Email address not mandatory while filing I-T return: HC

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 10 Aug 2017 09:39:21


Staff Reporter

Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed banks and financial institutions not to insist upon email address, particularly from senior citizens, while filing Income Tax (I-T) return. Even if the space earmarked for email id is left blank, the banks should forward the same to Income Tax Department by treating it as a validly filled form.

A division bench consisting of Justice Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Justice Arun Upadhye while hearing a PIL filed by an elderly couple Pramila and Prabhakar Kinhekar complaining about recent policies which are not senior citizen-friendly, passed this important direction, giving a major respite to thousands of elderly and senior citizens.

Kinhekar couple have account with UCO bank and some amount has been deposited for fixed term. Bank asked them to file form 15 so that TDS should not be deducted but this form had a column for email address of the assessee. However, the petitioner couple pointed out that in such an advanced age, they are not in a position to create email address, manage it and access it like techno-savvy youngsters. Therefore, such conditions are unfair to hundreds of senior citizens like them.

Last year the High Court had treated a letter written by Kinhekar couple as PIL and sought response from authorities about making banking and pension payment more senior citizen-friendly and had named Adv Anil Kilor as amicus curiae.