Reacting to the Supreme Court judgment on the provision in the Income Tax Act mandating linking of the Aadhaar number with the Permanent Account Number, Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi said that Aadhaar was introduced by the party-led UPA government and they were very clear about how it will be used.
"BJP had gone out of its way to criticise us for introducing this. We must keep in mind that there are some issues which even the Supreme Court has highlighted as far as security concerns matter," she said, noting there have been concerns over leak of data.
"As far as security is concerned, it is something that the government needs to look into. Second, linking Aadhar to all social welfare schemes is something which goes beyond the purpose of Aadhaar... what was initially thought of," she said.
The apex court on Friday upheld the provision in the Income Tax Act mandating linking of the Aadhaar number with the Permanent Account Number (PAN), but partially blocked its operation.
A bench of Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan in their judgment held that those who already possess the Aadhaar number will have to link it with PAN, but it cannot be insisted upon in case of people not possessing it.
Congress leader and senior advocate Salman Khurshid noted Justice Sikri had "obviously looked at issues about dignity of the citizen but said that it is so closely related to the privacy issue already before the constitution bench that it is best that the dignity, privacy issues under Article 21 are left to the constitution bench to decide".
Khurshid told NDTV that the court has said that people who have Aadhaar card will be required to use it and those who don't can get it if they want.
"But if they do not have it, their PAN card will continue to operate. So previous transactions are not to be invalidated. Non-availability of Aadhaar card will not automatically invalidate any transaction or PAN card," he said.
Khurshid also said the judgment also notes that issues related security and data leak should be further examined by the government.
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