2 Years ago, a Supreme Court ruling outlawed any of the Government’s efforts to make Aadhar Card mandatory for availing benefits like an LPG Subsidy. Hence, any Citizen of India cannot be denied a Goverment benefit just because his Aadhar Card is not linked to the subsidy disbursement channel. The SC is right in its own sense because, it doesn’t want the Citizens of India to get stuck in another systematic loophole. However, now the Centre (the current Modi Government) has requested the SC to remove this particular stay order. No matter how much does this request clash with the SC ruling, the Government might intrinsically signalling that it has faith in the idea of Aadhar Card benefits.
The Government and UIDAI probably intend to send out a message that Aadhar Card is not going to become another loophole on in our system. This theory might as well be true, because, from the very grass root level, the Aadhar Card has been established as an Identity Card launched to minimise the constraints in the benefits transfer system. Therefore, it might as well be in the best interest of us (the Citizens of India) when the stay on Aadhar Card linking is removed.
Why the Government Wants SC to Remove the Stay on Aadhar Card Benefits?
If you look back at the History of Aadhar Card, at first, it seemed that the BJP Govt. would not support the Aadhar Card benefits system (as was evident by the opinion of some of its leaders). Luckily, Nandan Nilekani was able to convince Narendra Modi about the merits of Aadhar Card initiative. Ever since, the new Govt. made it clear that it was ready to take forward the Aadhar Card legacy. Narendra Modi even instructed his office bearers to come out with a mechanism to link Aadhar Card and the Passport application process.
However, according to the Supreme Court Judgement, Aadhar Card must not be mandatory for Citizens of India to avail any Govt. service or benefit. Hence, right now, the Govt. would be legally unable to proceed with any mechanism to help people link their Aadhar Cards to their passport obtaining process. This is one of the reasons for a clash in the plans of the Govt. and the Supreme Court judgement. This is one of the major reasons, why the Govt. is requesting the SC to take back the stay order.
What Happens if Aadhar Card Benefits Linking is Allowed?
The NDA Government said, in an application filed on July 16, 2015 that it intends to extend the Aadhar Card and make it applicable to other Govt. schemes like obtaining the passport, PAN Card, Railway ticket booking, Immigrations, Telecommunication and Prison Management systems.
Hence, when the stay order is removed, the UIDAI and the Govt. would have much more flexibility and fast-tracking of the above-mentioned services which otherwise make the Citizens complete complex procedures.
The application also enlists a compelling reason for its request to have the stay removed. The reason exclaimed is that the stay order has bearing effects on the Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT, for example, LPG Subsidy). The DBTs are now done on the basis of Bank Account details, because of which, the Government is unable to siphon out the Ghost, fake and forged accounts (something which could easily be done if the Aadhar Card numbers are provided). ‘The Govt. would take all the safeguards during the Aadhar enrollment process’ is what the Government promised under the filed application for Aadhaar Benefit Linking to other Government processes and documents of proof.
Hence, we are yet to know what is going to happen. Will the supreme court take back its orders? When will the conflict be resolved? We don’t know yet. Stay tuned for more updates!