Supporting the initiative of Narendra Modi government to make Aadhaar compulsory for any kind of transaction and public dealings, the Supreme Court of India had given a thumbs up to make Aadhaar mandatory to file income tax returns (ITR), but not with immediate effect.
The decision has come from the bench comprising Justice A K Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan of the Supreme Court.
This year ITR could be filed only through PAN card
But the Supreme Court also made it clear that those assessees who do not have Aadhaar cards now, the government should not treat their PAN cards invalid for the filing of ITR for the time being. The Supreme Court bench was of the view that till the constitution bench of the Supreme Court gives its final verdict on the validity of Aadhaar Card, the government should allow people to file their ITR by using PAN cards.
Upholding centre government’s decision on the issue, the Supreme Court in its 155-page judgment made it clear that the Parliament had the authority to amend the Income Tax Act to include Section 139AA to bring this change for filing the ITR.
SC orders Centre to clear fears of data leakage
The Supreme Court also expressed that the Centre government should make all endeavour at the earliest to clear fear from the public mind that there could be any chance of their data leakage with respect to the linkage of Aadhaar and PAN. Also, the court ordered that the amendment to the Income Tax Act will not be implemented from the back date and would be prospective.
Giving reasons as to why the law should not have effect from the back date, the Supreme Court expressed otherwise it would attract other penalties towards income tax assessees under the Income Tax Act. The court said that it would amount to having a negative effect on all the acts performed till date by any person on the basis of PAN.
Petitioner says till date SC has not declared Aadhaar mandatory
Supreme Court’s decision came on a petition moved by Binoy Viswam. He had challenged the enactment of Section 139AA in the Income Tax Act. The petitioner had argued that when the Supreme Court itself had made it clear that till now the enrolment in Aadhaar is not mandatory and is voluntary then the government cannot make Aadhaar card mandatory for filing ITR or to get PAN.
Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com