The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has become the latest authority to approach the Supreme Court to modify their September 23 order, which directed them not to make Aadhaar card mandatory for citizens to avail benefits.
It claimed that the apex court’s direction had “very serious implications” in the implementation of different welfare schemes, including direct benefit transfer for gas subsidy.
“The UIDAI has been mandated to provide Aadhaar to residents of India as a part of a conscious policy decision of the government. Aadhaar is stated to be a proof of identity upfront and not citizenship. It may be mentioned that the government has specific agencies to perform the task of verifying citizenship and detecting illegal immigrants,” it said.
The Centre, as well as oil PSUs, had also approached the apex court in this regard.
“Having enrolled over 53-crore residents, there is no empirical proof to suggest that the adopted methodology is not robust and has opened the floodgates for entry of illegal migrants into the system. Exceptions, aberrations and anecdotal cases cannot be reasons to doubt, malign or undo government schemes and administrative measures manifestly serving desired public policy ends,” the UIDAI application said.
The apex court, had in its order, said that no person should be denied benefits in the absence of an Aadhaar card.
The order was made in spite of the fact that a circular had been issued making the Aadhaar card mandatory and when any person applies to get an Aadhaar card voluntarily, it may be checked whether he or she is entitled for it under the law.
The order had come during the hearing of a PIL filed by Justice K Puttaswamy, former high court judge, seeking to restrain the Centre, Planning Commission and UIDAI from issuing Aadhaar cards by way of an executive order dated January 28, 2009.