected the status of progressive use of Hindi in Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, Delhi Bench, New Delhi on 09.04.2021.

2.21 LEGAL INFORMATION AND MANAGEMENT BRIEFING SYSTEM (LIMBS)

Background of LIMBS: The Legal Information Management and Briefing System (LIMBS) is a web based application for monitoring of all court cases where Union of India is one of the parties. LIMBS initially came in operation in Feb, 2016 and since then the application is working under the supervision of Department of Legal Affairs, Ministry of Law and Justice (as Nodal Ministry). It is an innovative and easy to access online tool which is available 24×7 to all the stakeholders’ viz., Government Officers/officials, Nodal officers, higher officials of Ministries, Department of Legal Affairs and Advocates.

LIMBS Ver.2 is an upgraded version of LIMBS and was launched in the year 2020 in collaboration with NIC. It is a dashboard based system for the user Ministries/Departments on which they can see their cases at a glance. This version is backed with the use of Open Source technologies using Coordinator framework of PHP to enhance the security and improve the efficiency of the system. With the concerted efforts of Ministries/Departments, the application has captured 7.87 lakh court cases (including archive cases) through 15948 registered users, thereby creating a single-unified database of litigations pertaining to Union of India. The application has captured details of 3281 courts and 20627 advocates.

As the application is implemented in all Ministries/Department of Govt. of India, Department of Legal Affairs, keeping in view of a huge user base, has extended its support for smooth adoption of application by all concerned. In this direction, over 200+ training session during 2020-2021 have been conducted which covers Officers/Officials of various Ministries/Department and of all hierarchy to ensure the dissemination of its feature for compliance and effective utilization of the portal.

Leaning towards a more automated system and to minimize the manual data entry process, efforts are being made to integrate LIMBS with various Courts and Tribunals through APIs for seamless data transfer and update. In this regard, Hon’ble Supreme Courts, High Courts & District Courts and 17 Tribunals have been approached. Department of Legal Affairs in cooperation with NIC and respective Court/Tribunal Authorities has successfully integrated LIMBS with the following Courts and Tribunals :

Courts on e-Courts platform i.e.

• High Courts (except Delhi High Court)
• District & Session Courts

Tribunals :

• Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) & its Benches
• Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL)
• National Green Tribunal (NGT)
• National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT),
• National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT)
• Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT)
• Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT)

Integration of LIMBS with Hon’ble Supreme Court and other Tribunals is under progress.

Some of the Salient Features of LIMBS Ver. 2:

Dashboard: Dashboard based platform with advanced data analytics and visualization through Graph, charts, diagrams etc. for effective monitoring. Users can view their ministry’s progress viz., total no. of cases entered, pending cases, disposed of cases, cases pending for compliance, important cases, contempt cases, counsel wise top 10 cases, subject wise pending cases etc.

Integration with Courts: Direct integration with websites of various Courts/Tribunals through APIs for minimizing errors of Manual entry of cases.
Facility of CNR number (unique 16-digit number generated in every case in e-Courts website) has been added. Now, users can search their cases using CNR number.

Advice module: has been introduced to facilitate the process of seeking advice/opinion by Ministries/Departments in various legal matters. This utility has been developed to bring all the stakeholders viz., Ministries, Department of Legal Affairs & Central Agency Section on single platform. Further, the module will facilitate the stakeholders in filing of SLPs which is a time bound process.

Integration with e-Office: The portal has been integrated with e-Office for cross platform monitoring in the matters of obtaining Legal Opinion or filing of SLPs.

SMS Alerts: The platform is also equipped with the facility of pushing SMS notifications to Users/Nodal Officers/Other Concerned Officers of the Ministries/Departments in matters such as Important Cases, Cases having large financial implications, Filing of SLPs etc.

Arbitration Module: LIMBS has provided a separate module for entering data on Arbitration Cases.

AMRCD Cases: Separate tab has been provided for entry of Administrative Mechanism for Resolution of Commercial Disputes (AMRCD) cases. MIS Reports are also available for AMRCD cases.
Advocate module for supervision of cases and facility for raising of fee bills by Law Officers, Panel Counsels and advocates has been provided through LIMBS portal.

Data Entry of new case and Case Updation: Now, users through different fields can update last hearing dates, next hearing dates and can upload relevant documents relating to a case using Compliance Entry under My Court Cases tab. Also, users can edit or add basic detail of cases viz., CNR no, advocate name & mobile no, brief history etc. using Case list from Updation tab.

Add Progress and Transfer of Cases: Users can add day-to-day progress of the cases and can transfer cases to other users of same ministry/department or nodal officers of other ministries.

Important Cases: Nodal Officer has the facility to mark cases as ‘important’ after taking approval from the Secretary. Also, users can view important cases of their ministry/department under Important Cases tab.

MIS Reports: Users can view statistical reports or summary reports viz., Case Status wise Summary, Case Category wise Summary, Financial Implication wise Summary, Court wise Summary, Decided Cases Summary, Total Report, Total Member list, Dispute Referred Cases, Disputes Not Referred Cases, Total Arbitration Cases, Total Raised bills, Total Nodal Officers list, Total User list, etc.

Nodal Officer and Local Admins have been provided rights to manage users and case status under their control. They can activate new users of his Ministry/Departments/Sub- departments/Autonomous Organizations/CPSEs, etc, can change user profile, reset password, edit username etc.
LIMBS has also been implemented in Litigation (High Court) Section.

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