New Delhi: In an order with wide ramifications, the Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that Aadhar card is not mandatory for the citizens. A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court further instructed the Centre to publicise the decision widely. “The Centre shall ensure wide publicity through print and electronic media that Aadhar card is not mandatory,” the bench said.
The Constitution Bench was hearing a batch of petitions challenging the Centre's ambitious scheme to provide Aadhar card to all citizens and decide whether right to privacy is a fundamental right. Earlier in the day, an apex court bench had referred the matter to a constitution bench as it wanted an authoritative pronouncement on whether right to privacy is a fundamental right.
The Constitution Bench ruled that Aadhar card will remain optional for availing various welfare schemes of the government except for PDS and LPG distribution system. The court directed that “no personal information of Aadhar card holders shall be shared by the authorities concerned”. The court, however, allowed the use of details of Aadhar card holders for any criminal investigation.