The Supreme Court today said that the Aadhaar card cannot be made mandatory by the government for extending the benefits of its welfare schemes to the people. The apex court, however, said the government cannot be stopped from using Aadhaar in other schemes like the opening of bank accounts.
The court said it will set up a seven-judge bench to hear the pleas challenging Aadhaar but right now it is not possible.
The apex court refused to give an early date to hear a petition on making the Aadhaar card mandatory, saying it would hear the case in due course of time.
Last week, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said the Aadhaar card may become the only identity card in future, and will be mandatory for filing of Income Tax returns to curb tax evasion and frauds.
Replying to the debate on the Finance Bill in the Lok Sabha, Mr Jaitley said that Aadhaar may become the only card in future replacing all other types of identity cards such as Voter ID and PAN cards.