Petitioner seeks tax exemption for persons earning below Rs 8 lakh, citing EWS criteria

Posted on    23 November 2022

Kunnur Seenivasan, a Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) functionary, has filed a petition with the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on the ground of the recent Supreme Court ruling regarding the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) reservation. Seenivasan has contended that there is no rationale behind the government collecting income tax from people earning above Rs 2.5 lakhs yearly in light of an SC ruling stating that families with a gross annual income of less than Rs 8 lakhs qualify as EWS. The Madurai Bench has ordered a notice to the central government regarding the case.

Through the petition, Seenivasan, an agriculturalist and a member of the Assets Protection Council of DMK, sought a portion of the Finance Act 2022, which says people earning above Rs 2.5 lakh annually should pay income tax, be declared ‘ultra vires’, reported Live Law.

 

He referred to the SC’s recent judgement upholding the validity of the 103rd Constitutional Amendment in the Janhit Abhiyan vs Union of India case. The ruling, in this case, allowed the government to offer a 10 percent reservation quota for EWS. The criteria for qualifying under the EWS category was that the family has a gross income up to the limit of Rs 7,99,999. This being the situation, Seenivasan said that the government should not be allowed to collect income tax from individuals having income up to Rs 8 lakhs, as they would also qualify as economically weak.

The agriculturalist submitted that Paragraph A in Part-I of First Schedule of the Finance Act, 2022, through which the government fixed the mentioned tax slab, violates Articles 14, 15, 16, 21, 265 of the Constitution of India.

Four out of these five articles mentioned contain the Fundamental Rights of the citizens of India. In other words, the petition has contended that the government collecting tax from an individual earning Rs 2.50 lakh annual income violated fundamental rights, which the SC guards.

A bench of justices R Mahadevan and J Sathya Narayana Prasad issued notice to the Ministries of Law and Justice, Finance and Personnel and adjourned the case for two weeks.

Case Title: Kunnur Seenivasan v Union of India and others 
Case No: WP(MD) 26168 of 2022



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