Kolkata: Expressing disappointment over the Supreme Court order on linking the Aadhaar card with social welfare schemes, Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Babul Supriyo on Tuesday said the judiciary has over-reached.
"I am unhappy with the Supreme Court ruling over Aadhaar card. The apex court has objected to the use (linking with welfare schemes) of it. I think judiciary has over-reached. The government should be allowed to go ahead with its programme," he said.
The Supreme Court on Monday made it clear that the unique identification number -- Aadhaar -- cannot be made mandatory for availing benefits of social welfare schemes.
"Not only in India, over-reaching of judiciary in some cases is also observed around the world. The court has the right to protect the Constitution. But how does a bench consisting of single or two judges changes a decision taken by a democratic government which was formed after going through an electoral process?" said the BJP MP from West Bengal's Asansol.
"Time is ripe to think whether the court should interfere in the government's activities or not, acting on public interest litigations and applications," he said on the sidelines of "Digidhan Mela" in the city.
Incidentally, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee welcomed the Supreme Court ruling and opposed the Centre's move to link the Aadhaar card with the mid-day meal programme.
"There is corruption in the mid-day meal programme. I just do not understand the problem for not accepting Aadhaar card in the programme if the actual beneficiaries get the benefit after giving biometric identification.
"There is a gap between amount spent and amount received. Somewhere else, 'daal mein kuchh kaala hein' (there's some foul play)," Supriyo said.
Asked about the West Bengal government's non-cooperation for organising such fairs, the minister said: "The West Bengal government did not cooperate with us for organising such a programme and that is why Coal India had to step in. It would be unfortunate if it is treated politically."
He appealed to the state government to cooperate with the Digital India programme and digitise the financial transaction because the "state would be benefited with higher collection of taxes".