Public Interest   Exclusive
Supreme Court says Aadhaar not necessary for essential services

The centre and state governments must not insist on Aadhaar from citizens before providing essential services, the apex court ruled

In a significant development, the Supreme Court on Monday has ruled that Aadhaar or the unique identification (UID) number, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)'s ambitious scheme, is not mandatory to avail essential services from the government.


Various state governments have been insisting on making Aadhaar compulsory for a range of formalities, including marriage registration, disbursal of salaries and provident fund among other public services.


While hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by retired Karnataka High Court judge Justice KS Puttaswamy and advocate Parvesh Khanna questioning the legal sanctity of Aadhaar, the apex court said, "The centre and state governments must not insist on Aadhaar from citizens before providing them essential services."


A Bench of Justices BS Chauhan and SA Bobde also directed central and the state governments not to issue the Aadhaar to illegal immigrants.


While trashing the Centre's claim of Rs50,000 crore expenses on the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) project, the Bench said that Aadhaar number is not necessary for important services.


In the petition, Justice Puttaswamy had sought an immediate stay on the implementation of the UID scheme. He said, "The scheme is complete infraction of Fundamental Rights under Articles 14 (right to equality) and 21 (right to life and liberty). The government claims that the scheme is voluntary but it is not so. Aadhaar is being made mandatory for purposes like registration of marriages and others. Maharashtra government has recently said no marriage will be registered if parties don't have Aadhaar cards."


The petitioner asserted that the issue required a meticulous judicial examination by the Bench since it raised questions not only over the government's authority to implement the scheme, but also highlighted the perils of the manner of its implementation.


The Bench accepted his arguments and agreed to hear his contentions on the interim stay as well on while asking the centre and state governments to file their replies.


In its reply, the Centre had earlier claimed that for an Aadhaar card, consent of an individual was indispensable and hence it was a voluntary project, with an objective to promote inclusion and benefits of the marginalised sections of the society that has no formal identity proof.


In July, replying to an un-starred question in the Lok Sabha on 8 May 2013, Rajiv Shukla, minister of state for parliamentary affairs and planning said, "Aadhaar card is not mandatory to avail subsidized facilities being offered by the Government like LPG cylinders, admission in private aided schools, opening a savings account etc."


Earlier in February, Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) had said that looking at the difficulties in enrolment, it has decided not to make the UID or Aadhaar number mandatory for its over five crore members.


You may also want to read

Is Aadhaar being used as a political tool by the UPA government?


Aadhaar: Private ownership of UID data- Part I


Aadhaar: Who owns the UID database? –Part II


Aadhaar: The story of mistrust and misuse


The dark side of UID-1: Weaving a web of worries around U, I and Destiny of the nation


The Dark Side of UID-II: Why the west dumped biometrics

Is UID anti-people? 9-part series

The database state –Part1

A bundle of contradictions, misconceptions & mirages-Part2

Tall claims and tomfoolery of UID-Part3

Does the implementation smack of corruption and negligence?-Part 4

Why UID is impractical and flawed “Ab initio”–Part 5

The foundation for incessant intrusion–Part 6

Incarnation of new geo-strategic tools, NCTC, NATGRID, UID, RFID and NPR–Part7

UID’s security is flawed–Part 8

Law makers as law breakers-Part9












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    syed sadath

    2 years ago

    Sujit Bhowal

    2 years ago

    To claim maturity benefit of LIC by NEFT is AADHAAR mandatory?

    Ramesh Iyer

    7 years ago

    Aadhar Card / No is mandatory in Delhi to avail of many govt subsidies under various schemes. Will the Delhi govt now revert to earlier procedures ?
    Won't be surprised if the UPA govt passes and ordinance to overrule this SC verdict as well !

    Sukanya Rao

    7 years ago

    Strange though it may seem, on 25th Sept 2013, 'Udayavani' a kannada newspaper said that the Karnataka Government says that Aadhar is compulsory for receiving LPG subsidy and other benefits from the Government. Government does not agree with the Supreme Court! Who does the common man believe in?


    Dayananda Kamath k

    In Reply to Sukanya Rao 7 years ago

    supreme court may have to constitute a monitoring bench to initiate immediate action for contempt of court by they are misusinag their position as elected representatives to protect their own interest than for which they are elected. election commision should debarr all the political parties and their representitives in last two parliaments from contesting elction for life.


