Aadhar Card Can be linked to PPF accounts, Jan Dhan Yojana Accounts, MGNREGA and Pension Schemes
A three-judge bench, on August 11, 2015, had imposed the limitation on utilizing the Aadhaar cards only for availing the subsidized food items, kerosene oil and cooking gas from the public distribution system. In recent news, Supreme Court has now lifted this restriction on October 8, 2015, to allow the linking of Aadhaar cards with other public schemes like government’s Jan Dhan Yojana, pension schemes, provident fund schemes, and MGNREGA.
A constitution bench consisting of five judges was set up to discuss the issue regarding the restriction on the use of Aadhaar cards, listening to the pleas for modifying and relaxing the interim order and also for providing any other clarifications. The limitation on the use of Aadhaar card resulted in both central government and many other regulatory authorities to reach Supreme Court in order to seek permission for linking the Aadhaar card to various schemes for public benefits.
Central government said that Aadhaar card provides an easy identification method for all those who are seeking the benefits of these schemes. It has also argued that there is no foundation for not extending the use of Aadhaar cards to other welfare schemes when it is already linked to PDS and cooking gas subsidy.
The constitution bench, though lifted the limitation, said that the linking of Aadhaar card is not at all mandatory. The person who is eligible for any of these public schemes can produce any other identification proof to gain the benefits of these services. The authority will not insist any individual to produce the Aadhaar card for availing any of these welfare schemes.
The Supreme Court has also asserted that producing the Aadhaar card is only voluntary and no person will be denied the advantages of any government welfare schemes, in case they do not have the Aadhaar card.