The Supreme Court has said that those who do not have an Aadhaar card cannot be deprived of the benefits of any government scheme till the next date of hearing. The apex court has also refused to pass any interim order in the case. The observation was made by a vacation bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Navin Sinha. The SC bench said that the interim order cannot be passed on the apprehension of petitioners that the government may deprive people from availing benefits of various welfare schemes due to the lack of Aadhaar details. The two-Judge bench made the observation in reference to the June 9 judgment of the court in which the SC had upheld the validity of an Income Tax Act provision making Aadhaar mandatory for allotment of PAN cards, according to newswire service PTI.
Currently, the 12-digit Aadhaar issued by the Central government has been made mandatory for many government services by the central government. The Aadhaar card does not replace existing identification documents, but it is used as a single identification document at healthcare institutions, various government bodies, financial institutions, according to an Indian Express report.
The government, according to PTI, has informed the Supreme Court that it has extended the June 30 deadline to September 30 to those availing benefits of government’s social welfare schemes but don’t have an Aadhaar card. The next hearing in the case is on July 7.
The government had recently made Aadhaar cards necessary for opening bank accounts. Those who do not have an Aadhaar card, have been asked to submit Aadhaar card details to the bank within six months of opening a bank account. Failure to deposit the details would lead to the bank blocking the account. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Union Budget proposed that Aadhaar and PAN cards should be linked, Indian Express reported.
Also, Aadhaar has been made mandatory for patients who want to avail treatment for Tuberculosis (TB). This has been made mandatory by the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP).