The Finance Ministry has operationalised an ambitious electronic national database of judicial orders and appeals to de-congest and streamline huge litigation in the Income Tax Department and the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).
The much-talked about repository called the National Judicial Reference System (NJRS) was envisaged about three years back for the I-T Department which is one of the largest litigant among government departments.
According to data, tax demand of more than Rs 3.5 lakh crore is under dispute and litigation before various courts and appellate authorities under the direct taxes category.
“The CBDT has launched the limited edition (beta version) of NJRS recently after it was conceptualised few years back to revolutionise and ease litigation in the I-T Department for the benefit of both the government and taxpayers. The full and public operationalisation of the portal is expected to be done by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley soon.
“The database has records of over 2.5 lakh appeals and more than 1.45 lakh orders and judgements. Now, a tax officer can check any reference on judicial orders relating to direct taxes and status of appeals across the country of the department on a click,” a senior finance ministry official said.
The NJRS will also have an interface for the taxpayers so that they can see the status of their I-T cases on the Internet-enabled portal by using a unique code which could either be the Permanent Account Number (PAN) or the case number of the assessee, the official said.
A central processing centre for the NJRS has been established at Nashik in Maharashtra by the tax department and it will act as a repository of all judgements and pending appeals related to Direct Tax cases at Income Tax Appellate Tribunals (ITATs), Authority for Advance Ruling (AAR), High Courts and the Supreme Court.