The petitioner seeks a tax exemption for individuals earning less than Rs 8 lakh in accordance with the EWS criteria

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) functionary has applied with the Madras High Court’s Madurai Bench seeking an exemption from income taxes for individuals earning less than Rs 8 lakh per year.

A Kunnur Seenivasan, a DMK asset protection council member, filed a petition alleging that part of the Finance Act, 2022, requiring individuals with incomes of more than 2.5 lakh to pay income tax, is “ultra vires”, in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling categorizing families with gross annual incomes below Rs 8 lakh as economically weaker sections (EWSs).

Justices R Mahadevan and J Sathya Narayana Prasad issued a notice to the Centre and the Finance and Law ministries, seeking a response within four weeks.

According to Live Law, the government should not be allowed to collect income tax from individuals who have income up to Rs 7,99,999 as there is no rationality or equality in it when the government has fixed the income criteria that a family with gross income up to the limit of Rs 7,99,999 constitutes an economically weaker family to avail benefits under the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) reservation.

For reservation, a person who was not covered by the reservation scheme for SCs, STs, and OBCs but whose family had a gross annual income of less than Rs 8 lakh was defined as EWS. According to the government notification, certain assets were considered family assets if included in the EWS category.

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