Petitioner: Binoy Viswam

Respondent: Union of India

Date of Judgement: June 09, 2017

Statute referre: 

  • Indian Constitution, 1950
  • Income Tax Act, 1961


  • Constitutional Validity of Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961 was challenged.
  • The 139AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961 provision was inserted by the amendment to the Income Tax Act by the Finance Act, 2017.
  • Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961 makes it mandatory for everyone to quote their Addhaar Number in applying for PAN Card (permanent Account number) or in filing return, now Addhaar enrollment became essential for obtaining PAN card or for filing return of income. If the link is not done then the PAN Card will become invalid retrospectively.
  • Interim orders passed by the Court clearly designate the voluntary character of the Addhaar Scheme.

Issue involved:

  • Whether proviso to Section 139AA(2) which renders PAN void ab initio for failure to intimate Aadhaar number applies with retrospective effect?

Contentions by Petitioner:

  • The petitioner stated that Union Government is not competent to enact such provision.
  • Petitioner contended that there is no reasonable classification in differentiating between individual assesses who volunteer for Addhaar enrollment and who refuse or object to such voluntary Aadhaar enrollment.
  • The petitioner affirmed that the retrospective invalidation of PAN is not legally justifiable.

Contentions by Respondent:

  • The Respondent stated that this provision was inserted to tackle the issue of black money, money laundering and tax evasion, to detect the bogus/duplicate and multiple PAN Card Holders and also to deal earnestly with the issue of Shell companies.
  • The respondent affirm that Justice M.B. Shah Commission on Black Money also recommended that database of PAN (permanent Account number) Cards should be interconnected with some other independent database to verify it.
  • The respondent contended that there is a Reasonable classification exists between tax payers and non tax payers.
  • The respondent stated that the Section 139AA is consistent with India’s international obligations and goals for Improving International Tax Compliance and implementing the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.


  • Deletion of PAN (permanent Account number) under Section 139AA(2) of Income Tax Act for non-linking with Aadhaar number cannot be applied retrospectively to existing PAN card holders.
  • Section 139AA(2) of Income Tax Act is read down to mean that it would be applied prospectively only. The Parliament is also given the liberation to timbre down this provision.
  • The obligation of an assessee to provide or enrollment ID of Aadhar application form while applying for PAN or while filing an income tax return is not violative of Article 14 or Article 19(1)(g).
  • Provisions 139AA of Income Tax Act fall under the reasonable restrictions given under Article 19(6) of Indian Constitution.


In this present case, the Section 139AA(2) of Income Tax Act cannot be read retrospectively as it takes away vested rights. It will only have prospective effect.

Drafted By: Sangeeta N, Presidency University, Bangalore

Edited By: Tanvi Mahajan, Publisher, Law Insider

Published On: February 20, 2022 at 23:30 IST

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