Aadhar Card Not Mandatory Until Constitution Bench Decides: SC

The Supreme Court of India in New Delhi.(Photo: IANS)

The Supreme Court of India in New Delhi.(File Photo)

The Supreme Court, in its interim order on Aadhar card issue said it was not mandatory and the Centre should make it known among people.

The three-member bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday referred the issue to a Constiuttion Bench to be set up and until then the government cannot use the card as the only valid proof to avail of government benefits such as PDS, food grain distribution, cooking fuel/LPG or for criminal investigation.

The Court also said no personal information of Aadhar card holders should be shared by the authorities concerned, before referring to a larger bench a batch of petitions to declare Aadhar scheme as an intrusion into privacy. The Constitution Bench will decide whether Aadhar card violates the right to privacy, which is a fundamental right.

The interim verdict entails:

— Aadhar card being one of the optional proofs and not mandatory to get benefits under welfare schemes of the government.
— Aadhar card will continue to be required for PDS and LPG distribution system.
— Government cannot share information it has of Aadhar card holders.
— Government can use details of Aadhar card holders for criminal investigations.

It may be noted that Aadhar card has become a must to avail other benefits including mentioning it in the ITR or Income Tax Returns filing and many auditors insist on entering the card number, though it is not mandatory. The benefit is that one need not take a prinout, sign it and send it to the Central Processing Unit in Bangalore to get final clearance of proof of filing the Income Tax this year if he enters the Aadhar card number.

In addition, the government has been encouraging people to share their Aadhar Card detaisl in every application form despite the issue being sub judice.

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