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You can use PAN to file tax returns even without an Aadhaar, rules SC

A bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan had on May 4 reserved the verdict on the pleas, challenging section 139AA of the Income Tax (I-T) Act, which was introduced through the latest budget and the Finance Act, 2017.

July 28, 2017 / 02:50 PM IST

In a setback to the government, the Supreme Court on Friday granted partial stay on Section 139AA, which allows mandatory linkage of Aadhaar for filing income tax returns and allotment of PAN (permanent account number).

The apex court said that those who do not have an Aadhaar card can still file their I-T returns with their PAN. However, those who have an Aadhaar card will have to link it to the PAN.

The court said that an assessee who does not possess Aadhaar will not face criminal consequences for not linking PAN with Aadhaar.


How Aadhaar will transform India in the future

A bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan had on May 4 reserved the verdict on the pleas, challenging section 139AA of the Income Tax (I-T) Act, which was introduced through the latest budget and the Finance Act, 2017.

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The Section 139AA “provides for mandatory quoting of Aadhaar / Enrolment ID of Aadhaar application form, for filing of return of income and for making an application for allotment of Permanent Account Number with effect from July 1, 2017.”

The Supreme Court also asked the government to formulate a scheme to prevent leakage of personal data.

Salman Kurshid, Senior Advocate said that as per the SC ruling, PAN usage will be applicable even without an Aadhaar card.

Kurshid further said that the welfare schemes, as decided earlier, will need Aadhaar card. Other add-ons like Aadhaar for flight ticket and airport might not hold.

CPI leader Binoy Viswam had filed a petition with the apex court opposing the government’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory. He had contended that the Centre cannot "belittle" the apex court's 2015 order holding the unique identification number as voluntary.

The bench had earlier said that Aadhaar was voluntary and cannot be made mandatory for filing returns or getting a PAN.

On the other hand, the Centre had argued that Aadhaar has been mandatory to weed out fake cards used for circulation of black money and terror financing.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had told the bench that the PAN programme could be faked while Aadhaar’s system is far more secure and, hence, could not be faked. The Centre also said that fake PAN cards were being used to divert money to shell companies.

According to PTI, Rohatgi also said that with implementation of Aadhaar, the government had saved over Rs 50,000 crore on various schemes to benefit the poor as well as pension schemes.
first published: Jun 9, 2017 02:37 pm

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