Rajasthan High Court has directed the authorities to ensure that all those who hold a Ration Card are issued the Rations as per the entitlement without insisting upon the holder of the Ration Card obtaining an Aadhaar Card.
The Bench comprising Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice S.P. Sharma in its interim order dated 30th May observed, “The respondents are directed to ensure that all those who hold a Ration Card are issued the Rations as per the entitlement without insisting upon the holder of the Ration Card obtaining an Aadhaar Card.” The order, it said, shall continue till vacated or modified.
However a Supreme Court Bench Today refused to stay the government notification which mandated furnishing of Aadhaar cards from July 1 to avail benefits of 17 social schemes, including scholarships, right to food and mid-day meals.
This was after Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the Centre, submitted that the cut-off date for those who do not possess the card has been extended till September 30 and they could avail the benefits till then by furnishing alternate ID proof like voter ID card, driving licence or PAN card.
“The Centre itself is saying nobody will be deprived of benefits. Heavens will not fall if we do not stay the notification. Such interim orders cannot be passed on mere apprehensions that somebody will be deprived of benefits. Show us some case and then we can do something about it,” a bench comprising Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Navin Sinha told senior counsel Shyam Divan, who had requested for an interim stay until the apex court’s final verdict on the constitutionality of Aadhaar to be heard by a constitution bench.
It may be noted that the Supreme Court had recently upheld the constitutional validity of Section139AA of the Income Tax Act, 1961, which stipulates that every person, who is eligible to obtain Aadhaar number shall, on or after the 1st day of July, 2017, quote Aadhaar number in the application form for allotment of permanent account number and in the return of income.
The Court had, however, partially stayed the operation of the Section subject to the outcome of the Constitution Bench Judgment in the main Aadhaar Case in which the very validity of Aadhaar is challenged. The Bench had also clarified that those who don’t have Aadhaar need not apply for it for the purpose of filing IT returns.
Read the Order Here