The Supreme Court of India lambasted the Narendra Modi-led BJP government at the Centre for making Aadhaar card a mandatory prerequisite to avail government services. By the impugned provision, Aadhaar has been made mandatory for obtaining PAN, continued validity of PAN and for filing of return under the Income Tax Act.
A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan posed the query while hearing a plea made former Kerala Minister and CPI leader Binoy Viswam, challenging the amendment to Income Tax Act making it mandatory to quote Aadhaar in filing IT returns.
The ruling came after the government announced that the 12-digit card will be required for nearly 36 central schemes, including: free mid-day meals for school children, scholarships, various other schemes for backward castes and the differently-abled.
Rohatgi said that government has found that the Pan Cards are being used to divert funds to shell companies and to prevent it, the Centre has the only option is to make Aadhar card mandatory.
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Responding to this, Rohatgi said that earlier too they have found people procuring SIM cards for mobile phones on fake identity cards and the apex court had asked the government to have a check on it. The apex court asked the Centre as to whether the move would address the problem of generation of fake PAN and ration cards.
"The answer is this that for giving benefits of welfare schemes, it (Aadhaar) can not be pressed".
On August 11, 2015, the SC had said that Aadhaar cards will not be compulsory for getting benefits of government's welfare schemes and had instructed the authorities not to share personal biometric data collected for enrolment under the scheme, the India Today report says.