digilocker1While the Aadhaar challenge petitions await their turn to be heard by a constitution bench, on Monday – 28 September, Supreme Court of India will hear a public interest litigation petition seeking a direction from the Court that Aadhaar card may not be made mandatory to avail the services of ‘Digital Locker’.

The PIL which was filed on July 3, 2015 by a Gurgaon resident – Sudhir Yadav contends that the government’s insistence of Aadhaar cards was in violation of the Supreme Court’s orders not to insist for Aadhaar as well as fundamental right to equality guaranteed under the Constitution. Before the matter could be heard, on August 11, the three-judge bench hearing the Aadhaar challenge has referred the matter to a constitution bench while asking the Union of India and other government bodies to use Aadhaar for limited purposes. Earlier on September 23, 2013, March 24, 2014 and March 16 2015, Supreme Court had passed orders not to make Aadhar mandatory for availing government benefits.

On August 11, Court had inter alia ordered:

The production of an Aadhaar card will not be condition for obtaining any benefits otherwise due to a citizen;

The Unique Identification Number or the Aadhaar card will not be used by the respondents for any purpose other than the PDS Scheme and in particular for the purpose of distribution of foodgrains, etc. and cooking fuel, such as kerosene. The Aadhaar card may also be used for the purpose of the LPG Distribution Scheme;

Case No. Writ Petition (C) No. 492 of 2015 [PIL]
Case Title Sudhir v. Union of India
  • Chief Justice of India HL Dattu
  • Justice Amitava Roy
Prayer “Issue a writ in the nature of mandamus directing the Respondent not to insist for AADHAAR CARD to get the benefit of Digital Locker”.

As a part of the Digital India campaign, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 1, 2015 had launched the digital locker facility named as Digilocker, which aims at helping citizens to digitally store their important documents, such as PAN card, passport, mark sheets and degree certificates. As per the data available on its website, as of now there are 9,70,490 users of Digilocker who have stored over 8,78,077 documents on their lockers. The DigiLocker service is provided by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, under the Ministry of Communications & IT.

Aadhaar a pre-requisite to apply

Possession of a valid Aadhaar card is a pre-requisite to sign up for a DigiLocker. The official website digitallocker.gov.in says:

How can I get a DigiLocker account?

To sign up for DigiLocker, you need your Aadhaar number (issued by UIDAI). There are two ways to sign up:

1. Mobile OTP: Use this method if your Aadhaar number is linked to your mobile number.
2. Biometric:If you have a biometric device attached to your computer, you can sign up by scanning your fingerprint