Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday said linking the Aadhaar number with the Permanent Account Number (PAN) was in the national interest as it would prevent money laundering.
Prasad, who is also the Information Technology Minister, was answering a question on the issue of linking the Aadhaar number, in view of the Supreme Court's Thursday judgment that right to privacy was a fundamental right.
The government had in June notified rules that required all assessees to mandatorily link their Aadhaar number with their PAN effective from July 1.
It had also said that from July 1 onwards, every person eligible to obtain Aadhaar must quote their Aadhaar number or their Aadhaar enrolment ID number for filing of income tax returns as well as for applications for PAN.
Asked to clarify the government telling the Supreme Court that citizens could not claim "absolute" right over their body parts, Prasad told media persons these were just exchanges in the court.
"You quote one of the exchanges in the courts. Whenever cases are argued, there is banter, exchanges, but ultimately, the core of the argument is noted in the judgment and conclusion is reached. Therefore what I read of Attorney General's argument is what is noted in the judgment itself," he said.
Prasad did not comment on a query about the impact of the judgment on the surrogacy bill that does not allow homosexuals and live-in couples to go for surrogacy.