HC stays order asking children of non-tribal fathers to pay tax
Shillong, July 28 (UNI) The Shillong Bench of Gauhati High Court has stayed the order of the Income Tax department asking offspring born out of a tribal-non-tribal wedlock to pay income tax returns.
The Income Tax Department had issued notices to 450 offices across the state asking them to deduct taxes of employees born out of non-tribal fathers and tribal mothers.
Justice A.P.Subba, who heard a petition filed by Prof.David Reid Syiemlieh and Dr Lakhan Kma yesterday, said that they were exempted from payment of income tax under the Indian Income Tax Act, 1961, as they both belonged to the Khasi scheduled tribe community of Meghalaya. Consequently, Justice Subba said, the order of the Income Tax department would remain stayed.
Earlier, the Income Tax department had asked all children born out of the wedlock of tribal-non-tribal couples to pay income tax returns for the current fiscal to avoid interest and penalties.
Commissioner of Income Tax department H Raikhan said the imposition of tax on offsprings of non-tribal fathers was based as per the verdict of the Supreme Court.
Justice H K Sema and A R Lakshmanan had pronounced that children born out of the wedlock of tribal-non-tribal couples could not be treated as tribals.
The Supreme Court, however, said if a forward caste woman married a tribal man, the children would obviously attain the tribal status.
The constitutional head of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council also decided to file a review petition with the Supreme Court to plead for exemption of Meghalaya from its ruling of stripping the Scheduled Tribe status of the children of a tribal mother and non-tribal father.
Chief Minister D.D.Lapang said the government had decided to take up the matter with the appropriate authorities to resolve it expeditiously.