File photo the Supreme Court of India. Photograph:( WION )
The NDA government on Wednesday quoted former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in the Supreme Court to put forth its arguments supporting the Aadhaar scheme, saying it would stop the leakage of public money.
"A former Prime Minister of this country (late Shri Rajiv Gandhi] has gone on record to say that out of one rupee spent by the Government for welfare of the downtrodden, only 15 paisa thereof actually reaches those persons for whom it is meant.
"It cannot be doubted that with UID/Aadhaar much of the malaise in this field can be taken care of," Attorney General K K Venugopal told a five judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra.
The bench is hearing a clutch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar and its 2016 enabling law.
Venugopal said Aadhaar has effectively taken care of the issue of ghost beneficiaries of welfare schemes, besides fake cards for ration, BPL quota and PAN.
It becomes the Government's duty in a welfare state to come out with various schemes which not only take care of immediate needs of the deprived class but also ensure that adequate opportunities are provided to such persons to enable them make their lives better, economically and socially, Venugopal said.
However, for various reasons including corruption, actual benefit does not reach those who are supposed to receive such benefits he said.
"One of the main reasons is failure to identify these persons for lack of means by which identity could be established of such genuine needy class. Resultantly, lots of ghosts and duplicate beneficiaries are able to take undue and impermissible benefits," he said.