Supreme Court to continue hearing on Aadhaar tomorrow
Supreme Court on Wednesday was hearing out the plea of the petitioners who said that the Aadhaar card cannot be made mandatory in India.
The petitioners Arvind Datar Senior Counsel along with A.K. Siri argued that section 139 AA is discriminatory and violative of Article 14.
They said that the Aadhaar Act introduced in 2016 was not a mandatory act and so it could not be made mandatory for or linked to PAN cards and filing for returns.
The justices also said that the only ‘official' reason behind mandating Aadhaar was to disclose the amount of black money in circulation but there has been no nexus between the two.
Attorney General of India, Mukul Rohatgi said that the new law is prospective and not retrospective as claimed by the petitioner.
He further argued that biometrics was the only system in the world which could stop duplication and that 99% of the population already have Aadhaar numbers.
On April 21, the Supreme Court bench comprising justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan asked the government to justify the notification of linking Aadhaar cards to PAN cards and making it mandatory for filing income taxes despite the court ruling otherwise.
The Finance Act 2017 also states that if the PAN has not been linked to the Aadhaar it will be deemed as invalid post June 30.
In October 2015, it was clarified by India top court that the Aadhar card scheme should be purely voluntary and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by the court.
On March 27 of this year the SC again reiterated that the quoting of Aadhaar number is not mandatory.
Under the Aadhaar Act 2016 which was passed by Lok Sabha last year was initially aimed to provide legal backing to the unique identification number project.
The NDA government chose to introduce the Aadhaar Bill, 2016 as a Money Bill this year in parliament and the Lok Sabha, which had the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in majority cleared the Bill and passed it to the Rajya Sabha.
A debate began in parliament over the controversial Money Bill as the Rajya Sabha rejected it even though the Lok Sabha continued to back it