98.Appeals to First Appellate Authority
(1) Any person aggrieved by any decision or order passed against him under this Act or under the [SGST/CGST] Act as authorized under section 7 of the [SGST/CGST] Act by an adjudicating authority, may appeal to the prescribed First Appellate Authority within three months from the date on which the said decision or order is communicated to such person.
(2) The Commissioner may, of his own motion, or upon request from the Commissioner of [SGST/CGST] call for and examine the record of any proceeding in which an adjudicating authority has passed any decision or order under this Act or under the [SGST/CGST] Act as authorized under section 7 of the [SGST/CGST] Act, for the purpose of satisfying himself as to the legality or propriety of the said decision or order and may, by order, direct any GST Officer subordinate to him to apply to the First Appellate Authority within six months from the date on which the said decision or order is communicated to such person for the determination of such points arising out of the said decision or order as may be specified by the Commissioner in his order.
(3) Where, in pursuance of an order under sub-section (2), the authorized officer makes an application to the First Appellate Authority, such application shall be dealt with by the First Appellate Authority as if it were an appeal made against the decision or order of the adjudicating authority and the provisions of this Act relating to appeals shall, so far as may be, apply to such application.
(4) The First Appellate Authority may, if he is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from presenting the appeal within the aforesaid period of three months or six months, as the case may be, allow it to be presented within a further period of one month.
(5) Every appeal under this section shall be in the prescribed form and shall be verified in the prescribed manner.
(6) No appeal shall be filed under sub-section (1) unless the appellant has deposited–
(a) in full, such part of the amount of tax, interest, fine, fee and penalty arising from the impugned order, as is admitted by him, and
(b) a sum equal to ten percent of the remaining amount of tax in dispute arising from the said order, in relation to which the appeal has been filed.
PROVIDED that nothing in this sub-section shall affect the right of the departmental authorities to apply to the First Appellate Authority for ordering a higher amount of pre-deposit, not exceeding twenty five percent of the amount of tax in dispute, in a case which is considered by the Commissioner of GST to be a “serious case”.
Explanation .- For the purpose of this proviso, the expression “serious case” shall mean a case in which an order has been passed under section 67 involving a disputed tax liability of not less than Rupees Twenty Five Crores.
(7) The First Appellate Authority shall give an opportunity to the appellant of being heard, if he so desires.
(8) The First Appellate Authority may, if sufficient cause is shown at any stage of hearing of an appeal, grant time, from time to time, to the parties or any of them and adjourn the hearing of the appeal for reasons to be recorded in writing:
PROVIDED that no such adjournment shall be granted more than three times to a party during hearing of the appeal.
(9) The First Appellate Authority may, at the time of hearing of an appeal, allow an appellant to go into any ground of appeal not specified in the grounds of appeal, if he is satisfied that the omission of that ground from the grounds of appeal was not wilful or unreasonable.
(10) The First Appellate Authority shall, after making such further inquiry as may be necessary, pass such order, as he thinks just and proper, confirming, modifying or annulling the decision or order appealed against but shall not refer the case back to the authority that passed the said decision or order:
PROVIDED that an order enhancing any fee or penalty or fine in lieu of confiscation or confiscating goods of greater value or reducing the amount of refund or input tax credit shall not be passed unless the appellant has been given a reasonable opportunity of showing cause against the proposed order:
PROVIDED FURTHER that where the First Appellate Authority is of the opinion that any tax has not been paid or short-paid or erroneously refunded, or where input tax credit has been wrongly availed or utilized, no order requiring the appellant to pay such tax or input tax credit shall be passed unless the appellant is given notice to show cause against the proposed order and the order is passed within the time limit specified under section 66 or 67.
(11) The order of the First Appellate Authority disposing of the appeal shall be in writing and shall state the points for determination, the decision thereon and the reasons for the decision.
(12) The First Appellate Authority shall, where it is possible to do so, hear and decide every appeal within a period of one year from the date on which it is filed:
PROVIDED that where the issuance of order is stayed by an order of a Court or Tribunal, the period of such stay shall be excluded in computing the period of one year.
(13) On disposal of the appeal, the First Appellate Authority shall communicate the order passed by him to the appellant and to the adjudicating authority.
(14) A copy of the order passed by the First Appellate Authority shall also be sent to the jurisdictional Commissioner of CGST or the authority designated by him in this behalf and the jurisdictional Commissioner of SGST or the authority designated by him in this behalf.
(15) Every order passed under this section shall, subject to the provisions of sections 99, 102, 106 or 107, be final.