The Supreme Court will on Friday hear a plea, challenging the government's decision to link Aadhaar with Permanent Account Number (PAN) card for filing of income tax returns and to apply for new PAN.
Earlier yesterday, the government clarified to the apex court that the PAN will be made invalid from July 1 and not from when a person had applied for it. The court had asked the government to justify the notification in this regard.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Centre told the apex court that the decision taken by it was made with the intention of curbing tax evasion and to keep check on circulation of black money.
Appearing before a bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said the move was to weed out fake PANs that are being used to divert funds to shell companies.
Three petitions in this regard have been filed by senior Communist Party of India leader Binoy Vishwam, Dalit rights activist Bezwada Wilson and retired army officer S.G. Vombatkere.
Section 139AA of the Income-tax Act, 1961 as introduced by the Finance Act, 2017, provides for mandatory quoting of Aadhaar / Enrolment ID of Aadhaar application form, for the filing of return of income and for making an application for allotment of Permanent Account Number with effect from 1st July, 2017.
In August 2015, the apex court in an order made it clear that Aadhaar cards will not be mandatory for availing benefits of the government's welfare schemes.
The Narendra Modi government, which eyes to end the black money menace, had last month made Aadhaar card mandatory for filing the Income Tax returns, for applying for a Pan card, to seek free gas connections under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.
The apex court had last month given green signal to the government for making Aadhaar mandatory for opening bank accounts, getting mobile connections and getting passports.