    7 years ago

    Aadhar was actually Aadhar to Nandan Nilekani jisane lagaya hame "Chandan" Plss ensure he should not win from Banglore south seat


    7 years ago

    Ammendment to "Peoples Representation Act" is blow to the democracy. Pls don't redefine Democracy as "Demon-Carazy"


    7 years ago

    Now no use crying over the Spoilt milk. This Supreme Court ruling like all 'system cleansing public interest rulings viz; "Disqualification of jailed/convicted Reps" ,"RTI Coverage of Political parties' etc etc. the Government is either getting the law passed in Parliament to thwart the Apex court rulings or issuing "Ordinances"( when Parliament is not in session). News is that the Cabinet Committee has already prepared a necessary amended law to "protect the applicability of AADHAAR".
    Such attempts by the Govt. in power ,even of the bills which are pending for consideration of the Parliament's Standing Committee, are nothing but an abuse of the Constitutional Powers .

    Geoffrey Allen

    7 years ago

    My father is aged 86.. and my mother 85.. and both have difficulty walking or going out of the home... Everything was going on fine till this wretched Aadhar Card came along.
    They both have 1) Passport 2) Ration Card 3)Driving Licence (though they do not drive now)4) A Voters ID Card...5) Pan Card...and what not kind of ID Cards made over the years. Now all of a sudden Life is becoming miserable for them.
    The Gas distributor says that hence forth the Gas Cylinder would be given only if they have an Aadhar Card. Given their age they are not comfortable with Mobile phones and therefore have a Landline at home. For all purposes these authorities insist on having a Landline phone as a proof of your address.... but here was this Gas distributor fellow who was saying that "from now on you cannot book it over the counter or by phone but have to send an SMS to make a booking. I really dont understand what kind of a torture is this. Both are not earning and live off their children.. and to add salt to injury in this ripe old age... the distributor guy is saying.." When you book a Cylinder you will have to pay the full amount first and only then will the subsidy amount be credited to your bank account.
    Oh! me oh my... where is this country headed?



    In Reply to Geoffrey Allen 7 years ago


    Please see You might have to work a bit but please put the effort. You can still avail LPG without aadhar.


    7 years ago

    If Govt has spent MONEY
    To get an AADHAR HONEY,
    Down went MONEY ,
    With poor run in by Nilenkani,
    Yet it is your MONEY
    It is my India,HONEY!!!!


    Nataraj Kailasam

    7 years ago

    Aadhar can never be a success in this country. It's implementation is fraught with many difficulties. In a country where poverty rules and a sizeable section of the population is illiterate, it is simply not conceivable in the near future to have aadhar cads issued to. All citizens and even more difficult will be the linking to their bank accounts. We should not forget that banks are grappling with the problem of extending banking services in rural areas to further financial inclusion. Banks have their own problems , like shortage of staff, I viability of branches, not be I g able to open requisite number of ATMs etc.
    This is not going to be agame chAnger- instead it. Could lead to the mother of all scams-- the biggest banking scam in the country.

    Dayananda Kamath k

    7 years ago

    there is bigger scam in adhaar card also. as per the scheme and tender for adhaar enrolemnt people need not provide the copy of their is the duty of service provider to take copies of the douments and only original is to be carried by the person. they have taken tender taking into consideration this cost while aplying for tender but now they have insisted for copies to be provided by the individual a cool profit of rs. 2 per adhhaar card. calculate the loss to the people for billions of adhaar cards issued and yet to be issued. court shoud look into this aspect also and disgorge the amount pocketed by the serviceproviders. and take action for fraud on people against the concerned agencies and govt officials whohave failed to impliment the scheme. and kot


    7 years ago



    Geoffrey Allen

    In Reply to PRABHAT 7 years ago

    They dont care for the loss.... their only concern is to come back to power by hook or by crook

    Jeetendra Agarwal

    7 years ago

    We must be optimistic and this judgement has reposed the faith in the judiciary.
    If someone feels the government will overrule the Supreme Court Judgement and do whatever they feel like then I have only one comment to make " The people of the country Deserves the government they have..."
    Accept the govt or change it.....


