SC upholds Aadhaar but with modifications

New Delhi : In a landmark judgement, the Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the legality of Aadhaar restricting it to disbursement of social benefits and junking its requirement for cell phones and bank accounts.

In a majority judgement, a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra held that Aadhaar would be voluntary and not mandatory with an option to exit.

The bench also said no to creation of metadata and making it accessible to individuals and corporate entities.

In a minority judgement, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud held that passing the Aadhaar law as money bill was a fraud on the Constitution because it was not a money bill.

He also observed there was a risk of surveillance of people on the basis of data collected under Aadhaar scheme and that the data could be misused.

The court struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act which allows private entities to demand Aadhaar to access their services.

The court also said that as of today “we do not find anything in Aadhaar Act which violates right to privacy of individual citizen”.

The judgement, read out by Justice A.K. Sikri on behalf of the bench, also struck down the provision in Aadhaar law allowing the sharing of Aadhaar data, citing grounds of national security.

The judges who gave the majority ruling were A.M. Khanwilkar, Ashok Bhushan, Misra and Sikri who approved the passage of Aadhaar law as money bill.

“We are of the view that there are sufficient safeguard to protect data collected under Aadhaar scheme,” the judgement said.

Linking of Aadhaar to issuing mobile phone connections and opening bank accounts was unconstitutional, the court held.

The majority of the bench held that Aadhaar was valid for linking with Income Tax returns.

The verdict said that it was better to be unique than the best because being the “best makes you number one, but being unique makes you the only one.

“Uniqueness is the fundamental difference between Aadhaar and other identity proofs. There is a fundamental difference between Aadhaar and other identity proof as Aadhaar cannot be duplicated and it is a unique identification,” it said.

The judgement said that UIDAI was established as a statutory body, providing for authentication and all residents were eligible to get Aadhaar which cannot be reassigned to anyone.

“Minimal demographic and biometric data of citizens are collected by UIDAI for Aadhaar enrolment. We are of the view that there are sufficient safeguard to protect data collected under Aadhaar scheme.”

The court said that Aadhaar was meant to give dignity to marginalised sections. However, authentication of data through Aadhaar cannot be stored for more than six months.

It said Aadhaar was meant to help benefits reach marginalised sections and it took into account the dignity of people not only from the personal but also the community point of view.

“No person will be denied benefits under social welfare scheme because of failure of authentication through Aadhaar,” the court said.

“We direct the government to ensure that illegal migrants are not issued Aadhaar to get benefits of social welfare schemes.”

The court said that institutions like the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and University Grants Commission (UGC) cannot make Aadhaar mandatory.

“Aadhaar for school education would not be necessary because it is neither welfare nor subsidy,” the court said, holding that Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan does not require Aadhaar.


Also read-


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Stories

SC to hear pleas over constitutionality of sedition law in January

New Delhi : The Supreme Court said on Wednesday that it will hear the batch of petitions challenging the constitutionality of the colonial-era penal...

SC tags Umar Khalid’s plea challenging UAPA with existing petitions against it

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Friday tagged a writ petition by former JNU scholar and activist Umar Khalid with other existing petitions...

Ex-Maha Minister Nawab Malik’s bail extended by three months

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Thursday extended for three months its earlier order granting interim bail on medical grounds to former Maharashtra...
11 men sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering 7 Muslims and gang-raping a pregnant Bilkis Bano after being released.

SC hearing arguments against remission granted to convicts in Bilkis Bano case

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Wednesday commenced hearing rejoinder arguments on behalf of the petitioners, including Bilkis Bano, against the early release...

Delhi Police gives NOC for holding ‘Muslim Mahapanchayat’ at Ramlila

New Delhi : The city police told the Delhi High Court on Friday they have granted permission to Mission Save Constitution, an organisation that...

Bihar teeming with illegal madrasas, mosques, says Union min, JDU hits back

Patna : Union Minister Giriraj Singh on Friday claimed that Bihar was teeming with “illegal” madrasas and mosques which posed a grave threat to...

Kolkata cops summon 12 BJP MLAs over ‘disrespect’ to National Anthem

Kolkata : Kolkata Police on Friday issued summons to 12 BJP MLAs for questioning in connection with complaints filed against them for disrespecting the National...

No one can stop CAA implementation: Amit Shah at Kolkata rally

Kolkata : On Wednesday, Union home minister Amit Shah asserted the Central government will implement the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and no one can stop...

Umar Khalid’s UAPA bail plea: Case adjourned till Jan 10

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Wednesday adjourned till January 10 the hearing on the bail plea of former JNU student Umar Khalid...