SC to decide validity of linking Aadhaar with Pan card

SC asks Centre how can it make Aadhaar mandatory for procuring PAN cards hearing on April 25

Last month, the SC said that the government could make Aadhaar mandatory for getting passports, opening bank accounts or getting mobile connections.

Responding to the Supreme Court's concern over centralized biometric-based database of India's 1.2 billion citizens, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said that the central government's aim was to end the black money menace by making Aadhaar a mandatory.

The Supreme Court further stated that the central government has violated its previous order which questioned, is Aadhaar by force being the only way left to counter fraud.

The Supreme Court bench led by Justice Sikri questioned the Centre as to how Aadhar can be made compulsory and forced on people.

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The centre on Thursday justified making Aadhaar mandatory for filing income tax returns. "We found a number of PAN cards were being used to divert funds to shell companies. Why has it been made mandatory?"

In 2015, the Supreme Court had issued an order saying that Aadhaar can not be made mandatory for government schemes.

The amendment makes the unique identification number compulsory to obtain a Permanent Account Number card, for existing PAN cards to remain valid and to submit income tax returns.

Earlier, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had also spoken in favour of linking Aadhaar details with PAN card to weed out tax evaders who did not pay taxes by availing duplicate cards in their names. On October 10, 2015, the government had moved the top court seeking permission to use the ID for a few schemes, but the court had reiterated its stand and said that its use must be "purely voluntary".