The Supreme Court agreed to hear a plea filed by Communist Party of India leader Binoy Viswam challenging the government’s decision to make Aadhaar cards mandatory for filing income tax returns.
If one does not give Aadhaar number while filing returns, his or her permanent account number will become invalid, said senior advocate Arvind Datar, who appeared for the petitioner. The PAN card is now needed in almost every sphere of life, Datar added.
The government amended the Income Tax Act earlier this year and inserted section 139AA, which makes Aadhaar mandatory for obtaining PAN and for filing returns.
In response to the court’s query on how Aadhaar was made mandatory, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said the government has the legislative mandate in this regard. The court had earlier agreed to make Aadhaar mandatory for verification of mobile SIM cards, Rohatgi added.
The attorney general added that the government's decision will also help reduce the problem of fake PAN cards. "There is widespread misuse of PAN cards. Someone can take multiple PANs as MK Gupta, Mukesh Gupta, and other such Guptas." Rohatgi said.
The apex court will hear the matter next on April 26.