SC questions government for making Aadhaar mandatory for PAN cards

SC asks Centre how can it make Aadhaar mandatory for procuring PAN cards hearing on April 25

The Supreme Court on Friday questioned the Centre for making the Aadhaar card mandatory for a number of central schemes despite its repeated orders that the unique identification programme can not be made mandatory. Late last month, the SC did say the government wouldn't be wrong to make Aadhaar mandatory for opening bank accounts+, getting mobile connections and getting passports. "To prevent this, the only option is to make Aadhaar card mandatory", Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the SC judge headed by Justice AK Sikri as per a report in India Today.

The court also asked the Union Government that is making Aadhar mandatory by force the only way to tackle fraud and fake pan card? The government was told that the Aadhaar can only be an optional requirement, as per the court's earlier ruling on the issue.

The bench said it would hear arguments on the plea challenging the government's move making Aadhaar mandatory for PAN cards on April 25.

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The Supreme Court on Friday expressed its displeasure over the Centre's move to make Aadhar mandatory.

The amendment makes the unique identification number compulsory to obtain a Permanent Account Number card, for existing PAN cards to remain valid and to submit income tax returns. "They (government and its agencies) can not be stopped from seeking Aadhaar for non-benefit schemes like opening of bank accounts", a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar had said.

He further submitted that fake PAN cards, and ration cards were being used [for filing IT returns] and Aadhaar was the only way out to arrest that.

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