Chief Justice of India SA Bobde on Friday asked the government to take steps to reduce the tax burden on citizens by saying the ‘excessive taxation’ can be seen as a form of social injustice imposed on the people.

CJI’s comments came at a time when the government is set to introduce the annual budget on February 1 and the International Monetary Fund had on Monday slashed the economic growth rate at 4.8 per cent.

Chief Justice Bobde was speaking at an event held to mark the 79th Foundation ceremony of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal in Delhi. “Excessive taxation can be seen as a form of social injustice imposed on the people. While tax evasion is social injustice to fellow citizens, arbitrary or excessive tax also results in social injustice by the government itself,” he said.

India is currently going through high inflation and a weakening of rupee as well as growth slowdown.

In December 2019, the inflation rose to 7.35 per cent which was a five-and-half year high, raising burden on the pockets of common people.

The apex court’s judge also focused on the crucial role which the appellate plays in ensuring that taxation-related disputes are resolved swiftly.

“Tax judiciary plays a very important role in resource mobilisation of the country. A just and speedy dispute resolution is perceived as a tax incentive by the taxpayer. To a tax collector, an efficient tax judiciary ensures that demands arising out of legitimate assessments are not strangled by delayed litigation,” he was quoted as saying by NDTV.