The Gujarat High Court today allowed a man to file his income tax return (ITR) manually instead of doing it online which requires linkage to Aadhaar card, and directed the I-T department to accept the same. The ruling by a division bench of Justices M R Shah and A Y Kogje came on a petition filed by K R Koshti. The last date to file the ITR for fiscal 2017-18 is August 31, 2018. As per rules, the ITR has to be uploaded on the I-T department’s web portal only after linking it to the 12-digit unique identity number (Aadhaar) of the assessee.
In his petition, Koshti had sought the HC’s direction to the department to accept his ITR for the assessment year 2018-19 “without insisting on quoting the Aadhaar card number or application for Aadhaar enrolment.” The petitioner has challenged Section 139AA of the I-T Act, introduced by the Finance Act 2017, which provides for mandatory quoting of Aadhaar or enrolment ID of Aadhaar application form for filing ITR and also for allotment of PAN number with effect from July 1 this year.
Kogje said he has not applied for the UID (unique identification) card and therefore has no Aadhaar number to furnish with his ITR on the department’s website. He said the Centre has extended till March 31, 2019, the date for linking PAN with Aadhaar. The HC, in its earlier ruling in the case on February 28 this year, had ordered that the matter be listed after decision on matters pending before the Supreme Court wherein the validity of the Aadhaar scheme has been challenged. The apex court has concluded hearing on a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar Act, 2016 and reserved its verdict.