The Supreme Court (SC) of India on 27 March 2017 held that the government cannot make Aadhaar mandatory for availing benefits of welfare schemes. At the same time, the apex court also added that the government cannot be stopped from using Aadhaar in other schemes like the opening of bank accounts.
The court also said it will set up a seven-judge bench to hear the pleas challenging Aadhaar but right now it is not possible. The apex court refused to give an early date to hear a petition on making the Aadhaar card mandatory, saying it would hear the case in the due course of time.
Earlier in the third week of March 2017, the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said the Aadhaar card may become the only identity card in future and will be mandatory for the filing of Income Tax returns to curb tax evasion and frauds.
While replying to a debate on Finance Bill in the Lok Sabha, Jaitley said that Aadhaar may become the only card in future replacing all other types of identity cards such as Voter ID and PAN cards. The finance bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha as a money bill.
Besides in October 2016, the court allowed the use of Aadhaar cards for Jan Dhan Yojana, MNREGA, pension and provident fund schemes. But it restricted the use of Aadhaar cards for LPG subsidies and public distribution system.
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