Aadhaar for PAN, ITR: SC questions maintainability of plea

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday questioned the maintainability of a petition challenging the provision mandating linking of Aadhaar with PAN number and for filing income tax returns.

The top court said it had already upheld the validity of an Income Tax Act provision making Aadhaar mandatory for the allotment of permanent account number (PAN) and filing of tax returns in its judgement delivered in June this year.

“How this petition is maintainable now? We had upheld the vires (of the provision). Now, a judgement on right to privacy has come but there is no judgement on Aadhaar. How this petition has been filed?,” a bench comprising justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan asked.

The counsel, appearing for petitioner Binoy Viswam, a CPI leader, later withdrew the plea.

The bench granted him the liberty to file an application for intervention in the main Aadhaar matter which is scheduled to come up for hearing before a Constitution bench in the last week of this month.

The top court had on June 9 upheld section 139AA of the Income Tax Act making Aadhaar mandatory for allotment of PAN cards and filing of tax returns, but had put a partial stay on its implementation till a Constitution bench addressed the issue of right to privacy.

Later, the Constitution bench had declared right to privacy as a fundamental right.

Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act provides for mandatory quoting of Aadhaar or enrollment ID of Aadhaar application form for filing of income tax returns and making application for allotment of PAN with effect from July 1 this year.

Meanwhile, the apex court today also refused to hear a separate petition which had challenged the linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts.

The court said it cannot hear several petitions raising similar issue and asked the petitioner to move an application for intervention in the main Aadhaar matter.