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  1. Provision was made in the Finance (No.2) Act.. 1980 for establishing the Customs,Excise and Gold(Control) Appellate Tribunal now Customs, Excise & Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (referred to for the convenience as the CEGAT and now as CESTAT). The Tribunal was constituted with affect from 11.10.1982 attached with Ministry of Finance (Department of Revenue) Notification No. 223/82 - Customs dated 11.10.1982 (Appendix 1).

  2. The Tribunal, is headed by its President. There is provision for a Senior Vice-President and Vice-Presidents (There are two at present.) Besides Judicial Members and Technical Members. For the purpose of constitution of Benches, the President and Vice-Presidents are also Judicial or Technical Members as the case may be.

  3. The work of the Tribunal has been distributed among various Benches, comprising Special Benches (5 as on 16.3.1986) located at Delhi and Regional Benches, one each located at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Chennai.

  4. Special Benches deal with matters relating, among other things, to disputes about the rate of duty of custom or of excise (referred to for convience, as classification disputes) or to the value, of goods for purposes of assessment of duty of customs or of excise (referred to as valuation disputes) . Special Benches consist of not less than two members, at least one being a Judicial Member and one a Technical Member. Regional Benches deal with matters other than those falling within the jurisdiction of the Special Benches. These consist of two Members - one a Judicial Member and one a Technical Member. There is also a provision for Single Member Benches which are competent to dispose of cases within the specified monetary limits falling within the jurisdiction of Regional Benches