Back when the Aadhaar Card became the first government-issued document to acknowledge a third gender, it was a bold, yet encouraging step. The Aadhaar is relatively easier to obtain for transgenders (ironically also infamous for privacy violations) as compared to other documents which do not go further than two tick-boxes on their application forms. However, this very fact turned into a concern when “Link Your Aadhaar” became the government’s catchphrase. The community has been facing problems linking their Aadhaar cards with their PANs and the subject wasn’t being addressed by the authorities either, until now.
On Monday, the Centre assured a resolution to the Aadhaar-PAN linking issue to the Supreme Court, allowing transgenders to finally file their income tax returns. The Centre’s response came after an SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, addressed a petition on the failure of Aadhaar-PAN linking due to technical problems.
The concern arose as the PAN database does not recognise a third gender, unlike Aadhaar. This loophole led to a mismatch in the information shared with each database.
According to Senior advocate C U Singh, the inconsistency led to rejection of income tax returns filed by his client Satyashri Sharmila.
However, the Centre’s counsel, Zoheb Hossain, ascertained that the issue will be resolved once the PAN database is upgraded, seeking four weeks’ time for the resolution.
Earlier this month, the apex court had extended the deadline of linking the Aadhaar Card to telephone, mobile phone or banking services while it awaits its final verdict on the constitutional validity of Aadhaar.