The Supreme Court allowed citizens of India to voluntarily use Aadhaar card to gain benefits under four schemes. However, the absence of an Aadhaar card would not forbid people from availing advantage from these schemes. Earlier, the August 11 interim order passed by a three-judge bench had restricted the voluntary use of the Aadhaar card to various schemes and referred the petition to a larger bench.
Attorney general Mukul Rohatgi also promised the five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu that that no citizen would be deprived of benefits under social welfare schemes for want of an Aadhaar card.
During the hearing, it was also pleaded that no court could allow a government to play with the personal details of citizens and it was a gross violation of citizens’ privacy. But the court remained firm that if the Aadhaar could be voluntarily used for availing LPG subsidy and ration, it could also be used for other schemes.
The court permitted voluntary use of the Aadhaar card, and the government knew it would be able to convince 92 crore citizens to use Aadhaar for availing benefits under social welfare schemes.
Still, the Aadhaar could not be made the basis for all welfare schemes, and the petitions were yet to be decided by the soon-to-be-constituted larger bench.