Aadhaar can not be made mandatory for social schemes: Supreme Court
This was stated by a bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul.
Senor counsel Shyam Divan had challenged a spare of orders issued by the government making Aadhaar mandatory to access benefits under various schemes.
The government recently made it mandatory for citizens to produce the 12-digit Aadhaar number for benefits under nearly three dozen central schemes including free mid-day meals for schoolchildren. Aadhaar was also made compulsory for scholarships and other schemes for backward castes and the disabled. Aadhaar cards are mandatory for subsidized cooking gas and foodgrains.
The government has said it will enable people to get their biometric identity documents by June 30.
Aadhaar cards will also be needed for filing tax returns - a move that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley says will check tax evasion.
The Supreme Court today said it cannot stop the government from doing so but reiterated its earlier order that Aadhaar cannot be mandatory for people to benefits under official welfare schemes.