UID/Aadhaar
Those Without Aadhaar Can Continue to File IT Returns
The Supreme Court allowed the government to take another step in making Aadhaar compulsory by the backdoor but gave a breather to those taxpayers who do not have an Aadhaar number, striking down the government’s move that would have shut them out from filing income tax returns. This implied that if a person did hold an Aadhar card, they would be expected to attach their unique identity number with their permanent account number (PAN) but if the person did not go have an Aadhaar number, their IT return could not be rejected. 
 
The Government had brought in a new Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, which had made it mandatory to quote Aadhaar number or the enrolment ID of Aadhaar application form for filing of income tax returns with PAN (Permanent Account Number). This would have come into effect from July 1st. The SC has upheld this.
 
This law had led various people to rush to the Supreme Court, appealing that this would be an infringement of privacy and a leak in the data of the Aadhar would be severely damaging to the general public. Another important argument was that Aadhar was still voluntary under the law where, previously, the apex court had stated “no person should suffer for not getting the Aadhaar card in spite of the fact that some authority had issued a circular making it mandatory and when any person applies to get the Aadhaar Card voluntarily”. Under the new law the government sought to take penal action against them and invalidate their PAN under Section 139 AA (2). The SC has stayed this section because the applicant is bound to suffer immensely in his or her daily dealings if the PAN is cancelled.
 
Another of SC’s earlier directive came into question which said “no person shall be deprived of any service for want of Aadhaar number in case he/she is otherwise eligible/entitled. All the authorities are directed to modify their forms/ circulars/ like so as to not compulsorily require the Aadhaar number in order to meet the requirement of the interim order passed by this Court forthwith”.
 
This made the Supreme court uphold the law till its validity is checked and is yet to "test" whether Aadhaar violates the protection of life and personal liberty granted under Article 21 of the Constitution, which is a pending hearing before  a five-judge Constitution Bench.
 
Senior Advocate Shyam Divan, who was representing Dalit activist Bezwada Wilson and retired Major General SG Vombatkare, argued on the basis of the “informational self-determination” meaning that a person must have the right to determine the type of information that belonged to them that could be used and stated that the right to dignity was safeguarded under Article 21. 
 
Against this, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi took the stand that “Citizens do not have absolute right over their bodes” and used political philosopher Rousseau’s ideology that “the State is like a corporation, and the individuals are its members. There is no harm in using the collective. There is no harm in using the collective might of the state to provide orderly life, peace, and tranquility”.
 
Senior Advocate Arvind Datar, who was representing CPI’s senior leader Binoy Viswam, argued that the decision to link Aadhaar with PAN is legally “unsustainable” as the validity of Aadhaar is yet to be decided by the court. He also criticised the logic to link the UID to permanent account number (PAN). Both advocates, Divan and Datar, emphasised that Aadhar is a voluntary document, as held by the SC, and yet the government was acting in a manner that it is mandatory. 
 
Here is the full text of the SC judgement 
 

 

User

COMMENTS

Ramesh B Mhadlekar

2 weeks ago

I am confused by various different articles.Some say that the SC has ordered that every person filing income tax will have to link aadhar card or provide the enrolment number?Is it true?I do not have an aadhar card nor enrolled yet,what is my status ?can I file my return?could some expert guide me?

Mr Jitendra

2 weeks ago

It hurts to see the judiciary buckling under arguments and pressure from the Centre. What has caused confusion on Aadhaar is the several bits and pieces of orders from judiciary. Only 10.52 lakhs could be duplicates. We can assume 15 lakh PAN duplicates. For that entire 29 crore PANs need to be linked to Aadhaar?
For anything and everything, one needs to be authenticated with biometrics fingerprint?
Eg
To connect UAN from EPFO and Aadhaar, one has to go to EPFO office to authenticate your Aadhaar? OMG! Some 5.5 crore workers will walk to their nearest PF office to authenticate their Aadhaar? Another 10 crore pensioners will walk to their nearest PF office to authenticate Aadhaar? Employers companies will not do anything to come to the office premises to authenticate Aadhaar? This govt is like "come to me for everything, I wont come there" kind of.

Ralph Rau

2 weeks ago

Developed nations who implemented national ID have not seen improvement in security.

Poor nations like Pakistan have mandatory NID. Is Pakistan security better?

Wealthy nations like USA and U.K. are deliberately avoiding mandatory intrusive biometric ID

Adhaar was meant to have limited mandate. Better controls over government subsidies.

Are Indians so morally corrupt and unmindful of their civic duties and responsibilities ?

Ralph Rau

2 weeks ago

I want to be a name.

Only people in jail deprived of their rights and freedoms must be subjected to mandatory identification and continuous tracking and monitoring by a number.

Dinesh

2 weeks ago

This is really not a great move. Linking pan card with aadhar card should be made it mandatory, where we can eliminate the duplicates. Around 90% of the people who are corrupting the system are not paying the taxes, lump sum amount of black money are deposited under the name of binami, which they held fake e aadhar card. Hope one fine day the Income-tax ( IT Returns ) should be made linking of aadhar card with pan card.

