Aadhaar remains a must in Delhi
Neelam Pandey, Hindustan Times New Delhi, September 24, 2013
The Delhi government will continue to insist on furnishing of Aadhaar cards for its schemes unless told otherwise by the Centre, sources said. The Supreme Court on Monday directed the government to not deny benefits to those not having an Aadhaar number.
The Delhi government was one of the first states to make Aadhaar card mandatory to avail government services. Not only this, its revenue department had gone a step ahead and made the card mandatory for getting married, selling or buying properties or even getting pension and scholarships.
“We can only comment on the issue after reading the judgment. We had made Aadhaar mandatory as the central government had made it as the eligibility criteria for its direct cash transfer scheme. We are only following the guidelines. This makes the scheme transparent as there is no other identity proof which takes into account a person’s biometrics,” said Dharam Pal, revenue secretary, Delhi government.
However, activists have welcomed the Supreme Court’s ruling. “Making the Aadhaar card mandatory was a breach of trust. When you download the form, the very first sentence says that UID is free and voluntary. By making it compulsory, the government is making the citizens subservient,” said Gopal Krishna, member, Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties.
From April 1, the furnishing of Aadhaar card had been made compulsory for accessing and availing any Delhi government service — right from getting marriage certificates, registering properties and even getting pension. Even in the recently launched food security scheme, the government had made Aadhaar card mandatory.
As per the latest figures, Aadhaar enrolment in Delhi has reached 1.69 crore and cards have been issued to 1.52 crore.