Wednesday March 27, 2019
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Aadhaar cannot be made compulsory for welfare benefits: SC

However, government and its agencies cannot be stopped from seeking Aadhaar cards for certain non-welfare schemes such as opening of bank accounts

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New Delhi, March 27, 2017: It was made clear by the Supreme Court today made it clear that the government cannot make Aadhaar cards mandatory as well as its agencies for extending benefits of social welfare schemes.

However, a bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul, stated that government and its agencies cannot be stopped from seeking Aadhaar cards for certain non-welfare schemes such as opening of bank accounts.

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The bench also mentioned that a seven-judge bench needed to be formed for authoritatively looking into a batch of petitions that challenge the Aadhaar scheme on grounds including that it infringes on the Right to Privacy of citizens.

However, the inability in setting up of the seven-judge bench was expressed saying the decision will be made at a later stage.

It was alleged by senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for one of the petitioners that the Central government is not following the various orders that the apex court has passed regarding the fact that the usage of Aadhaar would be voluntary and not mandatory.

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On August 11, 2015, the apex court had stated that Aadhaar card will not be mandatory for availing benefits of the welfare schemes of the government and prohibited the authorities from sharing personal bio-metric data collected for enrollment under the scheme.

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However, on October 15, 2015 its earlier restriction had been lifted and the voluntary use of Aadhaar cards in welfare schemes was permitted that included MGNREGA, all pension schemes and the provident fund besides ambitious flagship programmes like ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna’ of the NDA government.

– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

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Supreme Court Signals Out Automobiles Cause Much More Pollution Than Burning Firecrackers

Making it clear that it does not want to generate "unemployment", the court said those who would lose their livelihood can't be compensated in terms of alternate jobs, financial or other support if the firecracker industry was shut down.

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air pollution
Linking the plea for a ban on the manufacture, sale and bursting of firecrackers across the country with Article 19 (1)(g) guaranteeing the right to occupation, trade or business, a bench headed by Justice S.A. Bobde flagged the issue of loss of jobs if there was a clampdown on the firecracker manufacturing industry. Pixabay

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked why firecrackers were being singled out for rising pollution levels when automobiles caused much more pollution. It asked the Centre to apprise it with a comparative study of the two.

Linking the plea for a ban on the manufacture, sale and bursting of firecrackers across the country with Article 19 (1)(g) guaranteeing the right to occupation, trade or business, a bench headed by Justice S.A. Bobde flagged the issue of loss of jobs if there was a clampdown on the firecracker manufacturing industry.

Article 19 (1)(g) of the Constitution guarantees the right “to practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business”.

crackers
Observing how there can be a ban on the firecracker industry whose operations were legal and licensed, Justice Bobde said the way out was not cancelling the license but there could be a change in the licensing conditions.
Pixabay

Sitting along with Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer, Justice Bobde said the issue had not been examined on the touchstone of Article 19 (1)(g) of the Constitution.

Making it clear that it does not want to generate “unemployment”, the court said those who would lose their livelihood can’t be compensated in terms of alternate jobs, financial or other support if the firecracker industry was shut down.

Observing how there can be a ban on the firecracker industry whose operations were legal and licensed, Justice Bobde said the way out was not cancelling the license but there could be a change in the licensing conditions.

crackers
The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked why firecrackers were being singled out for rising pollution levels when automobiles caused much more pollution. Pixabay

The top court’s observations came in the course of hearing a PIL by a toddler — Arjun Gopal — seeking ban on the manufacture, sale and bursting of firecrackers across the country.

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Noting the work being done by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) and the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation (PESO) to produce green firecrackers, the top court had in its last order asked NEERI and PESO to stick the timeline culminating in the bulk production of firecrackers based on the new formulations by May 10, 2019.

The top court had in October 2018 permitted the use of only green firecrackers with reduced emission and decibel levels during all religious festivals. (IANS)