SC slams Modi govt, asks why it has made Aadhaar mandatory?

Aadhaar

The centre on Thursday justified making Aadhaar mandatory for filing income tax returns.

The Attorney General of India defended the government, stating that making Aadhaar mandatory was the "only option" since fake PAN cards were being used to divert funds to shell companies.

Noting that there was widespread misuse of such Pan cards, the AG cited instances of same person holding more than one PAN card - one with full name and other with initials.

The A-G also said that the court itself had recently ordered that Aadhaar should be made mandatory to procure SIM cards.

The Supreme Court had on March 27 made it clear that the unique identification number - Aadhaar - can't be made mandatory for availing benefits under social welfare schemes.

Late last month, the SC did say the government wouldn't be wrong to make Aadhaar mandatory for opening bank accounts+, getting mobile connections and getting passports. First, the PAN card becomes invalid if it is not linked with Aadhaar.

The bench of Justice AK Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan questioned the logic behind making Aadhaar mandatory to file income tax returns.

There was also constant mismatch of individual details in the two identity cards.

"There is a legislative mandate now".

The SC however relaxed its stance on October 15, 2015 and allowed the voluntary use of Aadhaar cards in welfare schemes like MGNREGA, pension schemes and provident fund, the report adds.

On March 27, the SC had stated that Aadhaar cards can not be made mandatory by the government for providing benefits of social welfare schemes.

According to Viswam, he did not have an Aadhaar number as it was not mandatory in view of the top Court's orders which said it was not mandatory as well as provisions of the Aadhaar Act.

A separate petition contending that Aadhaar violates the right of privacy of the citizens is pending before a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court.

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