Earlier on Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled that the Aadhar Unique Identity card could not be made mandatory and that it would remain voluntary in nature. Hearing a petition filed by retired judge of the Karnataka High Court, Justice KS Puttaswamy, the apex court dealt a serious blow to the government’s attempts in making Aadhar card mandatory linking entitlement to social security benefits with the UID.
The apex court also rejected the Centre’s argument that Rs. 50,000 crore has been spent on the UID project asking as to why did the government sped so much when it is not mandatory. The Aadhar project has been in controversy ever since it was conceived.
The Union Home Ministry was critical of the project under the then Home Minister P Chidambaram, who favoured creation of a national population register. For long, the projects and ministries concerned did not share their data. The UID project got a boost only after P Chidambaram was moved to the finance ministry. Now, the Supreme Court’s decision has put the central government in a bind.