Don't insist on Aadhar card for social benefits: Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday asked the central and state governments not to insist on possessing Aadhar card for availing benefits under the various social security schemes as it reiterated an order it passed in September 2013.

A bench of Justice J.Chelameswar, Justice S.A. Bobde and Justice C. Nagappan, without going into concrete examples, said: "In certain quarters, Aadhar cards are being insisted on by various authorities."

The apex court by its September 23, 2013, had said "no person should suffer for not getting the Adhaar card inspite of the fact that some authorities had issued a circular making it mandatory and when any person applies to get the Adhaar Card voluntarily, it may be checked whether that person is entitled for it under the law and it should not be given to any illegal immigrant."

The court reiterated its order after senior counsel Gopal Subramanium drew the attention of the court towards the Delhi government directive insisting on an Aadhar card for the registration of marriages. Subramanium had appeared for one of the petitioners.

The court did not appear appreciative when Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar submitted that some states were not abiding by the court order.

"It is your duty to ensure our orders are followed. You can't say states are not following our order," it told him, stressing it was incumbent upon the central government to ensure that the states complied with the apex court's order.

Directing the next hearing of the matter in the second week of July and noting the presence of the centre and all the states, the court said: "We expect all to scrupulously adhere to our order dated 23 Sept 2013."

The court's order came as it took up the batch of petitions challenging the Aadhar card which were last heard by it on April 28, 2014.

Karnataka High Court's former judge K.S. Puttaswamy had moved the court in 2012 contending that the entire Aadhar scheme was unconstitutional as the biometric data collected under it was an incursion and transgression of individual privacy.

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