Linking Aadhaar With Pension Should Not Be Mandatory, Says Supreme Court. 5 Points

Supreme Court said that pension is not a subsidy but an entitlement of a person for years of service he/she has rendered to the government

Linking Aadhaar With Pension Should Not Be Mandatory, Says Supreme Court. 5 Points

SC said that the government could come with less invasive ways of confirming identity of a person.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday questioned the mandatory use of Aadhaar card for drawing pension by retired government employees, reported IANS. Aadhaar is a 12-digit personal identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)- as mentioned on the official website of UIDAI- uidai.gov.in. Supreme Court said that pension is not a subsidy but an entitlement of a person for years of service he/she has rendered to the government in discharge of official duties, IANS further reported. A five judge constitution bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Sikri, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Ashok Bhushan is hearing the batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar Act on the touchstone of the fundamental right to privacy.

Here are 5 things to know that Supreme Court pointed out:

  1. Pension is an entitlement and not a benefit under social schemes. How is it included under section 7 of the Aadhaar Act, 2016? Many pensioners live with children settled abroad. Can such category of pensioners be told that would not be granted pension unless they have aadhaar card?, Justice AK Sikri asked. (Also read: 12 Aadhaar-related tasks you can perform online through UIDAI portal)

  2. If Aadhaar was an instrument of establishing the identity of a person, then what was the need for storing data in a centralised repository and linking the unique identification with everything", asked Supreme Court. In Singapore, everyone has a unique identification card and all information is stored in a chip card and is not with the state, added Supreme Court.

  3. Justice D Y Chandrachud, who is a member of the bench, gave the example of his late father and former CJI Y V Chandrachud saying only he used to operate the pension account and hence there was no question of somebody else operating it. "There are those old persons whose biometrics do not match with the Aadhaar data. Where do they go? Government must explain steps being taken to eliminate financial exclusion of legitimate beneficiaries," asked Justice Chandrachud.

  4. The top court further said that the government could come with less invasive ways of confirming the identity of a person. 

  5. The bench raised the issue of retired persons settled abroad, pointing out that as per rules, only Indians can enrol for Aadhaar. In this case government must ensure that non-resident Indians can also get the pensionary benefits as they cannot apply for Aadhaar, mentioned SC. (With inputs from Agencies)


 



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