The Supreme Court today directed the Centre and states to stick to its earlier order and not insist on Aadhar card for granting social security benefits to citizens. The court had issued an order to that effect nearly two years ago, in September 2013.
"In certain quarters, Aadhar cards are being insisted on by various authorities. We don't want to go into specific instances," the court said while hearing an appeal to curb the practice.
Appearing for one of the petitioners, former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanian said even for registration of marriage, the Delhi government insists on Aadhar cards.
The Centre, represented by the Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, told the court that it was the responsibility of the states to comply with the order, but they were not following it.
Criticising the Centre, the bench comprising Justice J Chelameswar, Justice SA Bobde and Justice C Nagappan, said, "It is your duty to ensure our orders are followed. You can't say states are not following our order".
The Aadhar number, rolled out by the Unique Identification Authority, has become essential for every government service. From availing ration cards to bank accounts, voter ID cards and even LPG subsidy - the number is a must in most states.
In September 2013, the Supreme Court had ruled that the card cannot be a prerequisite for public services. Last year, in March, the court had asked the government why the Aadhar card was still being treated as mandatory for citizens who want to get their marriages or property registered, or receive a gas connection.
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