Aadhaar Card- Mandatory or Not?

Aadhaar Card- Mandatory or Not?

Bangalore: The Supreme Court had recently ruled that Aadhaar scheme should only be issued to those with verified nationality of India. It also further asserted that Aadhaar is not compulsory for accessing public services and financial assistance including the direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme for cooking gas, reports Dhananjay Mahapatra, for Times of India.

A bench of Justices, B S Chauhan and S A Bobde said, "In the meanwhile, the Aadhaar card cannot be made mandatory. If anyone applies for Aadhaar card, then you have to verify whether he is a citizen of India or not. These cards cannot be issued to illegal migrants," reports TOI.

Although the interim order is expected to benefit a number of people, it may come in the way of UPA’s welfare programmes, like the ‘game-changer’ direct benefit transfer scheme during the election year. It is most likely to slow down the government’s task to register 1.1 billion eligible residents by 2014.  The move could turn out to be a tough task since just a small part of the population has proof of nationality such as passports.  The apex court also directed the central and the state governments not to issue the Aadhar cards to illegal immigrants.

In the Capital city, various welfare schemes are linked to Aadhaar, enrolment for which is free of cost. States like Maharashtra and Jharkhand, too, have made it a must for availing pensions, scholarships and to even register property.

Nevertheless, the SC order may come as a rescue to citizens who were bothered by the increasing demand of authorities to link delivery of a whole range of services and subsidies such as marriage registration, disbursal of salaries and provident fund among other public services to Aadhaar cards.