New Delhi, March 27: Government cannot make Aadhaar mandatory for extending benefits of its welfare schemes, the Supreme Court said today. Also, Apex court refused to give any date on the issue of making Aadhar mandatory and said that it would hear the matter in the due course of time.
"Aadhaar can't be mandatory for social welfare schemes but can be used for non-benefit schemes. Our earlier order is very clear. You can't stop the government from using Aadhaar for non-benefit schemes like Income Tax," Chief Justice of India JS Khehar said today.
A Seven judge bench said the earlier interim order had not been violated since Aadhaar is not mandatory for getting various social welfare schemes. The government, however, cannot be stopped from using Aadhaar in other schemes like the opening of bank accounts etc.
The Court also turned down the request for an early listing of the main matter, citing unavailability of judges, since the matter has to be heard by a Constitution Bench. Meanwhile, on August 11, 2015, the order of the Supreme Court states that obtaining Aadhaar shall not be mandatory.
“The Union of India shall give wide publicity in the electronic and print media including radio and television networks that it is not mandatory for a citizen to obtain an Aadhaar card. The production of an Aadhaar card will not be a condition for obtaining any benefits otherwise due to a citizen.”
On January 3 and January 4 this year, the Centre issued two notifications making Aadhaar number compulsory for MNREGA and EPS.