Pension, said the SC, is an individual's right and Aadhaar cannot be made mandatory for receiving such benefits
The Supreme Court (SC) has ruled that Aadhaar is not mandatory for pension schemes. In its verdict on the constitutional validity of Aadhaar, the SC said a benefit like pension cannot be part of Section 7 of Aadhaar Act. Under section 7, the central/state government can ask for Aadhaar to establish the identity of an individual.
“We also make it clear that a benefit, for example, pension by a government employee, cannot be covered under Section 7 of the Act, as it is the right of the individual to receive such benefit,” the verdict said.
Lawyers Moneycontrol spoke to said Aadhaar can be necessary for subsidy schemes, but no benefit can be denied for non-disclosure of Aadhaar.
Earlier, a lot of government-aided schemes had mandated Aadhaar. The benefits would only be provided if Aadhaar details were disclosed.
Essentially, the SC has taken the ‘necessary but not mandatory’ position which means that while quoting an Aadhaar number is ideal, an individual cannot be denied basic rights and services only because he/she did not disclose Aadhaar.Individuals can submit other relevant identification documents to continue getting access to those benefits.