Vikas Sivaraman

2 weeks ago

The way that Aadhar enrolmenf was done practically anyone could get a aadhar number. No proof of any kind for residence, citizenship or any verification of any kind was done. This has allowed a huge number of fraud registrations. And by allowing a link between aadhar and PAN the govt is sanctifying the illegitimacy of the whole process.
St best Aadhar is a biometric ID process. Nothing more. It just allows anyone to positively ID a person using fingerprint and or iris scanning technology. Beyond that it grants little or no legitimacy to the holder of the ID.
The govt needs to understand the above first.

REPLY

Mr Jitendra

In Reply to Vikas Sivaraman 2 weeks ago

Most finger prints collected during 2009-2011 are not getting authenticated at various places due to poor storage quality in database. Many people now have to repeat process of Aadhaar and give finger prints again for storage.
57 crore Aadhaar cards in India do not have the entire date of birth displayed. What a fiasco from the ex-chief of nation's best known IT firm?

RERA a big move forward, but consumers need to be watchful, says consumer activist Varsha Raut
The Real Estate Regulation & Development Act 2016 (RERA) has, for the first time, empowered consumers and made a beginning in terms of effectively protecting the biggest investment that most Indians make. This is definitely a huge step in the area of real estate but it is still a “work in progress”. 
 
Speaking about the Act at Moneylife Foundation on Saturday, Ms. Varsha Raut, of the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat said, “RERA is a gift to the consumer. Now the ball is in our court and we can make the most out of it by keeping a watchful eye. I think people should not be hasty in purchasing flats right now. Wait for two months (which is the time given for registration under RERA), and if you see any malpractice or anything suspicious then one must not hesitate in approaching the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat or just complaining to MahaRERA.”
 
 
There is a huge interest in understanding RERA and Ms Raut addressed a packed hall. Ms Raut, who has been an activist for 30 years, focused on consumer protection issues in the act such as timely completion, delivery, payments, possession and promise vs delivery. She said, “There is a difference between a consumer and a customer. A customer does not necessarily have specific knowledge about her rights, but a consumer is supposed to be aware and should fight for his/her rights. RERA is a proof that the consumer has finally been acknowledged”
 
 
Highlighting the features of RERA she said, “The registration requirement under RERA is definitely one of the most important features of the act. An on-going project needs to register within 3 months of the commencement of the act and a new project cannot even advertise, market or sell apartments until it has registered and submitted all documents and permissions that are required to develop the property”. 
 
 
False or misleading advertisement as well as promising misleading services can lead to revocation of registration. She further explained to the audience of the consequences of revocation on registration. 
 
Briefing the audience about the application process, she said, “personal information of the promoter, the details of all his projects in the past 5 years including the status of these projects, the proforma of the allotment, the sanctioned plan, layout plan and even the specifications of the proposed projects are a few things that are expected from the promoters”. 
 
She further said that the “promoter is responsible to the consumer for all legal obligations and services till the conveyance is granted and handed over to a registered society of flat owners. Until then, the promoter is accountable to the consumer for all incorrect or false statements made to the consumer and may have to return the entire investment with interest (at such rate as may be prescribed) with the compensation. 
 
In case of structural defects, she informed that it was necessary to bring to the notice of the promoter within a period of five years from the date of handling over the possession. 
 
 
As regards the rights and duties of every allotee, she said that it was the right of every allotee to obtain information about the project i.e., construction schedule, date of completion as well as knowledge about the amenities agreed to be provided. It was the duty of every allotee to make timely payments in the manner specified in the agreement and to participate in the formation of a society and to register for the conveyance deed. 
 
Interestingly, the first regulatory action under MahaRERA was initiated on the basis of Ms Raut’s complaint about a misleading advertisement by real estate brokerage firm Sai Estate Consultant under 'unfair trade practice.' The firm was called for a hearing and a penalty of Rs 1.2 lakhs was imposed on the firm. It has also been asked to rectify hoardings with a sticker that says it is being done under directions from MahaRERA .
 
“RERA is an act with a long term vision and I know it will be close to our hearts as real estate is a special and important topic for all of us. The fight is not over though and so we must stay vigilant and take action against what is wrong”, an important message from Ms Raut.
 

User

COMMENTS

BR

2 weeks ago

TGS Properties,TGS Ltd, TGSConstructions, real estate cos in Bangalore advertised in many property portals like Magicbricks, Indiaproperty.com, Housing.com,Makaan.com,Quikr.com,etc., falsely showing photos of plots at low prices as if they were in the heart of Bangalore and fooling prospective buyers. They would tell them to visit their offices to go for site visit. On going there they were told of other real sites far away & coaxed to buy them.How to charge them with misconduct under the act ?Many people wanted many months & years begging the cos to show the plots in false ads. Who is the authority under the act in Bangalore ?

