Govt to approach SC for 'correction' of Aadhaar order

Last Updated 24 September 2013, 16:11 IST

A day after Supreme Court observed that Aadhaar card was not mandatory for availing of government services, the government plans to approach the court for a "correction".

Petroleum Minister M Veerappa Moily said he has spoken to Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran on the issue. "I think they are approaching the Supreme Court for a correction. I cannot say anything more now."

He, however, said the planned roll out of Aadhaar-based cash subsidy payout to cooking gas (LPG) will continue as planned. "It will not be effected," he said.
The Direct Benefit Transfer on LPG makes it mandatory for a household consumer to have an Aadhaar number for getting cash subsidy after a three month grace period in districts where it is being rolled out.

Hearing a petition against the Aadhaar scheme which petitioners had contended was unconstitutional, a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court had said that, "no person should suffer for getting the Aadhaar card inspite of the fact that some authority had issued a circular making it mandatory.

"And when any person applies to get Aadhaar card voluntarily, it may be checked whether that person is entitled for it under the law and it should not be given to any illegal immigrant."

Meanwhile, Minister for Planning Rajeev Shukla said a bill to provide statutory status to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) that issues the cards, will be pushed in the winter session of Parliament.

"We will bring the National Identification Authority of India Bill 2010 in Parliament during the forthcoming winter session for discussion and passage," Shukla told PTI.
The UIDAI, which issues 12-digit Aadhaar numbers to residents, currently operates through an executive order.

The bill to provide the authority legal backing was approved by the Union Cabinet in September 2010 and introduced in the Rajya Sabha in December that year. It was sent for scrutiny to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance headed by former finance minister and BJP leader Yashwant Sinha.

"Now the bill has been sent back to the Planning Commission by the Standing Committee with some amendments. We will soon take it to the Cabinet and try to push the draft for passage in the winter session," Shukla said.

The minister said the UIDAI has not made enrolment for Aadhaar number mandatory for residents and it was for the central departments, ministries and state governments to decide how to verify the identity of beneficiaries.

"Aadhaar establishes the identity of a person and not the nationality. It also serves as proof of residence. Moreover, it is a voluntary facility and not mandatory," he said.

(Published 24 September 2013, 16:11 IST)

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