Supreme Court says partial stay on mandatory Aadhaar for tax returns
Supreme Court rules Aadhaar linking for tax returns not mandatory for those who don’t have Aadhaar till now.
Partial stay on mandatory Aadhaar for tax returns until the issue of “right to privacy” is decided by Constitutional Bench
Government of India has filed a fresh affidavit in the Supreme Court on Friday June 9, 2017 as the latter was likely to pronounce its judgement on the issue of Aadhaar linkage with PAN, today.
The government said that the matter can be considered only by a 5-judge Constitution Bench. It said that over 115 crore Indians have already volunteered for Aadhaar, hence the petitioners have no locus-standi.
The government further said in its affidavit that benefits won't be denied to citizens even if the deadline of linking Aadhaar by June 30, 2017 is not met. Therefore, urgent hearing on the matter is not required, it told the apex court.
The bench of Justice A K Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan had on May 4 reserved the order on the pleas by senior Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Binoy Visman, former Major General of Indian Army S G Vombatkere and Convenor of Safai Karamchari Andolan Bezwada Wilson, who had challenged the validity of Section 139AA.
The petitioners had told the court that the provision mandating linking of Aadhaar number with the Permanent Account Number (PAN) would have "extremely far-reaching consequences not only for individuals but small businesses too".
The petitioners had told the court that the government had an agenda to push Aadhaar and pointed to the dichotomy between Aadhaar Act, 2016 that makes possessing Aadhaar optional and the Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act that makes its linking with PAN compulsory.
"A right that is voluntary under Aadhaar Act can`t be made a penal provision under the Income Tax Act," petitioner CPI leader Visman had told the court.
(With PTI inputs)