Delhi HC and Madras High Courts Allow Filing Tax Returns without Aadhaar
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the Income Tax (I-T) Department to provide an additional button on its tax-filing portal to allow filing of tax returns without Aadhaar number. 
 
The High Court also gave relief to two professionals, Shreya Sen and Jayshree Satpute, from quoting Aadhaar number for filing their income tax returns (ITRs). 
 
On a plea that they are not the only ones who are being forced to obtain Aadhaar number for filing tax return, the High Court directed the I-T Dept to put an optional button on its web portal for filing online tax returns without the Aadhaar number.
 
Separately, the Madras High Court also allowed nine petitioners to file their ITRs without quoting their Aadhaar or enrolment numbers. According to a report from Bar & Bench, the Division Bench of Justices MM Sundresh and Anand Venkatesh opined that an order allowing the filing of manual returns would not be prejudicial to the Income Tax (IT) authorities. The Court observed that if the Supreme Court decides to uphold the Constitutionality of Aadhaar, then the petitioners would have to file their ITR again by quoting Aadhaar.
 
The Court passed the interim order after hearing submissions made by Senior Advocate Arvind Datar, briefed by Advocate Rahul Unnikrishnan, for the petitioners. ASG G Rajagopalan made arguments for the state, the report says.
 
As per Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, assessees are required to quote their Aadhaar Card number or the Aadhaar enrolment number when filing ITRs.
 
Here is the order passed by the Delhi High Court...
 
 
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    COMMENTS

    sumit khanduja

    1 year ago

    This high court orders should be welcome coz aadhar is violating article 21 of consitution. And how many politicians do have aadhar card?

    Dindayal Maurya

    1 year ago

    The Powerful, Backmoney , Shell company holder are misusing the law in guise of confidentiality act.
    Then what is the use of aadhar law why not the court dare and take full responsibilty of it consequences and Scrap it. Court is just paving way to protect the corrupt, blackmoney holder and money launderer.
    .

    SIVASANKARAN E M

    1 year ago

    The courts are m aking the life difficult for the lay Man while the powerful approach the courts to for the relief

    NPCI ask banks to stop Aadhaar-based payments through UPI and IMPS
    The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has asked banks to discontinue Aadhar-based payments through the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Immediate Payment System (IMPS) channels. Pay to Aadhaar is an additional functionality in UPI and IMPS where the payer can transfer funds to the beneficiary using Aadhaar number. Separately, NPCI also asked banks to stop giving cashbacks on using Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) to all users, except new ones. 
     
    Quoting a 17 July 2018 circular issued by NPCI to banks, a report from Financial Express says (https://www.financialexpress.com/money/discontinue-aadhaar-based-payments-through-upi-and-imps-npci-tells-banks/1251410/), “Aadhaar number is a sensitive information and the revised framework about its usage in the payment landscape is still evolving. With this background, we proposed removal of ‘Pay to Aadhaar’ functionality in both UPI and IMPS before the steering committee (meeting held on 5 July 2018). The proposal of removing the Aadhaar number functionality was approved by the steering committee.”
     
    From 31 August 2018, the 'Pay to Aadhaar' function would be removed from both UPI and IMPS. “All member banks should remove this functionality both as remitter and beneficiary. Also, all interfaces currently offering this functionality, such as UPI apps and third-party apps, should remove this option from their respective apps by 31 August 2018,” the circular from NPCI says.
     
    The steering committee for UPI and IMPS has 18 bank and non-bank payment players. This includes State Bank of India (SBI), HDFC Bank, Citibank, Maharashtra Gramin Bank, One Mobikwik Systems and Paytm Payments Bank, among others. 
     
    In a separate circular, NPCI has asked banks to restrict cashbacks on using BHIM to new users only. In addition, it has removed incentives for merchants accepting UPI payments from 1 July 2018. 
     
    In April 2018, the government launched a scheme entailing cashbacks of up to Rs750 per month for users of BHIM app. Merchants who accepted payments through any UPI app were entitled to a maximum cashback of Rs1,000 per month. They were entitled to receive a cashback worth 10% of the value of each transaction, subject to a cap of Rs50 per transaction.
     
    In a notification dated 17 July 2018, NPCI said that following a review of the incentive scheme, the Ministry for Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has decided to scale it back significantly, another report from the newspaper says
     
    For IMPS, there are 364 members banks while for UPI, there are 101 banks registered with NPCI. There are 53.17 crore Aadhaar numbers mapped in the NPCI's Aadhaar based payment system.
     
    An Aadhaar number becomes a financial address when an Aadhaar is “seeded” into a table called the “NPCI mapper” by anyone linking the Aadhaar to a bank account. This mapper is a directory of Aadhaar numbers and Institution Identification Number (IIN) numbers used for the purpose of routing transactions to the destination banks. The IIN is a unique 6-digit number issued by NPCI to any participating bank. 
     
