A petition has been filed in the Madras High Court challenging the notification mandating linking of Aadhaar with Universal Account Number (UAN) for availing pension and provident fund benefits.
In the plea, Elisha Ebenezer, a software engineer, claimed the notification dated January 4, 2017, was unconstitutional for being violative of Articles 14, 21 and 300A of the Constitution and contrary to the directives of the Supreme Court, which made it clear that Aadhaar was mandatory only to avail benefits under various government-run social welfare schemes and subsidies.
A division bench of Justices S Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad admitted the plea and directed the Employee Provident Fund Organisation to respond.
The petitioner submitted that prior to the January 2017 notification, the use of Aadhaar was limited to only those members who had begun receiving their pension and who were required to provide life certificates each year to continue receiving the pension.
However, in view of the notification, now all members of the pension scheme would have to link their Aadhaar with their UAN just to continue their membership in the pension scheme.
The petitioner submitted that the pension fund comprises regular contributions from the employee’s salary and therefore to deprive pensioners of the amount citing non-linkage of Aadhaar would also entail a violation of the Right to Property under Article 300A of the Constitution.
“The present requirement of linking UAN with Aadhaar interferes with my right to operate and deal with my provident fund, which has no government contribution,” the petitioner claimed.
Further, the petitioner submitted that the present requirement also prevented her from saving for her old age or accessing the amounts saved to date in the pension account.