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10.52 lakh bogus PAN cards cannot be termed miniscule number to harm economy: Supreme Court

The apex court said that ” 11.35 lakh duplicate permanent account numbers have been detected and out of these, 10.52 lakh cases pertain to individual assesses”.

According to section 139AA of the Income Tax Act making Aadhaar mandatory for allotment of PAN cards and filing of tax returns.

Section 139AA of the Act provides for mandatory quoting of Aadhaar or enrolment ID of Aadhaar application form for filing of income tax returns and making application for allotment of PAN with effect from July 1 this year.

“It was sought to be argued (by the petitioners) that persons found with duplicate/bogus PAN cards are hardly 0.4 per cent and, therefore, there was no need to have such a provision,” a bench headed by Justice A K Sikri said.

“We cannot go by percentage figures. The absolute number of such cases is 10.52 lakh, which figure, by no means, can be termed as minuscule to harm the economy and create adverse effect on the nation,” the bench, also comprising Justice Ashok Bhushan, said.

“The fact remains that companies are after all floated by individuals and these individuals have to produce documents to show their identity.” Bench said .

It said that if introducing Aadhaar in tax regime was one of the measures to check black money and that’s the reason the purpose was not achieved fully.

“Such kind of a menace, which is deep-rooted, needs to be tackled by taking multiple actions and those actions may be initiated at the same time,” it noted. “It is the combined effect of these actions which may yield results and each individual action considered in isolation may not be sufficient.”

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