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SC questions Govt on linking PAN with Aadhaar

Ashish Tripathi, Deccan Herald News Service, NEW DELHI: Apr 21 2017, 12:47 IST
The Supreme Court on Friday decided to consider a plea made by former Kerala Minister and CPI leader Binoy Viswam, challenging the amendment to Income Tax Act making it mandatory to quote Aadhaar in filing IT returns. Deccan Herald file photo

The Supreme Court on Friday decided to consider a plea made by former Kerala Minister and CPI leader Binoy Viswam, challenging the amendment to Income Tax Act making it mandatory to quote Aadhaar in filing IT returns. Deccan Herald file photo

The Supreme Court on Friday questioned the Union government over its decision to link PAN with Aadhaar card by asking if it is remedy for all ills.

A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan posed the query while hearing a plea made former Kerala Minister and CPI leader Binoy Viswam, challenging the amendment to Income Tax Act making it mandatory to quote Aadhaar in filing IT returns.

The court put the writ petition for final disposal on Wednesday.

As senior advocate Arvind Datar, appearing for Viswam contended the amendment was draconian, the bench asked Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, "Why you insist for it?"

To the query, Rohatgi said, "The government has legislative mandate in this regard. Earlier, PAN card was made mandatory for filing Income Tax returns."

He also explained the decision on mandatory linking of PAN card with Aadhaar would reduce chances of duplications as it was found one man could possess several PAN cards on different names.

"Is this the remedy," the bench again asked.

Datar submitted that the amendment in statute stated that if one does not give Aadhaar number his or her PAN card would become invalid. He also contended that the move was against the previous apex court order that the government would not making Aadhaar mandatory to deny benefits to any citizen.

Rohatgi, then, said the apex court's order was passed before the legislative amendment.

The bench, however, decided to put the matter for final consideration on April 26.

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