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Govt can’t make PAN invalid if not linked to Aadhaar: HC

January 23, 2020 05:56 AM



The Gujarat high court said a person’s Income Tax (I-T) permanent account number (PAN) does not become invalid for filing income tax returns and making transactions just because it is not linked to their Aadhaar card.

The HC said the government cannot make PAN inoperative or hold the PAN holder to be a defaulter just because their PAN was not linked to their Aadhaar or their Aadhaar number was not quoted till the Supreme Court decides the validity of the Aadhaar Act, which is pending in the form of a reference before a larger bench.

The high court made it clear that until the apex court decides the issue of the Aadhaar Act’s validity as a money bill in Rojer Mathew v/s South Indian Bank Ltd, the government cannot take action against PAN holdersfor not linking them with their Aadhaar ID, under Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act. The high court recently passed this order on a petition filed by Advocate Bandish Soparkar in 2017, when the central government had issued the diktat mandating linking of PAN with Aadhaar. On March 31, 2019, the central government set a deadline of September 30 for this. Soparkar submitted before the court that parting with biometric data by linking his PAN with Aadhaar would cause irreparable damage to him. If his PAN was suspended for not linking it with Aadhaar, he would not be able to operate his account.

The high court granted interim relief to the petitioner earlier and he could successfully file his I-T returns. During the final hearing, the central government opposed Soparkar’s demand, saying that any relief granted to the applicant would have “wide repercussions in the entire countr

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