The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre to immediately withdraw orders, if any, issued for making Aadhaar card mandatory for availing government services like registration of marriage or securing gas connections.
The apex court’s direction came while staying the order of the Goa bench of the Bombay High Court directing sharing of data collected for issuing Aadhaar card to citizens with the CBI in a rape case. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) had challenged the High Court order.
“If there are any instructions that Aadhaar is mandatory, it should be withdrawn immediately,” a bench of justices B S Chauhan and J Chelameswar said. The bench said biometric or any other data should not be shared with any authorities unless the accused gives consent in writing.
The Supreme Court had in September last ordered that Aadhaar card should not be made mandatory for availing government services and nobody should be deprived of such facilities for want of the card. UIDAI came into existence on January 28, 2009, for providing 12-digit Aadhaar number to those citizens who register themselves.
The CBI had sought the database, including biometrics of persons from Goa, so that those could be compared with the ones obtained from the crime scene for investigating rape of a minor girl on a school premises in Vasco.