    7 years ago

    What will become evident, as the years roll by, is whether the Supreme Court will prevail or the Government will. Going by the precedents of the last Sixty Six years, checks and balances and "rule-of-law" have no meaning in India. Even the High Courts do not heed the rulings of the Supreme Court and it costs a fortune to draw the attention of the Supreme Court. In this situation, the Govt will do whatsoever it pleases. The hapless citizens will comply with Aadhar to avoid harassment today thereby empowering Government to harass and extort all the more. tomorrow.

    arun adalja

    7 years ago

    really goverment wasted tax payers money and the fellow who decided this project must be fined heavily.think twice before you waste public money.

    UIDAI land allotment scam: DDA accepts IAC prayer to scrap the deal

    According to India Against Corruption-IAC, the plot of land formerly owned by telecom department in Delhi which is now worth Rs900 crore was allotted to UIDAI’s headquarter at throwaway price by changing the land use plan

    The Delhi Development Authority’s statutory board of enquiry has accepted a prayer by India Against Corruption (IAC) to scrap change of land use (CLU) for the headquarter of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). Sarbajit Roy, the national convenor of IAC, had alleged that the valuable piece of land in New Delhi, worth Rs900 crore, was leased to Nandan Nilekani-led UIDAI at throwaway price using the CLU.


    “After IAC highlighted that the land was a valuable piece of land being leased off for a pittance, it seems the DDA summoned the land allotting agency (L&DO). It also transpires that the possession of the land (formerly with the Department of Telecom-DoT) is now with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL). However, another state-run unit Mahanagar Telecom Nigam Ltd (MTNL) has laid claims over the land as it is in Delhi,” Mr Roy said.


    The land was transferred to UIDAI at throwaway price due to the dispute between BSNL and MTNL, which is pending before the Delhi High Court, Mr Roy added.


    At present UIDAI functions from an office in Jeevan Bharti Building in New Delhi’s Connaught Circus.


    According to the petition filed by Mr Roy, the land allotted by the MUD to UIDAI was misinterpreted under Section 11 A of the Delhi Development Act. He said, “Several pieces of land meant for public or semi-public use have been engulfed by some ‘organisations’ and converted to government offices, the most brazen example has been the ‘Appu Ghar’.”


    Mr Roy repeatedly mentioned that UIDAI is neither an ‘authority’ nor an institution set up by the law passed in Parliament and it operates on the basis of an executive notification. As per the notification, the Planning Commission was to be the nodal agency “for providing logistics, planning and budgetary support” and to “provide initial office and IT infrastructure”.


    We have sent an email to officials of UIDAI and would incorporate their response, if any, in the story.

    Here is the text of IAC's complaint alleging the UIDAI has been transferred prime public land in Central Delhi at throwaway rates in conjunction with Delhi's land mafia…

    1) There is no reference to the specific site / land use of the modification in the present Master Plan, i.e. the so-called MPD-2021, or at least I am unable to find it in the MPD-2021 land-use plan available on the UDM website.

    2) The public notice speaks of modifying the Zonal Development Plan for Zone-D. I say there is no such plan in existence. To the best of my knowledge, the ZDP-2021 for Zone-D is not in existence. The last I heard was that a known incompetent private planner, some Mr Ribiero or suchlike, had drafted up such a ZDP for the NDMC and DUAC to suit the land mafia, but it was so patently atrocious and self serving that it is yet to see the light of day. So please show me the referred ZDP-2021 for Zone-D as I am yet to see it. It is pertinent that I am a long time resident of Zone D which, unlike every other planning zone, has no ZDP and I fail to see why I am being discriminated against in planning issues.

    3) I object that the lack of an up-do-date ZDP for Zone-D is allowing some organisations to swallow land notified for public and semi-public use and convert them into govt offices by misuse of section 11A. The most blatant such example being APPU GHAR which was swallowed by Supreme Court and DMRC, and in which all the public objections opposing the CLU were CORRUPTLY ignored by DDA. The SC used the land to sell to its advocates to set up private law chambers and the DMRC put up a tall commercial building to house some Railway Freight Corporation.

