Why has Aadhaar been made mandatory, SC asks Centre

RSTV Bureau

File photo of Supreme Court of India.

On Friday, the Supreme Court questioned the Centre’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory for procuring a Permanent Account Number (PAN) card. The court then set April 25 as the date when it would hear arguments on the plea challenging the government’s move.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Centre, told a bench headed by Justice A K Sikri that they have found that people were giving details of PAN cards which have been procured on the basis of fake documents.

Rohatgi argued that there were instances that one person possessed multiple PAN cards and the fake cards were being used to divert funds to shell companies.

“Is this the remedy that you need to have Aadhaar for having PAN? Why has it been made mandatory?” the bench asked the Attorney General after hearing his reasoning.

Responding to this, Rohatgi said that earlier too they had found people procuring SIM cards for mobile phones on fake identity cards and the apex court had asked the government to check it.

Through an amendment to the tax proposals in the Finance Bill of Budget 2017-18, the government made Aadhaar mandatory for filing income tax returns and provided for linking of PAN with Aadhaar to curb tax evasion through use of multiple PAN cards.

(With inputs from PTI)