In a major reprieve for the government, the Supreme Court on Thursday allowed use of Aadhaar cards also for MNREGA, Jan Dhan Yojana, pension and provident fund schemes. It had earlier restricted its use to public distribution system and LPG subsidy, compelling the government to rush to the court seeking a permission to use Aadhaar for more services.
A Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice H L Dattu, however, clarified that linking of Aadhaar for providing these services will only be on voluntary basis and no person shall be deprived of any benefit for want of Aadhaar.
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The Bench modified the August 11 order of a three-judge bench, which at the time of referring the matter to a larger bench, had said Aadhaar can be used only for distribution of food grains, kerosene oil and for LPG subsidy.
The government and its various regulators such as RBI, IRDA, SEBI, TRAI moved the court, requesting it to lift the restraint so that Aadhaar can be used to linking other services as well. The five-judge Constitution Bench was subsequently set up only to hear the plea for modifying the interim order.