Supreme Court says Aadhaar not necessary for essential services
Moneylife Digital Team 23 September 2013

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












syed sadath
5 years ago

Sujit Bhowal
5 years ago
To claim maturity benefit of LIC by NEFT is AADHAAR mandatory?
Ramesh Iyer
1 decade 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
1 decade 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
Replied to Sukanya Rao comment 1 decade 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.
1 decade ago
Aadhar was actually Aadhar to Nandan Nilekani jisane lagaya hame "Chandan" Plss ensure he should not win from Banglore south seat
1 decade ago
Ammendment to "Peoples Representation Act" is blow to the democracy. Pls don't redefine Democracy as "Demon-Carazy"
1 decade 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
1 decade 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?
Replied to Geoffrey Allen comment 1 decade ago

Please see You might have to work a bit but please put the effort. You can still avail LPG without aadhar.
1 decade ago
If Govt has spent MONEY
Down went MONEY ,
With poor run in by Nilenkani,
Yet it is your MONEY
It is my India,HONEY!!!!

Nataraj Kailasam
1 decade 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
1 decade 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
1 decade ago
Geoffrey Allen
Replied to PRABHAT comment 1 decade ago
They dont care for the loss.... their only concern is to come back to power by hook or by crook
Jeetendra Agarwal
1 decade 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.....
1 decade 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
1 decade 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.
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