SC to examine validity of Aadhaar card

Last Updated : 02 September 2013, 21:47 IST

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The Supreme Court on Monday decided to examine the usefulness and validity of the Aadhaar card, while several state governments have decided to make it compulsory for availing various public services like marriage registration and direct benefit transfer scheme.

A bench of Justices B S Chauhan and S A Bobde sought response from different parties on the petition challenging the scheme being implemented by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

The PIL filed by Justice K S Puttaswamy, a retired judge of the Karnataka High Court, sought an immediate stay on the implementation of the scheme.

The PIL held that the scheme was in complete violation of the fundamental rights under Articles 14 (right to equality) and 21 (right to life and liberty). The government claimed that the scheme is voluntary. But Aadhaar is being made mandatory for purposes like registration of marriages and others.

The Maharashtra government recently said no marriage will be registered if parties do not possess Aadhaar cards, senior advocate Anil Divan, representing the petitioner, said.

In its reply to the PIL, the Centre claimed that consent of an individual was indispensable for Aadhaar cards, so it was a voluntary project in order to promote inclusion and benefits to the marginalised sections of society having no formal proof of identity.

Maintaining that it was issued only to resident Indians, the response confirmed that Aadhaar did not confer any right of or proof of citizenship or domicile.

The UIDAI was set up under the executive powers under the Constitution and hence not having a law at the moment was not a legal impediment, it claimed.

The court, meanwhile, allowed a plea made by Additional Solicitor General L N Rao seeking transfer of two similar matters from the Bombay and Madras High Courts and decided to hear them along with the PIL.

Published 02 September 2013, 21:47 IST

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