“The Cabinet secretary has issued a notification on December 19, 2017, to this effect,” Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the apex court during a short intervention in the Aadhaar debate. This would allow people to avail of their social security benefits by providing alternative proofs, such as the voter ID or a ration card.
A five-judge bench, comprising CJI Dipak Misra and Justices AK.Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, is hearing a raft of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhar Act that makes Aadhar, based on demographics and biometrics, mandatory for all citizens. Arguments will continue next week on Tuesday.
Mehta said Thursday that under the Aadhaar Act, a citizen was first required to authenticate Aadhaar data, or as an alternative, provide his or her Aadhaar card. If both do not work, the person can provide alternative identity proof, he said. “Nobody is being excluded. The government is conscious of the problems being faced by people,” he said.
Until the government was able to extend Aadhar to all areas, alternative identity proofs could be adopted and physical or electronic registers maintained for auditing purposes, the senior law officer said.