1. Aadhaar for I-T returns: Madras High Court rejects plea for exemption

Aadhaar for I-T returns: Madras High Court rejects plea for exemption

The Madras High Court has said that the Aadhaar number is necessary to file Income Tax returns and dismissed a plea seeking exemption from quoting it, a week after it allowed a woman to file her I-T returns without mentioning it.

By: | Chennai | Published: November 7, 2017 9:56 PM
Aadhaar for I-T returns, Income Tax Returns, Madras High Court, plea for exemption, e-filing facility, Aadhaar Act The Madras High Court has said that the Aadhaar number is necessary to file Income Tax returns and dismissed a plea seeking exemption from quoting it, a week after it allowed a woman to file her I-T returns without mentioning it. (Image: Reuters)

The Madras High Court has said that the Aadhaar number is necessary to file Income Tax returns and dismissed a plea seeking exemption from quoting it, a week after it allowed a woman to file her I-T returns without mentioning it. Petitioner Thiagarajan Kumararaja sought a direction for permitting him to file his I-T returns for the assessment year 2017-18 either manually or through the appropriate e-filing facility without insisting on quoting the Aadhaar number. The order comes a week after the same judge – T S Sivagnanam – allowed the woman to file her I-T returns without quoting the Aadhaar number or Aadhaar enrolment number. The judge had passed the interim order on a plea by Preethi Mohan. The woman’s counsel had move the court relying on a Supreme Court ruling in a case in which it had imposed a partial stay on the operation of Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, which mandates linkage of Aadhaar with I-T returns. Citing the supreme court order in the Binoy Viswam vs Union of India case, Justice Sivagnanam, who dismissed the petition yesterday, said the apex court had rejected the contention that since enrolment under the Aadhaar Act is voluntary, it cannot be made compulsory under the Income Tax Act.

The judge said on a reading of the judgement rendered in the case, it would clearly show that the apex court has not stayed the “proviso to sub-section (2) of Section 139AA of the Act” and the partial stay would be applicable only to facilitate the other transactions, which are mentioned in rule 114B, where PAN is to be quoted in all documents. “Therefore, to state that the partial stay granted by the Hon’ble Supreme Court would endure to the benefit of the petitioner even for filing income tax returns is a plea, which is not sustainable and is liable to be rejected,” the judge said.

The judge said it has also been held that the purpose behind the Act namely the Income Tax Act, 1961 is entirely different, the purpose being to curb black money, money laundering and tax evasion, among others. It has been further held that for achieving such objects, if parliament chooses to make the provision mandatory under the Act, the competence of parliament cannot be questioned “on the ground that it is impermissible only because under the Aadhaar Act, the provision is directory in nature.”

The apex court also held that it is the prerogative of Parliament to make a particular provision directory in one statute and mandatory/compulsory in the other and that by itself cannot be a ground to question the competence of the legislature, the judge said. On October 31, the court had issued an interim direction to the I-T department to permit the woman to file her returns for the assessment year 2017-18 either manually or through appropriate e-filing facility without insisting for Aadhaar number. It also posted the matter to December 18 for the I-T department to file its counter.

Get latest news and updates on Auto Expo 2018, check breaking news on Budget 2018, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

  1. R
    Reader
    Nov 8, 2017 at 7:30 am
    The biometrics-based Aadhaar program is inherently flawed. Biometrics can be easily lifted by external means, there is no need to hack the system. High-resolution cameras can capture your fingerprints and iris information from a distance. Every eye hospital will have iris images of its patients. So another person can CLONE your fingerprints and iris images without your knowledge, and the same can be used for authentication. That is why advanced countries like the US, UK, etc. did not implement such a self-destructive biometrics-based system. If the biometric details of a person are COMPROMISED ONCE, then even a new Aadhaar card will not help the person concerned. This is NOT like blocking an ATM card and taking a new one.
    Reply
    1. R
      Reader
      Nov 8, 2017 at 7:30 am
      UK’s Biometric ID Database was dismantled. Why the United Kingdom's biometrics-linked National Identi-ty Card project to create a centralized register of sensitive information about residents similar to Aadhaar was scrapped in 2010?? The reasons were the massive threat posed to the privacy of people, the possibility of a surveillance state, the dangers of maintaining such a huge centralized repository of personal information and the purposes it could be used for, the dangers of such a centralized database being hacked, and the unreliability of such large-scale biometric verification processes. The Aadhaar program was designed in 2009 by mainly considering the 'Identi-ty Cards Act 2006' of UK, but the UK stopped that project in 2010, whereas India continued with the biometrics-based program. We must think why the United Kingdom abandoned their project and destroyed the data collected. (Google: 'Identi-ty Cards Act 2006' and 'Identi-ty Documents Act 2010' )
      Reply
      1. R
        Reader
        Nov 8, 2017 at 7:30 am
        A centralized and inter-linked biometric database like Aadhaar will lead to profiling and self-censorship, endangering freedom. Personal data gathered under the Aadhaar program is prone to misuse and surveillance. Aadhaar project has created a vulnerability to identi-ty fraud, even identi-ty theft. Easy harvesting of biometrics traits and publicly-available Aadhaar numbers increase the risk of impersonation, especially online and banking fraud. Centralized databases can be hacked. Biometrics can be cloned, copied and reused. Thus, BIOMETRICS CAN BE FAKED. High-resolution cameras can capture your fingerprints and iris information from a distance. Every eye hospital will have iris images of its patients. So another person can clone your fingerprints and iris images without your knowledge, and the same can be used for authentication. If the Aadhaar scheme is NOT STOPPED by the Supreme Court, the biometric features of Indians will soon be cloned, misused, and even traded.
        Reply
        1. R
          Reader
          Nov 8, 2017 at 7:29 am
          The US Social Security Number (SSN) card has NO BIOMETRIC DETAILS, no photograph, no physical description and no birth date. All it does is confirm that a particular number has been issued to a particular name. Instead, a driving license or state ID card is used as an identification for adults. The US government DOES NOT collect the biometric details of its own citizens for the purpose of issuing Social Security Number. The US collects the fingerprints of only those citizens who are involved in any criminal activity (it has nothing to do with SSN), and the citizens of other countries who come to the US.
          Reply

          Go to Top