- The Ex-PM had said only 15 paise per rupee meant for poor reaches them
- The Supreme Court said Aadhaar can solve much of this malaise
- A welfare state must come out with schemes for deprived class: Court
"A former prime minister of this country has gone on record to say that out of one rupee spent by the government for the welfare of the downtrodden, only 15 paise thereof actually reaches those persons for whom it is meant. It can't be doubted that with UID/Aadhaar much of the malaise in this field can be taken care of," a bench of justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said.
In its 157-page judgement, the top court said Aadhaar can take care of the issue of duplicate beneficiaries reaping the fruits of welfare schemes meant for the genuine deprived class. The bench said a major hurdle in transfer of the benefits to the genuine needy is the lack of means to correctly identify such persons.
"Resultantly, lots of ghosts and duplicate beneficiaries are able to take undue and impermissible benefits," it said. The judges said it is the duty of a welfare state to come out with schemes to take care of needs of the deprived class and ensure adequate opportunities are provided to them. It noted that due to various reasons including corruption, the benefit of welfare schemes does not reach those who are supposed to receive them.
"India has achieved significant economic growth since Independence. In particular, rapid economic growth has been achieved in the last 25 years, after the country adopted the policy of liberalisation and entered the era of, what is known as, globalisation. Economic growth in the last decade has been phenomenal and for many years, the Indian economy grew at highest rate in the world," the bench said.
"At the same time, it is also a fact that in spite of significant political and economic success which has proved to be sound and sustainable, the benefits thereof have not percolated down to the poor and the poorest. In fact, such benefits are reaped primarily by the rich and upper middle classes, resulting into widening the gap between the rich and the poor," the apex court said.