The Supreme Court today ruled that Aadhar card will not be mandatory for availing benefits of government's welfare schemes. The government has, however, ignored similar orders before
The Supreme Court ruled today that Aadhar card will not be mandatory for availing benefits of government's welfare schemes. It also barred the authorities from sharing personal biometric data collected for enrolment under the scheme. However, the Supreme Court has ruled this several times in the past. The government refuses to pay heed to it. In fact, Aadhaar is the central piece of the government’s financial inclusion architecture called JanDhan Aadhaar and Mobile, JAM.
A Constitution bench of the apex court will separately decide the larger question of whether collecting biometric data for preparing Aadhar cards infringed an individual's privacy and if right to privacy was a fundamental right.
"No personal information of Aadhar card shall be shared by any authority," a three-judge bench told Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi. UIDAI/Aadhar will not be used for any other purposes except PDS, kerosene and LPG distribution system ruled the apex court, and made it clear that even for availing these facilities Aadhar card will not be mandatory.
The three-member bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar and comprising Justices S A Bobde and C Nagappan, directed that information received by UIDAI shall not be used for any other purposes, except in criminal investigation and that too with the permission of the court.
It, however, did not allow the interim pleas of the petitioners, who have challenged the Aadhar scheme, to stop the process of ongoing enrolment.
Senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, appearing for Mathew Thomas, one of the petitioners, had filed an application seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against the Centre and others, including RBI, and the Election Commission.
The states have been making Aadhar cards compulsory from payment of salary, provident fund disbursement, marriage and property registration.
Subramaniam alleged that the government had violated earlier orders that had ruled that no person should be denied any benefit or suffer for not having Aadhar cards.