India

SC: Aadhaar can't be made mandatory for filling tax returns

09 Jun 2017 | By Gogona Saikia

The Supreme Court has stayed the government notification mandating linking of Aadhaar number with PAN till a constitution bench decides on the matter, reported ANI.

Earlier, the Finance Act had made the linking mandatory to file income tax returns.

The judgement comes one month after the week-long hearings on the matter concluded in May.

In context: SC to decide on mandatory Aadhaar

ProposalThe Aadhaar-PAN link

Under the amended Finance Bill 2017, the government made it mandatory for citizens to link the Aadhaar and PAN to file income tax returns.

It is also mandatory to link the two for people to apply for new PAN cards.

In addition, if citizens fail to link their PAN and Aadhaar, their PAN cards could be rendered void.

WarThe SC-Centre face-off over Aadhaar

The Centre has consistently flouted SC guidelines, according to which Aadhaar has to be "purely voluntary" and cannot be made mandatory.

Despite this, the Centre has expanded its scope, making it compulsory for more and more schemes, including for I-T returns, provident fund, student scholarships in schools, cooking gas for BPL families and more.

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Privacy also a victim of Aadhaar?

Questions have also been raised about privacy. The Centre for Internet and Society claimed that four government websites had made public 13.5cr Aadhaar numbers, plus 100mn bank account numbers. However, UIDAI defended by saying, "While Aadhaar numbers are available, the biometric information is not."

09 Jun 2017SC: Aadhaar can't be made mandatory for filling tax returns

11 Jun 2017Aadhaar mandatory for tax returns from July, announces govt

The government has announced that Aadhaar will be a "must" for filing I-T returns from July 1.

This comes a day after SC temporarily stayed a law which mandates Aadhaar-PAN linking for tax returns.

The government announced the SC order was a "partial relief" to those who do not have an Aadhaar number, and the I-T department won't yet "cancel" such PANs.

28 Jun 2017From July, Aadhaar mandatory to apply for PAN

Starting July 1, it will be mandatory to provide Aadhaar details or enrolment ID while applying for PAN.

This comes a day after the SC refused to pass an interim order against government notifications on Aadhaar based on "mere apprehensions" of petitioners.

Meanwhile, the government has extended the deadline for those who enjoy social benefits but don't have Aadhaar, to September 30.