Published: Tue, June 27, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

SC refuses to stay Govt's Aadhaar notification

SC refuses to stay Govt's Aadhaar notification

Meanwhile, additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta, appearing for Govt of India, stated that the deadline for those who don't have Aadhaar Card for availing welfare schemes have been extended to September 30th, from June 30th.

The Supreme Court court was hearing three separate petitions challenging government's notification making Aadhaar mandatory for availing benefits of various social welfare schemes.

Dismissing this petition, the vacation bench of Supreme Court, comprising of A.M. Khanwilkar and Navin Sinha stated that the Aadhaar push can not be stopped now, in the middle, based on "mere apprehension" of petitioners, regarding Aadhaar.

Senior Supreme Court told the apex court that the Supreme Court in its earlier order made it clear that no one will be denied any social welfare benefits or schemes due to lack of an Aadhaar card or numbers. He argued that there was no "burning urgency' anymore as the deadline for enrolling for and submitting Aadhaar had been extended till 30 September".

However, the court said that such concerns are mere speculations and court orders can not be passed on speculation.

He added that there were alternate mechanisms through which a person who did not hold an Aadhaar card or had applied for it could avail the benefits.

The case will be heard next on 7 July.

In its reply, the government said making Aadhaar mandatory will help People avail services through Aadhaar-based authentication.

Referring to the February 8 notification regarding benefits of the public distribution system scheme, he said it was said that if someone does not have Aadhaar, he or she would get the benefit of these schemes by using other identity cards like voter ID, driving licence, passport and PAN card.

The Supreme Court has said that those who do not have an Aadhaar card can not be deprived of the benefits of any government scheme till the next date of hearing.

The government's savings through Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme on account of Aadhaar in 2014-16, was Rs 49,560 crore. However, the Centre sought SC to seek Aadhaar card voluntarily from citizens for extending benefits of schemes like LPG subsidy, Jan Dhan scheme and Public Distribution System etc., the Centre had been allowed by the Supreme Court.

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