Benami Property - 45-day window for appeal against adjudication orders
Published: Feb 01, 2023
By TIOLCorplaws News Service
NEW DELHI, FEB 01, 2023: THE Union Budget for the year 2023 was tabled in Parliament today. Amidst many sops being offered for different segments of the society and the economy, the Government has also attempted to iron out anomalies in fiscal statutes. Under the existing provisions of section 46 of the PBPT Act, any person, including the Initiating Officer (IO), aggrieved by the order of the Adjudicating Authority, may prefer an appeal to the Appellate Tribunal within a period of 45 days from the date of the order. The order often takes time to reach the office of the Initiating Officer or the approving authority and, it is difficult to file an appeal within the prescribed time limit and leads to delay in such filing.
Hence, it is proposed that the provisions of section 46 of the PBPT Act may be amended to allow the filing of appeal against the order of the Adjudicating authority within a period of 45 days from the date when such order is received in the office of the Initiating Officer or the aggrieved person as the case may be. Similar change is also proposed with reference to the order passed by an authority under section 54A of the PBPT Act.
Under the existing provisions of section 2(18) of the PBPT Act, the ‘High Court', for the purpose of filing appeal against the order of the Adjudicating authority, have been defined as Jurisdiction of such High Court within which either the aggrieved party ordinarily resides or carries on business or personally works for gain, or if the aggrieved party is Government then, jurisdiction of the High Court within which the respondent, or any respondent in case of multiple respondents resides, or carries on business or works for gain. It has been observed that the non-residents against whom proceedings under PBPT Act have been initiated and who does not fall in the category of appellant or respondent mentioned in the definition, do not fall under the jurisdiction of any High Court.
Hence, to enable the determination of High Court jurisdiction for the non-resident appellants or respondents, it is proposed to amend section 2(18) of the PBPT Act to modify the definition of ‘High Court' by inserting a proviso so as to provide that where the aggrieved party does not ordinarily reside or carry on business or personally work for gain in the jurisdiction of any High Court or where the Government is the aggrieved party and any of the respondents do not ordinarily reside or carry on business or personally work for gain in the jurisdiction of any High Court, then the High Court shall be such within whose jurisdiction the office of the Initiating Officer is located. These amendments will take effect from the 1st day of April, 2023.