Excessive tax is social injustice by government: CJI Bobde

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Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde at his residence in New Delhi. (Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal/File)

While tax evasion is a social injustice to the fellow citizens, arbitrary or excessive tax also results in social injustice by a government, Chief Justice of India S A Bobde remarked on Friday.

Speaking at the 79th foundation day celebrations of Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, CJI Bobde said the tax should be collected from people like honey bee draws nectar from flowers without harming it. He further said that people should know what is due from them and the government should know what is due to them that can be achieved through early disposal of cases.

With only a week to the Union Budget 2020, Bobde also emphasised on the speedy resolution of tax disputes, saying it will act as an incentive for taxpayers and free the funds locked in litigation.

Read | India faces first fall in direct taxes in at least two decades

"A just and speedy dispute resolution is perceived as a tax incentive by the taxpayer. To the tax collector, an efficient tax judiciary assures that demands arising out of legitimate assessment are not strangled in delayed litigation," he said, adding that tax judiciary plays a very important role in resource mobilisation of the country and expressed concern over pendency of cases.

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CJI Sharad Arvind Bobde at his residence in New Delhi. Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal.

The pendency of appeal cases related to indirect taxes in the Supreme Court, High Court and CESTAT has reduced 61 per cent to 1.05 lakh in almost two years.

According to official data, total pendency of appeals at the Supreme Court, High Court and CESTAT (Customs Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal) as on June 30, 2017, was 2,73,591, whereas the same significantly came down to 1,05,756 as on March 31, 2019, a reduction of 61 per cent.

With regard to direct taxes, as many as 3.41 lakh cases were pending before commissioner (appeals), while 92,205 cases were pending before the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) as on March 31, 2019.