SC on Aadhaar: Congress welcomes order

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New Delhi, Jun 9: The Congress on Friday welcomed the Supreme Court order partially staying implementation of provisions in the Income Tax (I-T) Act making Aadhaar mandatory for allotment of PAN cards and filing of income tax returns (ITR).

Congress leader Tom Vadakkan

"This is a welcome decision. Probably the highest court has realised that the privacy issue regarding individuals is very serious," Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan said.

He said the matter was still there in the constitutional bench for them to decide. Referring to Aadhaar card required for mid-day meals, he said that is an "overdrive" as there are other means to authenticate students.

The court made it clear that those PAN cards without Aadhaar cannot be junked until the court finishes hearing the matter. A Constitution Bench of the SC will hear the matter, but the date has not been mentioned by the SC.

The court said that invalidating PAN cards of citizens who have not linked them to Aadhaar will invite severe consequences. Though fake PAN is a threat, Parliament should consider toning down the consequence of Aaadhaar-PAN linking. Further the court also added that it rejected the argument that Aadhaar-PAN linkage should be subject to voluntariness.

PTI

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