Linking all the properties of the city— both commercial and residential— with the Aadhaar numbers of the respective owners, the Chandigarh estate office is making an attempt to circumvent an order of the Supreme Court that allows the use of the Aadhaar card only on voluntary basis.
The estate office plans to start the process by next month and has set a deadline of six months for linking all the properties. As per court orders, the estate office cannot force people to get their properties linked with Aadhaar.
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A constitution bench led by Chief Justice H L Dattu, in its order dated October 15, had allowed use of Aadhaar cards on voluntary basis. It allowed use of the card for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), Jan Dhan Yojana, pension and provident fund schemes. Earlier, the use of Aadhaar card was restricted to public distribution system and LPG subsidies. However, the bench had stated that these services would only be on voluntary basis and no person would be deprived of any benefit for want of Aadhaar.
UT Deputy Commissioner Ajit Balaji Joshi said that they would spread awareness about the benefits of linking properties with Aadhaar.
As per official figures, the city has a population of around 11.15 lakh, of which around 10.28 lakh have Aadhaar cards.
According to officials of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Aadhaar has already been linked with welfare schemes such as public distribution system (PDS) , cooking fuel/LPG, pension and provident fund schemes in Chandigarh.
Property dealers wary of move
Considering a slump in the market, property dealers are wary of the move as they feel it will have a negative impact on property transactions. “The administration cannot force the residents to link their properties with Aadhaar. The move is only going to hurt the market sentiments, which are low at present,” rued Kamaljit Singh Panchi, president of Chandigarh Federation of Property Dealers. He further urged the administration to link properties of people only on voluntary basis.
The Chandigarh Administration, in March 2013, was in a spot of embarrassment after it was forced to withdraw its notification making Aadhaar card mandatory for vehicle registration. The notification was withdrawn following a public interest litigation moved in the Punjab and Haryana High Court challenging the move.