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SC raises concern as how would a homeless person avail government benefits without Aadhaar

SC raises concern as how would a homeless person avail government benefits without Aadhaar

The apex court this week expressed his concerns over the homeless people who are denied the benefits of social welfare schemes and raised questions as for how could they make an Aadhaar card without a permanent address.

The concerns raised by the Supreme Court comes after the Centre declared that the procedure of linking Aadhaar to the numerous social welfare schemes present in the country was only for the benefit of the people.

A bench of two SC Justices -Madan Lokur and Deepak Gupta- stated that several homeless people in the country would suffer as they would be deprived of procuring the benefits of welfare schemes and thus, won’t do any good to their condition if governments keep on insisting for Aadhaar.

A member of the bench said: "It denotes that such people are not-existent for the governments.” It also clarified that it was very unfair to say that people who do not possess Aadhaar do not exist because they have other identification cards like the voter IDs which contains the necessary details along with their address.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta entreated time in order to take instructions from the UIDAI. Significantly, he also apprised the bench that innumerable homeless people in the urban areas of the country had a permanent address in rural areas and therefore, they became homeless after shifting to cities. He quoted: "They would amass the benefits of schemes only after getting Aadhaar from their original place of residence."

The Supreme Court passed the concerns after taking into consideration a PIL on lack of shelter homes for homeless people in the urban areas. Taking into consideration the current situation, the court has made a decision to constitute certain committees in all states and Union Territories who would supervise construction of the shelter homes. It has further requested the Modi-led government and the petitioner to furnish a list consisting the names of people who could be entrusted the task in hand to monitor the construction of shelter homes in states.

According to 2011 census, the country has around 17, 73,040 people who don’t have a roof for shelter, among which approximately 53 per cent belongs to the urban areas and the remaining from rural areas.

Additional Solicitor General ANS Nadkarni, representing the Centre, forwarded a suggestion to the court to engage a committee in each of the states chaired by a retired high court judge who would monitor the implementation of the same.