The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a fresh contempt plea against the government and others for allegedly making use of Aadhaar mandatory.
It has accused petroleum & natural gas secretary K D Tripathi and Indian Oil Corporation chairman B Ashok of “wilful and deliberate violation” of the SC order.
The bench headed by chief justice TS Thakur agreed to hear the fresh plea next week after counsel Ashwarya Bhatti, appearing for Mathew Thomas, who had earlier challenged the constitutional validity of Aadhaar, argued that “the Centre is giving an impression that Aadhar is mandatory.”
Mathews said that the contemnors, while acting on behalf of the Karnataka government have taken decisions or issued directions that render the Unique Identification Project or the Aadhaar Scheme as
compulsory, “therefore, in contumacious violation of this court’s orders.”
The Supreme Court five-judge Constitution bench had in October last year extended the use of Aadhaar card on voluntary basis to avail other government schemes like the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. This was in addition to the other two schemes — public distribution system and LPG schemes — allowed earlier by the court in its August 11, 2015 interim order.
The apex court had also rejected attorney general Mukul Rohtagi’s request that the Aadhaar card should be also allowed for opening bank accounts.