The Centre has requested the Supreme Court to lift its two-year-old stay order restraining the government from asking for Aadhaar numbers to transfer benefits under the social welfare schemes, contending it should be modified to make enrolment in the Unique Identity Scheme mandatory.
In an application filed on Thursday before the top court, the NDA government said it intends to make the Unique Identity Scheme applicable to other government schemes such as obtaining passports, PAN cards, immigration, railways, telecommunications and prison management systems.
According to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Aadhaar is a 12-digit individual identification number issued by it on behalf of the government. This number will serve as a proof of identity and address across India.
The stay order has had a bearing on the effective implementation of the Direct Benefits Transfers (DBT), read the application. Financial benefits are now being transferred on the basis of bank account numbers.
But, the government is unable to locate the fakes, ghosts and duplications in the system – something which can be easily done if Aadhaar numbers are provided, the application said, promising the government would take all safeguards during the enrolment.
A batch of petitions challenging introduction of Aadhaar by way of January 28, 2009 executive order is pending before the SC. A bench headed by Justice BS Chauhan had begun hearing the arguments in the case but since his retirement in July 2014 the matter has never come on board.