Aadhaar-PAN linkage will continue: UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey
Pandey clarified that the verdict puts no stay on quoting of Aadhaar for various schemes as well as filing of income tax returns.
UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey on 25 August 2017 announced that the linking of Permanent Account Number (PAN) with biometric identifier Aadhaar will continue to stay. Moreover, Aadhaar number will still be required for availing various government subsidies.
The clarification came following the Supreme Court verdict that Privacy is a fundamental right. Pandey clarified that the verdict puts no stay on quoting of Aadhaar for various schemes as well as filing of income tax returns.
How Aadhaar-PAN linkage is still valid?
The Aadhaar Act, 2016 demands mention of Aadhaar number for availing government benefits or services ranging from getting subsidised cooking gas to opening bank account. It was drafted keeping in mind privacy as a fundamental right.
Section 7 of the Act prescribes that in order to obtain certain subsidy or benefit, the government can insist on an Aadhaar number.
On the other hand, the matter of linking of Aadhaar with PAN alloted to income tax payers has already been mandated by an amendment to the Income Tax Act. Thus, the linking will continue under that Act and law.
The Act protects privacy of people as a fundamental right and its provisions provide for safeguarding of personal data.