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Withdraw notification making Aadhaar card mandatory, SC tells government

New Delhi: Directing that the biometric data of Aadhaar card holders not be shared with any investigating agency or government department, the Supreme Court on Monday frowned at the central government for not implementing its order that non-possession of Aadhaar card would not handicap a person from availing services from the government.


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Staying the order of the Goa bench of Bombay High Court asking the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to share fingerprint details of a rape accused with the CBI, a bench of Justice B.S.Chauhan and Justice J. Chelameswar restrained the UIDAI from "transferring information or data with them of an Aadhaar Card holder to any agency or department without the express consent of person concerned".

The court asked Solicitor General Mohan Prasaran to withdraw the notification making possession of Adhaar Card mandatory for availing the benefits of certain government schemes.

"You issue instructions withdrawing the notification making Aadhaar Card mandatory for availing the services wherever (it is) applicable. We have already passed stay order. Why you are not implementing it?" asked Justice Chauhan.

The apex court Sep 24 last year ruled that Aadhaar Card was not mandatory for availing the benefits of various government schemes.

Apparently displeased over the non-implementation of the court's order on not making Aadhaar mandatory, Justice Chauhan told Prasaran that he has been receiving a number of letters, making various complaints including that they were not getting their marriages and properties registered as the authorities insisted on an Aadhaar card.

In one case, one lady said that "my marriage is not being registered because of the lack of the Aadhaar card and some say my property is not getting registered because of the lack of Adhaar card", Justice Chauhan told Prasaran as he sought to address the court on the UIDAI plea challenging the Bombay High Court order to share the biometric details of a rape accused with the investigating agency.

Issuing notice on the plea challenging the high court order, the court said that "no person should be deprived of any services for not possessing the Aadhaar Card, if he/she is otherwise eligible".

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