Madras High Court passes interim report allowing to file IT returns without Aadhaar

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Chennai/Tamil Nadu, November 1: The Madras High Court has passed an interim report on Wednesday allowing women to file their income tax returns without submitting Aadhaar number or Aadhaar enrolment number.

The interim report was passed by Justice TS Sivagnanam after hearing the plea by petitioner Preeti Mohan.

Preeti Mohan moved the court against the mandatory linkage of Aadhaar with IT returns, relying upon the Supreme Court decision in Binoy Viswam Vs Union of India case. In the case, the Supreme Court has imposed a partial stay on the operation of Section 139 AA of the Income Tax Act, which makes Aadhaar compulsory for submitting IT returns.

The counsel for Preeti Mohan contended that the orders issued by the Supreme Court in the case would make it clear that the Aadhaar was meant only as a voluntary scheme.

The counsel said that “but despite a partial stay imposed by the apex court, the Income Tax department is acting in a manner directly opposed to the court order and are demanding linkage of Aadhaar.”

According to reports, the petitioner had also referred to certain similar cases in which the Kerala High Court permitted people to file their IT returns without submitting their Aadhaar number or enrolment number.

While recording the submissions, the court said that “I am inclined to grant a similar relief, since today is the last day for filing income tax returns. If the returns are filed belatedly and if ultimately, the matter is decided by the Constitution Bench of Supreme Court against the petitioner, then she may be liable to pay interest for belated payment of tax.”

“Accordingly, there will be an interim direction to the Income Tax department to permit the petitioner to file her returns for the assessment year 2017-18 either manually or through appropriate e-filing facility without insisting for Aadhaar number,” said the COurt.

The Court then posted the matter to December 18 so as the I-T department could file its counter-affidavit.