The Delhi High Court told the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government that there is no legal basis for it to insist on documents like Aadhaar and bank passbooks, to provide maternity scheme benefits to pregnant and lactating women, reported NDTV. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar asked the Delhi government not to insist on such documents for providing benefits to those eligible under maternity schemes like Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY), which is a maternity benefit scheme originally rolled out in 2005.

“No such requirement (for Aadhaar) is set out in the scheme (JSY),” it said and added “there is no legal basis for respondent (Delhi government) to insist on the documents mentioned above for availing benefits of JSY”. The directions came after hearing a PIL filed by advocate Sija Nair Pal, challenging the state government’s decision to insist on Aadhaar and bank statements to provide the cashless facility under the maternity scheme. Pal filed an affidavit before the bench showing 22 women who were ignorant about the benefits available under the scheme and were not registered under it. The court noted that most of these women did not have bank accounts or Aadhaar cards, calling the situation an “unfortunate state of affairs”.

***

Delhi govt schools denying admissions for not having Aadhaar

Municipal Corporation of Delhi is refusing admission to children who do not have an Aadhaar Card, according to multiple reports by Mirror Now and MirrowNowNews.com. In one instance, a child was refused admission even though the parents’ Aadhaar was available. In another, admission was denied because Aadhaar or the parents was not linked to their bank accounts. According to another report by FirstPost, a Delhi NGO claimed that it has identified more than 400 students who have been denied admission to state-run schools on the grounds of being unable to submit sufficient documents relating to their age, identity, address and bank accounts.