The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre to explain why Aadhaar cards were still being treated as mandatory for people who wished to get their marriages and properties registered or get gas connections.
The Supreme Court had in September last year said no person will be denied welfare benefits, various services and subsidies for not possessing the Aadhaar number and also asked the government to ensure that the cards were not issued to illegal migrants.
The order came after the Centre told a bench of justice BS Chauhan and justice SA Bobde that securing an Aadhaar number was voluntary.
The SC on Monday directed the central government to withdraw all its orders making the unique identification number mandatory for people for availing government services.
The apex court also asked the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) not to share information of the Aadhaar card holders with any government outfit.
Launched in February 2009 at a projected cost of Rs 15,000 crore, Aadhaar is designed to provide every resident in India a unique 12-digit identity number.