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Why income tax charged on earnings above Rs 2.5 lakh when EWS is fixed at Rs 8 lakh? asks plea in Madras High Court

A plea moved by a DMK functionary before the Madras High Court has sought an income tax exemption for persons earning less than Rs 8 lakh annual income.

According to the petition filed by A Kunnur Sreenivasan, a part of the Finance Act, 2022, that requires individuals with an annual income of more than Rs 2.5 lakh to pay income tax, is “ultra vires”, in light of the Supreme Court ruling that categorises families with a gross annual income of less than Rs 8 lakh as economically weaker section (EWS).

The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has issued a notice to the Centre and the Law and Finance ministries, seeking a response within four weeks, Bar and Bench reported.

“When the government fixed income criteria that a family having gross income up to the limit of Rs 7,99,999 is an economically weaker family for availing benefits under Economically Weaker Section (EWS) reservation, the government should not be permitted to collect income tax from individuals having income upto limit of Rs 7,99,999 as there is no rationality and equality in it,” the plea was quoted by Live Law.

According to the petitioner, when the Centre decided to classify a particular sections are groups of people as EWS for getting reservation by fixing gross income, the very same yardstick should be applied for all other sections of people and it shall not collect income tax from the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) of individual. Hence, the First Schedule, Part-I, paragraph-A of the Finance Act, 2022, [No.6 of 2022], has to be declared as ultra-vires and against the Article 14, 15, 16, 21 and 265 of the Constitution of India.

Under the 2019 notification, a person who was not covered under the scheme of reservation for SCs, STs, and OBCs, and whose family had a gross annual income below Rs 8 lakh, was to be identified as EWS for the benefit of reservation. The government notification specified what constituted “income”, and excluded some persons from the EWS category if their families possessed certain specified assets.

Source : DNA India