In a recent development regarding the use of the Aadhaar cards, the Supreme Court on March 27 said that the unique identification number cannot be made mandatory for availing benefits under social welfare schemes. However, the use of Aadhaar will continue other schemes like the opening of bank accounts.

A bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul gave the verdict and said,”The unique identification number – Aadhaar – cannot be made mandatory for social welfare schemes but can be used for the non-benefit schemes like bank account opening or filing Income Tax.”

Senior counsel Shyam Divan earlier challenged a spare of orders issued by the government making Aadhaar compulsory to get benefited from various schemes.

Recently, the government has directed to link the Aadhar card numbers with the PAN numbers by March 31 otherwise, the PAN will likely become invalid afterwards. The government took this step in order to maximise the use of 12 digits biometric identification system.

Also, in order to prevent the issuance of multiple driving licenses under one name, the states have been asked by the Centre to make Aadhaar identification mandatory for a new license as well as for those seeking renewal. This move is expected to come into action later this year in October. The biometric details present in the Aadhar card helps to prevent many malpractices and criminal activities of making fake identity proofs. Aadhaar is alone capable of proving the identity of an Indian citizen.