CESTAT | ”obiter dictum” not legally binding as precedent; jurisdictional commissioner cautioned for filing frivolous applications

Customs, Excise and Services Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT): Suvendu Kumar Pati (Judicial Member) dismissed an appeal which was filed in response to the order passed by this Tribunal for rectification of mistake on the ground that the order to the extent of availment of service of outdoor catering was not proper.

Authorized representative for the respondent department cited various cases in support of the grounds wherein disallowing credit had not been considered.

The Tribunal observed that in response to the points raised by the AR the Department wanted to get the review of the order in the guise of the rectification of mistake which had been discouraged by various forums including the Supreme Court.

The Tribunal was of the view that in the instant case no such error could be noticed in not placing any reliance on the judgment of ITC Ltd., 2019- TIOL- 2479- CESTAT- MAD, as it was an obiter dictum concerning which thread bore discussion had taken place during the course of argument and it was noticed that the submissions made by AR was erroneously taken as finding of the Larger Bench.

The Tribunal further explained the term obiter dictum, and clarified that such decisions since are not binding should not be taken on record while deciding upon a case.

The Tribunal also found that the jurisdictional commissioner was in the habit of making of bald allegations against the Court of Justice, for which a copy of this order was directed to be sent to the CBEC to caution him not to file such frivolous applications that constitute an offence of perjury. The appeal was dismissed.[Hawkins Cookers Ltd. v. Commr. Of CGST, 2022 SCC OnLine CESTAT 1, decided on 07-01-2022]


Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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