The Supreme Court on Friday expressed its displeasure over the Centre's move to make Aadhar mandatory. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the apex court they have found that a number of Pan cards are being used to divert funds to shell companies, adding making the Aadhar card mandatory is the only option to prevent it.
Rohtagi made this submission when the Supreme Court asked the Centre as to why the Aadhar card should be made mandatory when an order has already been passed to make it optional.
He also told the Supreme Court there is now an Act in place to make Aadhar mandatory to file the Income Tax returns.
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 Aadhar 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 Aadhar mandatory for opening bank accounts, getting mobile connections and getting passports.
The Supreme Court will next hear the plea challenging the government's move to make Aadhar mandatory on April 25.