    If you or anyone else link your Aadhaar with another bank account, the NPCI mapper is overwritten with the new banks’ IIN. Money transferred to an Aadhaar number using the AEPS gets transferred to the bank account linked to the Aadhaar number at the branch recognised by the IIN.
     
    This idea of a mapper, as used by NPCI’s AEPS, does not allow for instructions from sender about the account to deposit money, but relies on periodic update of IIN in the NPCI’s table mapping Aadhaar numbers from banks. This mapping is volatile because multiple banks periodically update the Aadhaar numbers linked with accounts held by them. Neither the banks, the NPCI nor you have control on where you would like your payments to go.  
     
    According to Dr Anupam Saraph, a renowned expert in governance of complex systems, money launderers exploit this volatility to make money transfers untraceable. "A money launderer can transfer money to an account linked to an alternate IIN and then re-seed the NPCI’s mapper with the original IIN for the Aadhaar number, completely wiping out any trace of money to the alternate IIN. Like transactions of bearer shares in Panama, such money transfers becomes no different from a hawala transaction between real parties who remain anonymous or benami."
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    COMMENTS

    Hemant Chitale

    1 year ago

    What is NPCI doing about the mapper ? Does it maintain a history of updates to the mapper ? Does it allow multiple bank accounts with priority levels / monetary limits to be associated with the same Aadhaar number ?

    Health Ministry says Aadhaar is desirable and not must for Ayushman Bharat
    After facing backlash from media and expert on mandating Aadhaar for availing the Ayushman Bharat -National Health Protection Mission (ABNHPM) scheme, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) has gone on the backfoot. In a clarification, the Ministry said use of Aadhaar in Ayushman Bharat is 'desirable' and not a 'must'. However, for beneficiary identification, the process flow shared by the Ministry still mandates Aadhaar for availing next treatment. 
     
    In a statement, Union Health Minister JP Nadda confirmed “we will provide services to all eligible beneficiaries with or without Aadhaar.”
     
    "Notification of the Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission being issued by MoHFW under Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act, merely enables the implementation agencies to ask for the beneficiary Aadhaar number to authenticate their identity. In order to authenticate the identity of beneficiaries accurately, the use of Aadhaar number is preferable, but it is not a 'must'. There shall be no denial of benefit for want of Aadhaar number," the Ministry clarified.  
     
    According to the Health Ministry, the draft notification of Ayushman Bharat also provides for exception handling mechanism, like production of alternate identification mechanisms such as Ration Card, Voter ID Card, and MGNREGA Card, as mentioned in the notification, in case the beneficiary does not have an Aadhaar number. In addition, it also makes the implementation agencies accountable for setting up of Aadhaar enrolment centres for the beneficiaries who are not yet enrolled for Aadhaar, at convenient locations.
     
    ABNHPM guidelines on beneficiary identification clearly state that beneficiaries can bring Aadhaar or any other valid government IDs decided by the State if they do not have an Aadhaar, it added.
     
    In a report, the Economic Times  had said that Aadhaar is a must for Ayushman Bharat and those who want to avail the scheme must apply for the Aadhaar number by March 2019. Quoting, Indu Bhushan, Chief Executive of Ayushman Bharat, the report says, “Any notification to this effect would be aspirational at this point of time. We have very clearly given other options (for patients without Aadhaar cards). Those without Aadhaar can show their ration card or voter ID card upon their first visit, following which they would be expected to enrol for Aadhaar.” 
     
    However, the process flow shared by the Ministry for beneficiary identification still mandates feeding of Aadhaar number. This process flow is titled as Guidelines for Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Swasthya Suraksha Mission (PMRSSM).
     
    Where the resident does not have Aadhaar, the process flow asks for a declaration form with a caveat “…either an Aadhaar enrolment slip or Aadhaar will be required to avail next treatment.” It also says, “…the hospital should provide a list of closest enrolment centres to the patient”.
     
     
    In addition, for a family member, under the PMRSSM scheme, Aadhaar “will be primary identity document that has to be produced”, the guidelines say.
     
    It says, “When the beneficiary comes to a contact point, the QR code on the Aadhaar card is scanned (or an e-KYC is performed) to capture all the details of the Aadhaar. A demographic authentication is performed with UIDAI to ensure the information captured is authentic. A live photograph of the member is taken to be printed on the e-card. If the PMRSSM family member does not have an Aadhaar card and the contact point is a location where no treatment is provided, the operator will inform the beneficiary that he is eligible and can get treatment only once without an Aadhaar or an Aadhaar enrolment slip. They may be requested to apply for an Aadhaar as quickly as possible.”
     
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