The bench said the Centre shall give wide publicity through electronic and print media that the card is not mandatory to avail the government schemes
The Supreme Court has said that Aadhaar card not be mandatory for availing various welfare schemes of the government. It says the card would be optional and ordered that no personal information of the holders of such cards shall be shared by any authority.
The bench was headed by Justice J Chelameswar, which issued a slew of directions. The bench said the Centre shall give wide publicity through electronic and print media that the card is not mandatory to avail the government schemes.
A three-judge bench, which in the forenoon referred to a larger Constitution Bench a batch of petitions challenging the Aadhar scheme and the issue whether right to privacy is a fundamental right, recorded the statement of Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi that “no personal information of Aadhar card shall be shared by any authority”.
The bench, also comprising Justices S A Bobde and C Nagappan, said, “UIDAI/Aadhar will not be used for any other purposes except PDS, kerosene and LPG distribution system.” However, the court made it clear that even for PDS, kerosene and LPG distribution system, the card will not be mandatory.
The apex court directed that the information received by UIDAI shall not be used for any other purposes, except in criminal investigation with the permission of the court. Furthur, it did not allow the interim plea of petitioners, challenging Aadhar scheme, that the ongoing enrolment process for the Aadhar card be stayed.
The apex court, earlier in the day, had referred to a Constitution Bench the batch of petitions challenging the Centre’s Aadhar card scheme and decide whether right to privacy is a fundamental right.