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Aadhaar for PAN must to check terror finance, black money: Govt to SC

The central government on Tuesday asserted in the Supreme Court that Aadhaar was made mandatory for PAN card to weed out fake PAN cards which were used for terror financing and circulation of blackmoney, while terming the concerns over privacy as "bogus".

The idea behind bringing Aadhaar was to have a "secure and robust system" to ensure that the identity of a person cannot be faked, it said.

"Today, you have blackmoney which is being used in drug financing and terror financing. So it was decided to bring in a more robust system by which identity of a person cannot be faked," Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told a bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan.

Opposing the challenge to making Aadhaar mandatory for PAN card, Rohatgi said out of 29 crore permanent account number (PAN) in India, 10 lakh cards have been cancelled as it was found that there were multiplicity of PAN and a person had more than one PAN card which were being used for "unscrupulous" activity causing a loss to the exchequer.

He said that 113.7 crore Aadhaar card have been issued in the country till date and the government has not found any case of duplication as the biometric system of finger prints and iris scan, which was used in Aadhaar, was the only known technology in the world which is "fool-proof".

Countering the petitioners' objections, Rohatgi also said their "arguments on so-called privacy and bodily intrusion is bogus".

The top court was hearing three petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act which was introduced through the latest budget and the Finance Act 2017.