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A week before Union Budget, the Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde said at an event that “while tax evasion is a social justice to fellow citizens, arbitrary or excessive tax also results in social injustice by the government itself.”

He was speaking at the 79th foundation day of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, commending the long-standing contribution rendered by the Tribunal in resolving tax disputes. He said, “if there is one Tribunal in India that has made its mark for its professional excellence, independence and neutrality, it is Income Tax Appellate Tribunal.”

He said while the ITAT has given a fair share in resolving the pendency of cases before it, the government should provide better infrastructure to tackle pendency and other related issues. He also congratulated its President Justice P. P. Bhatt for all his initiatives, including the ongoing construction of ITAT’s new buildings.

Justice Bobde said, “A step much ahead of its time, it was India’s first experiment with the Tribunals, and it has proven to be a very successful one.” The ITAT was established in 1941, even before independence.

Talking about motivating both tax payers and the tax collectors, Justice Bobde said, “A just and speedy dispute resolution is perceived as a tax incentive by the tax payer. To tax collector, an efficient tax judiciary ensures that demands arising out of legitimate assessments are not strangled in delayed litigation.”

He also said that tax judiciary plays a very important role in resource mobilisation of the country.

Justice Bobde also discussed the role of artificial intelligence to help in the speedy disposal of cases, while cautioning that human reasoning can never be fully replaced with AI.

— India Legal Bureau

Read the Full Text of the CJI’s speech here


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