    4) I object that there is no such "authority" known as UIDAI. The law to set it up is yet to be passed by Parliament, and the UIDAI is functioning, illegally, on the basis of an EGOM resolution whereby a private industrialist Shri Nandan Nilekani of INFOSYS was secretly appointed its Chairman without following due process and given the status of a Union Minister. I have established this under RTI, as I was the person who brought UIDAI within ambit of RTI as an extension of the Planning Commission. It is pertinent that when the Planning Commission received a copy of the CIC order in my case, they immediately asked Mr. Nilenkani and his team to vacate their offices within Planning Commission building within 48 hours. UIDAI then had to hire offices in Jeevan Bharati Building virtually overnight. The JPC (Joint Parliamentary Committee) has also objected to the UIDAI and said it is a useless body which should be scrapped.

    5) It is thus clear that after I exposed UIDAI as being a fraudy outfit, they have managed to CORRUPTLY acquire a vacant plot of land in 2010-11 which is the subject of this CLU. It needs a CBI / CAG investigation as to who all in the Ministry of Urban Development or it's offices like L&DO / DDA etc. transferred the land which was Public/Semi-Public use in nature. It needs to be seen if the plot was acquired on commercial rates or it was a concessional allocation. The entire land acquisition / transfer file should be provided to objectors. There must be a CBI/CAG/ACB investigation into the modus operandi that the plot is acquired at a cheap rate and then the land mafia upgrades it to commercial use (UIDAI is a semi-PRIVATE concern) by bribing MUD officers and ministers of UPA govt. It is pertinent that Infosys has acquired a 1,000 sq yard plot in Vasant Vihar (Zone-F) last year for about Rs105 crore, so the land rate for a prime plot in Zone D should not be less than Rs20 lakhs per sq yard or about Rs900 crore for a 4,40 sq yard plot.

    6) This CLU change will have significant alterations in local / site population density. Hence the CLU must be considered by the Central Government u/s 11A(2) only. The DDA has no role to play other than issuing the statutory notice. Members of the Authority have no role to play either, and their participation in any Board of Enquiry and Hearing is a breach of statutory provision, which shall be reported to the CBI and the ACB.

    7) The UIDAI already has a massive Headquarter at Bangalore / Karnataka. I seem to recall that the ZDP/ MP2021 and the NCR plans not only mandate that no new Government offices are to come up in Delhi, but also that the existing ones are to shift out of Delhi. Therefore what kind of precedent is being set by such CORRUPT CLU public notices?

    8) Please take clear notice that the citizens could not object when the DDA approved numerous spot CLUs to oblige the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court of India to grab land all over Delhi to accommodate their advocate's chambers only because their judges are a law unto to themselves under the Judges Inquiry Act and the SC judgments. However, for such corrupt CLUs like the instant one, DDA officers shall and will be reported to the CBI/CAG/ACB if they persist in rolling over to approve perverse CLUs to grossly favour semi-private irregular operators like UIDAI who are being facilitated to grab PUBLIC land at throwaway prices.

    9) Not only is UIDAI so confident that their CLU will be approved, they have already conducted a design competition for their building - the winning bid for which seems to have a hugely tall structure well over the 15 meter height limit. It is thus clear that UIDAI / land mafia have advance information about impending Master Plan changes to allow this. This is also definitely a matter which falls for the CBI etc. to investigate considering that the sub-zone (which may be D4 or D5) is a low profile zone with many heritage structures. []

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    Deepak Agrawal

    2 years ago

    you are in the right place as you will finally get an answer here.

    Deepak Gupta

    7 years ago

    This is good news. UIDAI acts like and is treated by govt as a govt agency, when in reality is a private body. The real issue here is not the land allotement, but the fact that UIDAI needs to be brought under the ambit of parliamentary scrutiny by passing a proper law.

    An organization holding biometric data for Indian citizens should be a non-profit trust, fully answerable to the public under RTI and to the parliament as a representative of the public.

    Aadhaar: Number Not Mandatory for EPFO

    Now, you need not have an Aadhaar number to avail any benefits from Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). Other than EPFO, schemes under ESIC have also been excluded from Centre’s direct benefit transfer (DBT) programme. Since Aadhaar has been introduced for distributing subsidies and grants, it would not be applicable to any provident fund schemes. Earlier, EPFO had asked its field officers to ensure that they collect the Aadhaar number of members joining on or after 1 March 2013 and those of existing members by 30 June  2013. EPFO had also decided to seek the Aadhaar numbers of its pensioners through their banks. According to the new notification, if the member does not have an Aadhaar number, the employer can issue him an enrolment ID as per the guidelines of EPFO which would be converted into an Aadhaar number later.

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