Millennium Post

Rule making Aadhaar mandatory stands for now, says Apex court

The Supreme Court Tuesday refused to pass an interim order against the Centre's notification making Aadhaar mandatory for availing benefits of social welfare schemes, with the government assuring it that no one would be deprived of them for want of this identification.

The apex court observed that no interim order could be passed merely on the "apprehension" raised by the petitioners that somebody might be deprived of the benefits under the various social welfare schemes due to the lack of Aadhaar especially when no such affected person has come before it.

"No interim order can be passed in mandamus (restraining order) on mere apprehensions. You have to wait for one week.

If somebody is deprived (of the benefits), you can point out the same to this court. What is the difficulty," a vacation bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Navin Sinha told the petitioners.

"We cannot pass orders which are uncertain. You are saying somebody might be deprived, but we have no such person before us," the bench told senior advocate Shyam Divan, who was appearing for three petitioners.

During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, told the bench that benefits of various social welfare schemes would be given to persons even if he or she does not have Aadhaar.

The bench also referred to the June 9 judgement of the apex court which had upheld the validity of an Income Tax Act provision making Aadhaar mandatory for allotment of PAN cards and filing of IT returns, but had put a partial stay on its implementation till a constitution bench addressed the issue of the right to privacy.

The Bench said that the June 9 judgement was still in operation and there was no need to give any further clarification on the issue.

It posted the matter for hearing on July 7 before an appropriate bench.
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