Over Rs 1.40 lk cr of excise duty locked up in litigation

New Delhi: Over Rs 1.40 lakh crore in excise duty is locked up in litigation at various levels, the government auditor CAG said on Friday.

While almost Rs 1 lakh crore of excise duty was locked up in tribunals, the amount involved in litigation in High Courts and the Supreme Court was over Rs 20,000 crore as on March 31, 2010, said the latest CAG report.

"A total of 50,657 cases involving duty of Rs1,40,125.56 crore were pending as on March 31, 2010, with different authorities," the Comptroller and Auditor General of India said in its `Compliance Audit Report (Indirect Taxes/Central Excise)` tabled in Parliament today.

This is more than double the amount of Rs 50,890 crore, which was outstanding as on March 31, 2009, relating to over 46,000 cases.

As per the report, of the total amount involved in demands for excise duty outstanding for adjudication/recovery at the end of last fiscal, over Rs 1.31 lakh crore were on cases less than five years old.

The rest over Rs 8,417 crore were on outstanding cases over five years old.

Of the total pending cases, 41,097 were less than five years old, while the rest have been going on for over five years.

While cases worth adjudication or recovery of Rs 12,654.51 crore were with adjudicating officers of the Central Board of Excise and Customs, another Rs 3,434.61 crore were in litigation stage with appellate commissioners.

Tribunals were handling cases worth a total of Rs 97,081.84 crore, the various High Courts and the Supreme Court were handling litigation worth Rs 21,530.66 crore, according to the report.

The latest findings come close on the heels of another CAG report, which said that direct taxes worth Rs 3 lakh crore is locked up in litigation at various levels.