SC: Alive to earlier orders that Aadhaar should be voluntary
The Supreme Court on Thursday said it was "alive" to its earlier orders which had held that Aadhaar should be "voluntary". "We are alive to the orders passed by this court which says it should be voluntary," a bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said. The apex court made these observations while hearing the petitions challenging the constitutional validity of section 139AA of the Income Tax (IT) Act, which was introduced through the latest budget and the Finance Act 2017.
Section 139AA of IT Act provides for mandatory quoting of Aadhaar or enrolment ID of Aadhaar application form for filing of income tax returns and making application for allotment of PAN number with effect from July 1 this year. Senior counsel Shyam Divan, representing the petitioners, argued that section 139AA was unconstitutional and it was in "direct collision" with the Aadhaar Act.
"The entire Aadhaar Act is voluntary. It creates a right in favour of citizens. It does not create a duty. The Act is entirely voluntary. How can they make it mandatory under the Income Tax Act? The scheme under the Aadhaar Act is in direct collision with the provision of section 139AA," he said.