SC directs Centre not to make Aadhaar mandatory
The Supreme Court on Monday directed the central government to withdraw all its orders that make the unique identification number or Aadhaar cards mandatory for people for availing government services.
The apex court had in September last year ruled that no person shall be denied welfare benefits, various services and subsidies for not possessing the Aadhaar number.
It also asked the government to ensure that the cards were not issued to illegal migrants.
The court gave the order after the Centre told a bench of justice BS Chauhan and justice SA Bobde that securing an Aadhaar number was voluntary.
The apex court on Monday also asked the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) not to share information of the Aadhaar card holders with any government outfit or agency.
Emphasising on the confidentiality of the database, the court directed the UIDAI shall be prohibited from handing out any information to a third party - government or private, unless the card holder consented.
Launched in February 2009, Aadhaar is designed to provide every resident in India a unique 12-digit identity number.
(Posted on 25-03-2014)