The Supreme Court on Monday said that Aadhar card cannot be made mandatory for the welfare schemes of the government. However, it added that the government cannot be stopped from linking the 12-digit identification number to filing of tax returns or opening of bank accounts.
Recently, the Central government had made the 12-digit Aadhar number mandatory for benefits under nearly three dozen central schemes that included free mid-day meals for school children.
The government had made Aadhaar card compulsory for scholarships and other schemes for the backward castes and the disabled. For subsidised cooking gas and foodgrains, Aadhaar cards are mandatory.
By June 30, citizens will get their biometric identity documents, the government has said. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley says producing Aadhaar cards for filing tax returns will check tax evasion.