The Supreme Court of India today questioned the Central Government for making Aadhaar Card mandatory for procuring a Permanent Account Number (PAN) card.
Responding to this, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said that they have found that people were giving details of PAN cards which have been procured on the basis of fake documents.
The issue came up for judicial scrutiny on Friday with the Supreme questioning the decision even as the centre told the court that fake permanent account number (PAN) cards were being used to "divert funds" to shell firms.
The top court said it will decide on whether Aadhaar card can be made mandatory, for filing of Income Tax (I-T) returns, next week.
In its last order, the Supreme Court had said that Aadhaar can not be made compulsory for government schemes as many people did not have Aadhaar cards.
The government has made compulsory furnishing Aadhaar details at the time of filing income tax returns as well as applying for PAN card.
Section 139AA states, "Every person who is eligible to obtain Aadhaar number shall, on or after July 1, 2017 quote Aadhaar number in the application form for allotment of PAN, in the return of income".
Is making Aadhaar mandatory only way to stop fraud, Supreme Court asks government.
"There is a legislative mandate now".
The Attorney General (AG), representing the Centre, justified its initiative saying that making the Aadhaar compulsory is its "only option". He said fake PANs and ration cards have flooded markets and jinxed financial transactions. Pan card or welfare benefits did not feature in this list. "To prevent it, the only option is to make Aadhaar card mandatory", Rohatgi told ANI.
Senior counsel Arvind Datar, representing the petitioner, told the bench, "As per this section, if one does not have Aadhaar card, he can not have a PAN".
The court has agreed to hear and dispose of the petition next Wednesday.