The Madras High Court on Tuesday permitted petitioners, including lawyers, academicians and environmental activists to file their income tax returns manually without quoting the Aadhaar number.
A division bench of Justices M M Sundresh and Anand Venkatesh passed the interim order noting that since the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar itself was yet to be decided, the petitioners could be allowed to file I-T returns without the Aadhaar.
The Supreme Court had on May 10 reserved its verdict on a batch of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of the centre's flagship Aadhaar scheme.
Senior advocate Arvind P. Datar, who argued on behalf of the petitioners, requested for the intervention of the High Court as the systems were not accepting e-returns without Aadhaar linkage.
Datar pointed out that Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act makes it mandatory to have a Aadhaar card to avail certain government subsidies but since the petitioners before the court were not interested in availing those subsidies, they could not be compelled to obtain Aadhaar cards and submit the details either to the income tax department or any other agency.
Additional Solicitor General G. Rajagopalan cited the Supreme Court's ruling in June last year, wherein the apex court upheld the validity of Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, which requires linking of IT returns with Aadhaar, in Binoy Viswam’s case.
(With inputs from PTI)