The Centre on Thursday informed the Supreme Court that it was willing to extend till 31 March next year the deadline fixed for mandatory linking of Aadhaar for availing of various services and welfare schemes.
The Supreme Court will be setting up a five-judge Constitution Bench next week to hear several pleas seeking an interim stay on the Centre’s decision of mandatory linking of Aadhaar.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra was informed by Attorney General K K Venugopal that the Centre was willing to extend the deadline of 31 December to 31 March next year for linking of Aadhaar with various services and schemes.
The Attorney General, however, made it clear that February 6 next year would remain the deadline for linking Aadhaar for availing of uninterrupted mobile services as it had been mandated by the apex court.
Senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for those who are opposed to the Aadhaar scheme told the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, that the Centre should give an undertaking that no coercive steps would be taken against those who fail to link their Aadhaar with various services.
Plea against Aadhaar linking
Last month, the government had told the court, which is hearing petitions against making Aadhaar linking to bank accounts, mobile phone numbers and others mandatory, that it is willing to extend the deadline to 31 March, 2018
This year, the government made the quoting of Aadhaar mandatory for filing income tax returns (ITRs) as well as obtaining a new PAN.
“The duplicate PAN cards are the ones which are creating a major danger to the economy. They are the ones who are using this duplicate PAN for opening bank accounts and then they are transacting and they are not filing returns. So we need to worry about them,” the official said.
Section 139 AA (2) of the Income Tax Act says that every person having PAN as on July 1, 2017 and eligible to obtain Aadhaar, must intimate his Aadhaar number to the tax authorities. The government had in August extended by four months the deadline for linking PAN with Aadhaar till 31 December, pending the Supreme Court verdict.
As the case is pending in the Supreme Court, the government is not enforcing the provision, the official said.
“There will be a time when, once Supreme Court clears it, we would like to give a date by which all have to link with Aadhaar and remaining will be cancelled.
“We will give a 3-6 month window… But after that the PAN, if it is not linked, will be cancelled. Our purpose is, all duplicate PANs should be eliminated which are not linked to Aadhaar card. So, all the Benami transactions will go,” the official said.
The Supreme Court is hearing petitions challenging the government’s decision on Aadhaar and has said it may consider setting up a constitution bench to hear pleas challenging the Centre’s move to make Aadhaar card mandatory for availing various services and benefits of welfare schemes.
However, if you have already got your Aadhaar card and are planning to link them here are five simple steps to do it:
Step 1: Keep your Aadhaar and PAN numbers handy.
Step 2: Register on the Income tax e-Filing portal if you already haven’t yet. If you are already registered at the income tax department’s e-Filing portal, log in using your ID, password and date of birth.
Step 3: A pop up window will appear, prompting you to link your PAN card with Aadhaar card. If you have a pop up blocker active, you will have to go on the “Profile Setting” on the dashboard’s menu bar to click on “Link Aadhar” option.
Step 4: You will have to add the necessary details like name your Date of Birth as per the PAN details as well as your gender. If you data is different that what’s mentioned on your PAN, the Aadhaar will not be linked to your PAN. Next thing to do is, to enter your 12 digit Aadhaar card number, then verify captcha and then click on “Link Aadhaar” button. Once your validation is successful, your Aadhaar will be successfully linked to your PAN.
Step 5: The last step is when a popup message is displayed stating that your Aadhaar card has been successfully linked to your PAN card.
Keep in mind, that once the Aadhaar-PAN linking is done, you can e-Verify your IT returns using Aadhaar if your mobile is registered with Aadhaar. By linking the two cards you will no longer have to submit your Income Tax acknowledgement to the IT department.