Aadhaar Is Optional, How Can You Make It Mandatory? SC Blasts Govt

Is making Aadhaar by force the only way to tackle fraud, the court asked. 

Updated
India
1 min read
Aadhaar Pay has become the focus of digital payments (Photo: iStock)

The Supreme Court rapped the Centre on Friday over the move to make the Aadhaar compulsory for procuring a Permanent Account Number (PAN) card. “How can you make the Aadhaar card mandatory, when we have passed an order to make it optional?” the court asked.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi argued that mandatory Aadhaar was the only way to check black money.

We have found a number of PAN cards being used to divert funds to shell companies. To prevent this, the only option is to make Aadhaar card mandatory.
Mukul Rohatgi, Attorney General

The court counter-questioned Rohatgi, asking him:

Is this the remedy that you need to have Aadhaar for having PAN? Why has it been made mandatory?

In response, Rohtagi said that they had found people procuring SIM cards for mobile phones on fake identity cards.

The apex court said that the plea challenging the government’s move will be heard on 25 April.

The Supreme Court had, on 27 March, specified that the Aadhaar card should not be made mandatory for availing governmental schemes. In a violation of the SC order, the centre introduced last-minute amendments to the Finance Bill 2017, making Aadhaar mandatory for filing taxes.

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