Person filing tax return forms. (Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg)

Madras High Court Allows Nine Petitioners To File Income Tax Returns Without Aadhaar

The Madras High Court on Tuesday allowed nine petitioners to file their Income Tax returns manually without quoting their Aadhaar number for the assessment year 2018-19.

A division bench of Justices MM 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 Income Tax returns without the Aadhaar.

However, the bench made it clear that if the “Supreme Court decides to uphold the constitutionality of Aadhaar, then the petitioners would have to file revised return quoting 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 and its enabling 2016 law after a marathon hearing that went on for 38 days spanning four-and-half months.

In the high court, the petitioners, who sought the court’s direction to let them file returns without their Aadhaar number, contended that in view of a series of Supreme Court interim orders, Aadhaar remained a purely voluntary scheme.

Hence, they cannot be compelled by the Income Tax Department to provide Aadhaar details while filing returns, the petitioners argued.

Also read: 164 Aadhaar-Related Frauds Reported Since 2011, Most In 2018: New Database