Aadhaar cannot be made mandatory for social welfare schemes: SC to govt
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to grant an early hearing in the Aadhaar case.
A bench headed by chief justice of India J.S. Khehar, however, observed that the government cannot deny benefits to citizens for not producing Aadhaar. “Aadhaar cannot be pressed for social welfare schemes by the government,” the court observed orally.
Senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing on behalf of petitioner K. Puttaswamy, sought listing of the case before a constitution bench that is supposed to look into whether Aadhaar violates a citizen’s right to privacy.
On 11 August 2015, a three-judge bench headed by justice Chelameswar had referred a bunch of pleas to a larger constitution bench relating to Aadhaar. The court had also restricted the use of Aadhaar to the transfer of cooking gas subsidy, the public distribution system, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), all types of pension schemes, the employees provident fund and the Jan Dhan Yojana.
Subsequently last year, the government passed the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act and has since made Aadhaar mandatory for a number of schemes.
The court had earlier indicated that a constitution bench is likely to hear the issue in May.