Petition filed in SC for exempt all income upto Rs 8 Lakhs as per EWC criteria
Agriculturist and Asset Protection Council (DMK Party) member Kunnur Seenivasan filed a case with the court asking it to invalidate the First Schedule, Part-I, paragraph-A of the Finance Act of 2022, which sets the income tax rate. According to the Schedule, anyone whose combined income is less than Rs. 2,50,000 is free from paying tax.
The petitioner contested this schedule in light of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Janhit Abiyan v. Union of India, which upheld the 10% economic background society reservation while confirming that a socially progressive community family with income up to the limit of Rs. 7,99,999 per year, excluding assets, is a family in the economically weaker section.
The petitioner claims that if the government decides to classify a certain group of people as economically weaker in order to qualify for reservations by establishing gross income, the same standard should be applied to all other groups of people and it should not be allowed to collect income tax from all economically weaker individuals. Therefore, it is necessary to declare the First Schedule, Part-I, paragraph-A of the Finance Act, 2022, [No. 6 of 2022], as ultra-vires and in violation of Articles 14, 15, 16, 21 and 265 of the Indian Constitution.
Seenivasan further stated in his appeal that the objectives of other provisions found in Articles 15 and 16 of the Indian Constitution were undermined by the office memorandum issued by the Centre designating 8 lakh per year as the criterion for Economic Reservation.
The current Income Tax Act schedule is against the Supreme Court’s ruling since it would force taxation on the economically underprivileged citizenry, who cannot compete with the forward-thinking community members in terms of status, education, or economics.
According to the challenged First Schedule, Part-I, paragraph-A of the Finance Act, 2022, [No.6 of 2022], the respondents are allowed to collect income taxes from people with incomes between Rs. 2,50,000 and Rs. 7,99,999 annually. However, this would lead to the maintenance of economic inequality among citizens because those with incomes below this threshold are eligible for the Economically Weaker Section reservation, while those with incomes above this threshold are not. Thus, there has been a blatant breach of fundamental rights.
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