The Unique Identification Authority of India has said that the Centre and state governments can ask citizens to furnish their Aadhaar number in order to avail government subsidies and benefits.
Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act states that the governments have the authority to ask for the unique identification number of citizens for providing the benefits, the regulatory body noted in a memorandum issued on August 11.
The office memorandum added that persons who do not have an Aadhaar number, could make an application whose enrolment slip number will be considered as the required document to avail the subsidies and benefits.
The Unique Identification Authority of India also said that as on June 30, more than 99% adult citizens had been issued an Aadhaar number “barring a few states”. It said that Aadhaar has “significantly improved the quality of resident/citizen experience in receiving welfare services”.
In a separate office memorandum, the Unique Identification Authority of India stated that certificates issued by government departments have an “embedded subsidy in their delivery” as they are provided at a nominal cost. This government service also comes under the ambit of Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act, the regulatory body said.
This means that officials can ask citizens to furnish their Aadhaar numbers in order to procure government certificates.
In a judgement in September 2018, the Supreme Court had upheld the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar scheme, and most of the provisions of the Act. However, the court had said that phone numbers and bank accounts do not need to be linked with Aadhaar.
“It follows that authentication under Section 7 would be required as a condition for receipt of a subsidy, benefit or service only when such a subsidy, benefit or service is taken care of by Consolidated Fund of India,” it had added.