The Sikkimese women who marry non-Sikkimese people are not exempt from paying income taxes under Section 10(26AAA), according to a ruling by the Supreme Court. The supreme court ruled that it is completely discriminatory and hence unlawful to exclude a Sikkimese women simply because she marries a non-Sikkimese. The top court stated in its decision that a woman is not a chattel and has her own identity. Simply being married to a non-Sikkimese person cannot erase that identity, it was stated.
A bench of Justices M R Shah and B V Nagarathna rendered the decision, it was noted.
Supreme Court strikes down Income Tax provision of exclusion of Sikkimese Women from exclusion under Section 10 (26AAAA) Income Tax Act, 1961, if they marry Non Sikkimese
The bench stated that a Sikkimese man who marries a non-Sikkimese after April 1, 2008, is not disqualified.
The Supreme Court’s decision extended the exemption under Section 10(26AAA) of the 1961 statute to anyone who were residents of Sikkim on April 26, 1975, the date the state united with India, as well as people of Indian descent. With this decision, the Supreme Court effectively expanded Sikkim’s tax exemption net to about 95 percent of the state’s population.
Court approached by decedents of Indian settlers , who were domiciled in Sikkim on the date of its merger with India
Only residents with a Sikkim Subjects Certificate or their descendants who acquired Indian citizenship in accordance with the Sikkim Citizenship Amendment Order, 1989 qualified for the prior income tax exemption. The two groups included the Bhutia Lepchas, Sherpas, and Nepalis, who make up around 94.6% of the population of Sikkim. Older settlers who lived in Sikkim at the time of India’s union with Sikkim are the ones who have petitioned the court. They only make up 1% of the population.
The petitioners have argued that it is discriminatory and unlawful for Sikkimese women to be excluded from the exempt category if they marry non-Sikkimese after April 1, 2008, according to Section 10(26AAA) of the Act, 1961.
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