In a major blow to the UPA government’s Unique Identification number scheme, the apex court has ruled that the Government cannot deny benefits to people without Aadhaar cards.
“No benefit of service shall be denied on account of non-possession of Aadhaar,” a Supreme Court bench hearing a public interest litigation said on Monday. (via)
The bench, of Justice BS Chauhan & SA Bobde, which has sought replies from the Center & State governments, will hear the matter on a later date. India’s Aadhaar project, is expected to cost the government Rs 37,187 cr over 11 years.
While the government has maintained said that Aadhaar, the unique identification number to be given to each individual, is not mandatory to avail services, many state governments and central government departments have said that beneficiaries won’t be eligible for subsidies unless they provide an Aadhaar number.
In November last year, the Government, under the direct cash transfer scheme, announced that all departments which transfer benefits to individual citizen must quickly move to an Aadhaar based payment platform and start implementing direct cash transfers to beneficiaries.
Responding to a query in the parliament in August, minister Rajeev Shukla said that Aadhaar card is not mandatory to avail government subsidies. “If any public sector undertaking is doing it, we will correct it,” the Minister said in response to concerns raised by members of the parliament during the zero hour. (via)
Left leader M P Achuthan said that public sector companies like oil companies have made Aadhaar mandatory to avail government subsidy on LPG and it was troubling citizen.
Various pilot projects, such as the distribution of old age pension in Tripura, public distribution system in Andhra Pradesh, security pension in Maharashtra and LPG subsidy in Karnataka, are being implemented with the help of Aadhaar.