The deadline for linking PAN with Aadhaar card has been extended several times and now the final date is decided as March 31, 2020. On January 23, 2020 the Gujarat High Court in one of its judgements stated that PAN not linked to Aadhaar shall not be inoperative till the Supreme Court’s judgement on the constitutional validity of Aadhaar Act is given.
The judgement was given by a single judge bench of Justice Harsha Devani. An appeal was filed recently in the Gujarat High Court by one Mr. Bandish Saurabh Soparkar seeking a declaration that he would not be in default in any proceedings only for the reason that the permanent account number (PAN) is not linked with Aadhaar or Aadhaar Number is not quoted. As per section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961 every person who is allotted Permanent Account number should intimate his/her Aadhaar number to the Income Tax Department otherwise the that persons’ PAN shall be inoperative. The Gujarat High Court observed that the opinion of majority in the K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India case makes its application difficult to the present case and raises a potential conflict between the judgements of coordinate Benches. The court even observes that the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act is itself in question to a larger Bench of the Supreme Court. Counsel for the applicant submitted that due to the ambiguity in the decisions of the Supreme court and their reference to the larger bench makes the applicant have this case.
The Court provided, “it’s pointed out by the counsel for the applicant, on the question as to whether the Aadhaar Act was rightly introduced as a “Money Bill”, the Supreme Court vide its judgment & order made in case of Rojer Mathew V. South Indian Bank Ltd. has referred the issue for consideration by a larger bench. The validity of the Aadhaar Act therefore, has not attained finality.”
The Gujarat High Court judgement in the case of Bandish Saurabh Soparkar v. Union of India 2020states: “PAN of applicant shall not be declared inoperative and applicant would not be in default in any proceedings only for reason that permanent account number is not linked with Aadhaar or Aadhaar number is not quoted and applicant shall not be subjected to proviso to sub-section (2) of section 139AA till judgment of Supreme Court in Roger Mathew v. South Indian Bank Ltd. and others in Civil Application No. 8588 of 2019 is delivered and available.”