The apex court said it will hear the plea challenging the government's move on 25 April.
The court also asked the Union Government that is making Aadhar mandatory by force the only way to tackle fraud and fake pan card?
In a setback to the Modi government that was hoping to make Aadhaar mandatory for nearly every government-run programme, the Supreme Court on Friday asked Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to justify the government's move that made Aadhaar compulsory for filing Income Tax returns.
The Supreme Court, previously on March 27, had made it clear that the Aadhaar can not be made mandatory by the government for the extension of benefits of social welfare schemes. "To prevent it (from happening), the only option was to make Aadhar card mandatory", said Attorney General of India, Mukul Rohatgi, appearing in the Supreme Court on the government's behalf. By the impugned provision, Aadhaar has been made mandatory for obtaining PAN, continued validity of PAN and for filing of return under the Income Tax Act.
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In 2015, the Supreme Court had issued an order saying that Aadhaar can not be made mandatory for government schemes.
Rohatgi said there were instances of one person having multiple PAN cards, which were then used to divert funds to shell companies.
Senior counsel Shyam Divan and Arvind Datar, appearing for the petitioners, including a former judge of Karnataka High Court, said that it was extremely hard to follow the rule as many people did not have an Aadhaar card.
Section 139AA of the Income-tax Act, 1961 as introduced by the Finance Act, 2017, provides for mandatory quoting of Aadhaar / Enrolment ID of Aadhaar application form, for the filing of return of income and for making an application for allotment of Permanent Account Number with effect from 1st July 2017.