Dr. Prerana Rane

2 weeks ago

Thanks for organizing this lecture. The lecture was very educative for person like me who is just facing the redevelopment issues. Kudos to Ms. Varsha Raut and others in MGP who have been relentlessly putting in their selfless efforts in the interest of consumers. I think we should organize her educative lectures in south and central Mumbai where many people are affected, and have lost their homes- and helplessly waiting for the new houses. I am willing to volunteer for such effort.

MOHAN SIROYA

2 weeks ago

Fine, Well enunciation by Ms. Varsha Raut.
But as she said correctly, on paper RERA appears to be a boon for consumers who have been suffering in the hands of crooked buiders/Developers. The taste of pudding is in its eating. After six months experiences bad or good shall start rolling. Ms. Raut's statement ,if correct is most welcome that every consumer who did not get his right under RERA or was short circuited must complaint to the designated RERA Authority or
to the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat. It will be a gr8 thing to happen if MGP takes an Advocacy for the suffering consumer. To dole out advice or guidance there are diem and dozen activists ,VCOs or NGOs. But to find even a few activists /ORGs who are interested in getting justice thru' Advocacy will indeed herald a change in the arena of Consumer Protection. Keeping my fingers crossed.
Just to keep on record that in 1983 when the late Mr. Madhu Mantri was the Chairman Of MGP and yours truly was one of the members on much active Complaints Committee the Consumers Guidance Society of India, we both were Consumer activist experts on a live discussion on "Consumers Today" on Mumbai Doordarshan . Frankly the State of Consumers has not changed or evolved notably since then, although a plethora of new legislations, supposed to be Consumer Friendly have been enacted. There is a say in Hindi "Tum Daal Daal Toh Hum Paat Paat" applies to Consumer enemies Visa-vis Consumer Protection Laws.

GST Suvidha Providers say IT systems not ready for July 1 roll-out
With three weeks to go before the country moves to big bang tax reform, Goods and Services Tax (GST) Suvidha Providers -- key links between taxpayers and the government -- say the IT systems for a July 1 roll-out are not ready.
 
"All the rules are yet to be notified. Only after the rules are finalised can the IT systems from Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) be ready. The GST Suvidha Providers (GSPs) would be ready only after that," Tejas Goenka, Executive Director at Tally Solutions told IANS.
 
GSPs are expected to help large businesses with complex internal processes to comply with the GST regime. A meeting was held between GSTN officals and suvidha providers on Friday.
 
Neeraj Hutheesingh, Founder and Director, Cygnet Infotech said that with the roll-out date closing in, "the worst fears of the market are coming true -- lack of IT preparedness. July 1 fails to appeal as a feasible deadline."
 
All the GSPs shortlisted and licensed by GSTN, he explained, were dependent on the application progam interfaces (APIs) furnished by GSTN network. In all, 34 GSPs have been selected.
 
GSPs will use the APIs for accounting software, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, filing software and billing software that will help businesses comply with the new indirect tax regime.
 
Analyst Pritam Mahure said that the roll-out date of July 1 is not an issue but the problem is that things were undecided even with 20 days remaining. It was hampering testing needs of the Suvidha Providers.
 
"Significant testing needs to be carried out by the ecosystem. However, GSTN sandbox release does not appear to be geared up for the same. It's a catch-22 situation. The problem is that everything is still in a fluid sate -- the tax rates, Rules," Mahure told IANS. A sandbox is a virtual space where new software can be tested securely.
 
"The primary focus is to handle the forms for which the APIs are avaible from GSTN. For the remainder forms, the entire flow is being finalised so that once the APIs for the same are available, we can be ready to offer the (service) to clients," Saket Agarwal, Global CEO, Spice Digital said.
 
Vinod Tambi, COO, Excellon Software, said: "Many of the aspects of GST such as rates, exemptions, have only been announced a few days back while we are still awaiting some other inputs. Hence July 1 does look like an uphill task."
 
GSTN has said that the API specifications will be released in staggered manner for all the GSPs so that they can study and analyse the same for making changes in their software developed on old design of returns.
 
Subsequent to publishing of the specifications, GSTN will also make available live APIs on the sandbox for testing of the codes that the GSPs will modify/develop. The live API will be made available only by June 29. 
 
But the government has maintained a strict stance that July 1 deadline won't be deferred.
 
With a view to assessing preparedness in various areas of GST, a joint presentation by officials from the Centre and state tax administration was held in the national capital on June 4.
 
"In all interactions with trade industry and public, it should be clearly indicated by officers at all levels that the target date of implementation is July 1 only and the implementation of this big reform will not be deferred beyond this date," according to the minutes of the meeting accessed by IANS.
 
"All officers should keep a check on adverse publicity or criticism of GST and should counteract it promptly," it was noted at the meeting.
 
West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra, has also been voicing serious doubts about the IT readiness by July 1.
 
"Entire GST will depend on one IT system of GSTN. The presentation given by them clearly shows that they are not ready and need more time. They have appointed 34 Suvidha providers for the whole country...will that be sufficient?" Mitra had wondered.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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