On 9th June 2017, a bench comprising of J. A K Sikri and J. Ashok Bhushan upheld the validity of a law making Aadhaar mandatory for allotment of PAN and filing of income tax returns.
It opinioned that though the Supreme Court or the high Court exercise their power of judicial review of legislative action or can even strike down a law passed by Parliament (or a state legislature) as being invalid, the power to strike down a primary legislation enacted by the Centre or a state was on limited grounds.
However, an exemption has been provided to those without it for now until the larger privacy issue is decided.
The court also noted that since the Supreme Court and the high courts have been treated as the ultimate arbiter in all matters involving interpretation of the Constitution and final say on questions relating to the violation of rights.
The bench dealt with Centre’s argument and held that making Aadhaar mandatory for filing of income tax returns and for allotment of PAN will not create a separate class among the citizens as merely because a section of persons opposes the law, it cannot become a separate class by itself.
The apex court also said that all IT asessees “constitute one class” and they were treated alike by the provision which was under challenge before it.