Aadhar card will be optional for availing various welfare schemes of the government, the Supreme Court today said and ordered that no personal information of the holders of such cards shall be shared by any authority.
A three-judge bench, which in the forenoon referred to a larger Constitution Bench a batch of petitions challenging the Aadhar scheme and the issue whether right to privacy is a fundamental right, recorded the statement of Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi that “no personal information of Aadhar card shall be shared by any authority”.
The bench, headed by Justice J Chelameswar, which issued a slew of directions, said the Centre shall give wide publicity through electronic and print media that the card is not mandatory to avail the government schemes.
The bench, also comprising Justices S A Bobde and C Nagappan, said, “UIDAI/Aadhar will not be used for any other purposes except PDS, kerosene and LPG distribution system.” However, the court made it clear that even for PDS, kerosene and LPG distribution system, the card will not be mandatory.
It directed that the information received by UIDAI shall not be used for any other purposes, except in criminal investigation with the permission of the court.
The court did not allow the interim plea of petitioners, challenging Aadhar scheme, that the ongoing enrolment process for the Aadhar card be stayed.