Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday asserted that the Supreme Court has permitted delivery of many pro-poor benefits through the application of Adhaar Card adding that though it is important to have Adhaar, it is not mandatory for the receipt of any government's benefit.
"I would not make any comment on the pending challenge on the Adhaar in the Supreme Court. But this is required to be clarified that the Supreme Court itself has permitted delivery of many pro-poor benefits to the poor by the application of Adhaar. But Adhaar is not meant to be mandatory for the receipt of this mandate," said Prasad.
He further said that if Adhaar is not available, other identity proofs like a driving license or the ration card can be used to avail government benefits.
"We have taken care of the people's privacy and security through the law passed by parliament," he said.
On Monday, Union Human Resource and Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar said the use of Adhaar for mid-day meal schemes in school has been initiated to check malpractices and ensure in transparency.
Javadekar said the motive is to ensure that children are not denied mid-day meals.
The HRD Minsiter said "We want to bring transparency and want children to get mid-day meal. But we don't want fraudulent activities to take place under its garb."
"As far as mid-day meal and Aadhaar link is concerned, I have made clear in Parliament that no genuine student will be denied mid-day meal in any case, only on the ground that they don't have Aadhaar. We will give mid-day meal scheme to all students and also Aadhaar card to all students," he added.
The HRD ministry made the unique identification number mandatory earlier this month for the students in order to avail mid-day meal scheme.