The top court in the country on Wednesday finally made the all-important decision on the use of Aadhaar card. The Supreme Court declared that it is not mandatory to link bank accounts with Aadhaar or the Unique Identity Number. However, it further said that Aadhaar linking to Pan card is mandatory. 

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The Supreme Court said, benefits under the Aadhaar project should be in the nature of welfare schemes and it cannot be made compulsory for services such as bank accounts, mobile connections or school admissions. According to reports from NDTV, it also said that no private company or bank can ask for an individual’s Aadhaar card. The verdict from the top court comes after multiple petitions challenged the constitutional validity of the system on the grounds of violation of privacy.

The bench of judges had reserved the verdict after hearing the petitions for over 38 days starting January 17 this year. It also ruled that private companies cannot access Aadhaar data. Further, Justice Bhushan also said that access to biometric details does not violate the right to privacy.

Here are a few things to keep in mind while linking Aadhar to Pan card:

  1. Aadhaar is a unique 12-digit identification number issued to individuals by the UIDAI after storing their biometric data. The UIDAI uses iris and fingerprint scans to obtain biometric data from an applicant and stores it in a database.
  2. PAN is a 10-digit alphanumeric number issued to assessees by the Income Tax Department. Quoting of PAN for filing income tax return is mandatory. The taxman had in June this year ordered an extension in the due date for linking Aadhaar with PAN to March 31, 2019.
  3. The top court also said that no private company or bank can ask for an individual’s Aadhaar.
  4. Aadhaar card is mandatory for I-T returns and other Welfare schemes.

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