The Delhi high court on Wednesday issued a notice to the Centre on a petition challenging the government’s decision to make Aadhaar mandatory for beneficiaries of subsidised foodgrains through the public distribution system (PDS).
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal issued the notice to the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution and sought their response before the next date of hearing on April 24.
The bench also sought the stand of the Delhi government on the plea which seeks disbursal of subsidised foodgrains to the beneficiaries of the National Food Security Act (NFSA), without needing Aadhaar.
The plea, a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a social organisation — Delhi Rozi Roti Adhikar Abhiyan, said the notification violates the basic principle of law enshrined in Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution.
Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identification number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) after collecting biometric data from a person.
The Centre has given time to those people who do not have an Aadhaar number to apply for it by June 30.
The notification came into effect from February 8 in all states and UTs, except Assam, Meghalaya and Jammu and Kashmir.
Under the NFSA , which was rolled out across the country in November last year, five kg of foodgrains per person is provided each month at ₹1-3 per kg to over 80 crore people.
The plea said the Supreme Court in an interim order in October 2015 had allowed voluntary use of Aadhaar and ruled that no citizen can be denied a service or subsidy for want of it.