The government on Wednesday clarified to the Supreme Court that the permanent account number (PAN) will not be invalidated retrospectively if it isn’t linked with the Aadhaar.
PAN will be invalidated from July 1, 2017 and not from when one had applied for it, Mukul Rohatgi, government’s top law officer attorney said, according to a report in the Livemint.
Earlier this month, the government had made Aadhaar number compulsory for filing income tax returns and also to apply for a new PAN.
According to the new Finance Act, 2017, the PAN number can be considered void if it is not linked with the Aadhaar.
The court was hearing three petitions on the government’s decision to make Aadhaar mandatory for PAN and also for filing returns.
“Aadhaar linkage is only for an individual assessee and not for companies, firms etc. The consequences of non-compliance are draconian,” said senior advocate Arvind Datar.
Datar also said that Aadhaar is more a right of the citizen and not a duty. Hence, it cannot be made mandatory for any government scheme.
In the last one month, the government has made Aadhaar mandatory for multiple schemes and facilities including filing tax returns and getting a new phone connection.
The court will continue to hear the case on Thursday.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday also questioned members of parliament (MPs) as to why no one objected when the government made Aadhaar mandatory for PAN.