Aadhaar linking will help prevent PAN fraud, UIDAI tells Supreme Court
UIDAI says fake PAN cards were used to create shell companies abroad and Aadhaar could make sure that this did not happen
New Delhi: The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that Aadhaar would help prevent duplication of PAN cards by linking databases.
“11.35 lakh cases of duplicate PAN/fraudulent PAN have been detected and such PANs have been deleted/ deactivated,” Tusshar Mehta, counsel for UIDAI said.
Mehta added that fake PAN cards were used to create shell companies abroad and Aadhaar could make sure that this did not happen.
Pointing out that there was a huge gap between the number of PAN holders and taxpayers, Mehta said, “100% verification is possible with Aadhaar as biometrics and iris scan will be used for such purposes.”
In order to ensure one PAN per person, Aadhaar can be the “sole criterion for allotment of PAN to individuals” after all existing PAN cards are seeded with Aadhaar and quoting of Aadhaar is made mandatory for new PAN applications, he suggested.
At the last hearing, curbing terrorism, money laundering, black money and delivery of subsidies and benefits had been listed by the centre as “legitimate state interests” in rolling out Aadhaar.
The court had also rapped the centre, saying its proposal to link Aadhaar with the mobile phone numbers of all Indians was “a problem.”
“Do terrorists apply for SIM cards? It’s a problem that you are asking the entire population to link their mobile phones with Aadhaar,” justice D.Y. Chandrachud remarked.
The question came up when attorney general K.K. Venugopal submitted that biometrics were a safe and accurate technology that could prevent money laundering, bank frauds, income tax evasion and terrorism.
The matter will continue to be heard on Wednesday.
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