Sept 23: The central government in its statement made on Sept 23, Monday to Supreme Court clarified its stand on getting Aadhar cards, being issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) that the central government has not issued any order that Aadhar cards be made mandatory for the citizens. This is voluntary and optional, it said.
However some states have made Aadhar Cards compulsory for a range of activities including salary, PF disbursals and marriage and property registrations. The Supreme Court tells the Centre not to issue Aadhar cards to illegal immigrants as it would legalize their stay in the country.
The counsel for UIDAI and Centre responded to the pleas of petitioners, saying, “So far as the Union of India is concerned, we have said the Aadhar card is voluntary.”
During the brief hearing, the bench of justices B.S. Chauhan and S.A. Bobde was told that despite the fact that the Aadhar card is “voluntary” in nature, an order has been issued by the Registrar of the Bombay High Court in pursuance of an order of the State government that it would be necessary for disbursal of salary of judges and staff also.
“The scheme is complete infraction of Fundamental Rights under Articles 14 (right to equality) and 21 (right to life and liberty). The government claims that the scheme is voluntary but it is not so.
“Aadhar is being made mandatory for purposes like registration of marriages and others. Maharashtra government has recently said no marriage will be registered if parties don’t have Aadhar cards,” senior advocate Anil Divan, arguing for Justice (retd.) K.S. Puttaswamy, former judge of Karnataka High Court, said.
Justice Puttaswamy, in his PIL, has also sought a stay on the implementation of the scheme.
Making Aadhar mandatory for various purposes raises questions over the government’s authority to implement such types of the scheme, it said, adding it also highlighted “the perils of the manner of its implementation“.
The Centre has said the consent of an individual was indispensable for Aadhar and it has been launched to “promote inclusion and benefits of the marginalized sections of the society that has no formal identity proof.”