The Supreme Court on Friday ordered that the Central government cannot make it compulsory to link Aadhaar card with PAN for filing tax returns. Staying the government order of linking Aadhaar with PAN, the top court said that it cannot be made mandatory till the constitution bench takes the final decision. However, the apex court upheld the government’s scheme to link Aadhaar to PAN.

The government has been asked to formulate a scheme first to prevent the leakage of personal details. The government had earlier argued that the PAN that a user holds will be considered invalid from July 1 if a user does not link the Aadhaar card details to it by June 30.

Also Read: Where is AADHAR mandatory, and where can you work without it

The decision of the Supreme Court comes at a time when the Modi government is trying its best to link most of the schemes and departments with Aadhar. Efforts are also underway to make Aadhar compulsory for sim cards and flight bookings.

The government has been defending its decision to make Aadhaar card mandatory for filing one’s Income Tax returns. The government has been maintaining that the move would help end fake and fraudulent financial accounts.

In the recent months, taxpayers have been receiving emails from the Income Tax Department’s e-filing team which has been urging the taxpayers to link Aadhaar with PAN as soon as possible. The email from them reads: “This (linking of Aadhaar and PAN) will be useful for E-Verification of Income Tax returns using Aadhaar OTP (One-Time Password).”

Also Read: Why use cards when you have Aadhar! Now pay bills through your fingerprints

Earlier, the government had decided to lower the limit on cash transaction from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 2 lakh and also directed the make Aadhaar number mandatory for filing income tax returns and applying for a PAN card.

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