F.No.A-11019/34/2001- Ad.IV





All Chief Commissioner of Customs & Central Excise

All Directorates General / Directorates - Customs and C.Excise
All Commissioners of Customs & Central Excise


                       Sub.: Setting up of a Directorate of Legal Affairs

               I am directed to say that pursuant to cadre restructuring of Central Excise and Customs Department, in order to provide more focused approach in the area of Legal Affairs and to strengthen the handling of legal matters pertaining to CBEC it has been decided to set up a Directorate of Legal Affairs with its headquarters at New Delhi under the control of a Commissioner rank officer to be designated as Director of Legal Affairs.

2.            The Directorate shall be the nodal agency to monitor the legal and judicial work of the CBEC and its field formations. It will work in close co-ordination with CBEC, CDRs' Office, Law Ministry , Directorate of Systems, Chief Commissioners, Central Agency Section of the Supreme Court of India, Senior Law Officers and Government Counsels etc. It will also maintain and monitor the database on the cases decided by or pending with the CEGAT, CAT, High Courts and the Supreme Court. Some of the important items of work of this Directorate are enumerated hereunder:- 

      a)       The Directorate will take up the monitoring of cases decided by various benches of the tribunal. The Directorate will create a data bank of all the cases decided by various benches of the Tribunal and effectively monitor cases in order to ensure that field formations recommend filing of appeals only in deserving cases and not on the issues already decided by the Supreme Court or High Court and accepted by the department. On the other hand, the Directorate will ensure that all orders of the Tribunal are examined by the field formations and timely proposals for filing appeals are  sent to the Board wherever necessary and a report about acceptance  of an order is sent to the appropriate higher authorities. 

     b)    The Directorate will intimate the field formations about important decisions of Supreme Court of India and of various High Courts , which are finally accepted by the Department in consultation with the various nodal ministries.

      c)     The newly created Directorate will create a database pertaining to the cases pending in various High Courts/Supreme Court. .The appellant/respondent Commissioners will assist the Directorate in creating and updating the database pertaining to the High Court Cases as well as those pertaining to Supreme Court.

      d)     The preparation of panels for Standing Counsel/ Panel Counsels for various High Courts can also be taken up by the Directorate on the basis of feedback received from field formations. The role of the new Directorate will be only to recommend and final decisions regarding approval of panel / appointment of Standing Counsels will rest with the Ministry .The Directorate shall also keep an approved panel of eminent lawyers well- versed with the Customs & Central Excise Laws as well as the administration matters, who may not be on the regular panel of the government but may be engaged by the department for handling important cases.

3.           This Directorate shall report to Member (L&J), CBEC and function in coordination with the JS. (Legal) and JS. (Review). It shall provide necessary inputs pertaining to the litigation work to the field formations or the Board's office in all possible manner so as to take necessary action within the prescribed period of limitation.

4.            The Directorate shall come into force on the date notified by the Central Board of Excise & Customs for such purpose.

5.            The expenditure involved should be met from within the budget grant of DGICCE for the financial year 2002-2003 or by reappropriation of the Central Excise and Customs grant or by supplementary grant, if necessary.

6.            Hindi version of this letter will follow.

7.            Please acknowledge receipt of this letter .

                                                                                                                Yours faithfully,


                                                                                           (Y.P. Vashishat )



Copy  forwarded to: -

                              1.   P. S .to Finance Minister 

                              2.   P .S. to MOS(R)

                              3.   PPS to Secretary

                              4.   PPS to Chairman, CBEC

                              5.   PPSs to all Members, CBEC

                              6.   All Joint Secretaries in CBEC & all DS/US and dealing

                                    with Administration in CBEC.

                              7.    FA (F)

                              8.    Principal CCA, CBEC.

                              9.    Guard File.



                                                                                                                           (Y.P. Vashishat )
                                                     UNDER SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA