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Those who don't have Aadhaar, do they not exist? Supreme Court asks UP government

Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 10, 2018, 01.58 PM (IST) Jessica Taneja

The Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the Uttar Pradesh government for moving a petition to make Aadhaar card mandatory for individuals seeking entry at night shelter.

"What happens to people who don't have Aadhaar? Do they not exist for the government of India?" the court asked Uttar Pradesh government.

The bench told Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for Uttar Pradesh, that the authorities should keep in mind that this matter related to human beings.

"There are a few things. We are talking about human beings who have no place to stay. Those who have no place to stay have to be given place to live," the court said.

ASG Mehta said the state was alive to the situation and was doing its best to provide shelter to urban homeless. He clarified that it was not correct to say that those who do not have Aadhaar do not exist, as they have other identification cards like voter IDs which contain their address.

During the hearing, ASG Mehta referred to the vision document prepared by Uttar Pradesh government to deal with the issue of urban homeless and said that as per 2011 census, there were around 1.80 lakh urban homeless in the state.

He said a scientific study was going on to get the latest figure but the vision document has been prepared keeping in mind the data of 1.80 lakh such persons in the state.

The bench also asked the state about the funds given to it by the Centre under the scheme.

Earlier, it was reported that people seeking night shelters in Hyderbad were not allowed to enter unless they presented Aadhaar card as identity proof.

Interestingly, there is no order either by the government or Supreme Court that makes Aadhaar compulsory. In December 2017, the Supreme Court passed an order extending the deadline to link Aadhaar with various schemes and said it will take up the issue of its constitutional validity in January this year.