Refusing to pass any interim order against the Centre’s notification making Aadhaar mandatory for availing benefits of various social welfare schemes, the Supreme Court today said that such an order cannot be passed on the “mere apprehension” of petitioners that government may deprive people from availing benefits of various social welfare schemes due to lack of Aadhaar.
A vacation bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and Navin Sinha also referred to the June 9 judgement passed by the apex court in which it had upheld the validity of an Income Tax Act provision making Aadhaar mandatory for allotment of PAN cards and filing of tax returns, but had put a partial stay on its implementation till a Constitution bench addressed the issue of right to privacy.
The bench said, “In view of the observations made in the judgement in Para 90 of the case... decided on June 9, no further observation is required.”
During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench that the Centre has extended the June 30 deadline to September 30 for those who do not have Aadhaar and are availing the benefits of various social welfare schemes. Senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for petitioners, told the court that the Centre should be directed not to deprive any person of the benefits of social welfare schemes which he/she is enjoying now due to lack of Aadhaar.
“No interim order can be passed in mandamus on mere apprehensions. You have to wait for one week. If somebody is deprived (of the benefits) you can point out the same to this court,” the bench told Divan and posted the matter for further hearing on July 7.
The apex court was hearing three separate petitions challenging government’s notification making Aadhaar mandatory for availing benefits of various social welfare schemes.
(With PTI inputs)