Three years after being forced to withdraw its earlier notification making Aadhaar card mandatory for vehicle registration, the Chandigarh Administration has made Aadhaar card mandatory for taking part in the e-auction of vehicle registration numbers.
The Supreme Court in March this year had clarified that Aadhaar card cannot be made mandatory for availing any benefits or service. Even Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Rajya Sabha on March 16 had clarified that Aadhaar card is not mandatory.
According to the Aadhaar Act, 2016, Aadhaar card is required for availing subsidies, benefits and services, the expenditure for which is incurred from the Consolidated Fund of India. The Act states that the individuals to whom Aadhaar number has not been assigned shall be offered alternative and viable means of identification for delivery of the subsidy, benefit or service.
Aadhaar card was not mandatory for taking part in the first e-auction of registration numbers held in May. Amendments have been made for the second e-auction scheduled to be held from July 18 to 20.
According to changed norms, UID, that is, Aadhaar card and address proof of Chandigarh are mandatory to participate in the e-auction.
When contacted, RLA in-charge Amit Talwar said that the Act entitles them to ask for Aadhaar card. “It will help us in putting a check on any malpractices. It will also help us in ensuring that non-Chandigarh residents are not able to take part in the auction,” said Talwar.
Ajay Jagga, a city-based advocate and social activist, said that the administration had gone against the Supreme Court directions by making Aadhaar mandatory for availing a service. “As of now, legally Aadhar card cannot be made mandatory. There seems to be an error of judgment on part of officials who framed the policy,” he said.
According to officials of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Aadhaar has already been linked with welfare schemes such LPG, pension and provident fund schemes in Chandigarh. The Chandigarh estate office is in the process of linking properties — both commercial and residential — with the Aadhaar cards of the respective owners.
*IN 2012, the Chandigarh Administration had made Aadhaar card mandatory for vehicle registration. A PIL was moved in the Punjab and Haryana High Court challenging the move. In March 2013, the high court had directed the administration to withdraw the notification.