Govt had earlier assured that nobody will be deprived of benefits just because they don’t have an Aadhaar card.
Having an Aadhaar card can’t be made mandatory by the govt. for giving out benefits from its welfare schemes, expounded Apex Court.
It did add though that the govt. cannot be stopped from making it compulsory to have 1 for things like opening bank a/c. The SC also said that while a 7 judge bench needs to be set up to hear the pleas challenging Aadhaar card, but that isn’t possible at this time.
Earlier this month, the govt said nobody will be deprived of benefits just because they do not have an Aadhaar card.
It reiterated that until Aadhaar no. is assigned to an individual, they can make use alternate means of identification to receive benefits linked to this card. The Centre also directed depts. to provide Aadhaar enrollment facilities to beneficiaries under Regulation 12 of the Aadhaar (Enrolment & Update) Regulations 2016.
Supreme Court had on 15th October 2015, lifted its earlier restrictions & permitted the voluntary use of Aadhaar cards for welfare schemes like all pension schemes, MGNREGA, the provident fund & flagship programmes like ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna’ of the NDA govt.
They were in addition to LPG & PDS schemes, for which the Apex Court had allowed voluntary use of these cards.
Critics have alleged that Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which runs this Aadhaar scheme, is getting biometric details of indivisuals through private agencies, which violated fundamental rights of the citizens.