Aadhaar being promoted by govt as ‘herbal panacea’ for all ills, SC told
Petitioners said the government’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory for PAN cards and IT returns was “unconstitutional and draconian”.india Updated: May 05, 2017 07:13 IST
Those opposing linking Aadhaar to Income-tax returns and PAN cards told the Supreme Court that the NDA government was promoting the 12-digit identity number as “herbal panacea” for all ills plaguing India, from “terrorism to black money”.
“The government has an agenda to push Aadhaar that has become like one of those herbal remedies, which can cure everything,” senior advocate Arvind Datar told a bench headed by Justice AK Sikri.
Datar said the government’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory for PAN cards and IT returns was “unconstitutional and draconian”.
The court reserved its verdict on the petitions challenging the new I-T law that has made Aadhaar number compulsory for assesses while filing returns this year. If the linkage is not done by June 30, assesses could lose their PAN cards.
The submissions came a day after the government admitted to data leakage of Aadhaar cards. However, it said the UIDAI – the nodal agency for issuing the number – was not responsible and assured the biometrics was in safe custody.
Datar, a taxation expert lawyer, told the apex court that there was no justification for the Centre to amend the I-T law as there was a “legislative dichotomy”. The 2016 Aadhaar Act makes it mandatory for entitlements only.
“There is total legislative dichotomy. Now an amendment is brought in via the Income Tax Act making it compulsory in the face of a Supreme Court order which asks the government not to make it compulsory for now,” argued the senior advocate, appearing for petitioner and CPI leader Binoy Viswam.