“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.