On Monday the apex court said that the government cannot make Aadhaar card mandatory for welfare schemes offered by it. But it also cleared that the government can make Aadhar mandatory in other schemes like opening of bank accounts and filing of income tax.
Meanwhile, on the matter of hearing pleas that challenge use of Aadhaar, the court said that a seven-member bench is required to hear these petitions and right now it was not possible.
“Aadhaar can’t be mandatory for social welfare schemes but can be used for non-benefit schemes. Our earlier order is very clear. You can’t stop government from using Aadhaar for non-benefit schemes like Income Tax,” Chief Justice of India JS Khehar said on Monday.
As per the recent rules by the government, the Aadhaar card is necessary for income-tax returns and PAN cards too. The telecom services too have to verify their customers on the basis of their Aadhar identity proof. Recent reports also suggest that the Uttar Pradesh government is planning to make Aadhar mandatory for Haj subsidy. Government has also made the 12-digit Aadhaar number mandatory for benefits under nearly three dozen central schemes including free mid-day meals for schoolchildren.