Highlights of the Aadhaar verdict

From SIM and bank account linking to privacy concerns. What the SC said about Aadhaar.

September 26, 2018 01:52 pm | Updated December 04, 2021 11:55 pm IST

An Aadhaar biometric identity card, issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), is arranged for a photograph in Mumbai, India, on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017. India's Finance Ministry will recommend bold tax reform to ensure that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's growth-crimping cash ban wasn't in vain, people familiar with the matter said. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg via Getty Images

An Aadhaar biometric identity card, issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), is arranged for a photograph in Mumbai, India, on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017. India's Finance Ministry will recommend bold tax reform to ensure that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's growth-crimping cash ban wasn't in vain, people familiar with the matter said. Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg via Getty Images

On Wednesday, September 26, 2018, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra upheld the validity of Aadhaar but with riders. Here are the highlights from the verdict.

- Justice A.K. Sikri said there is no possibility of duplicating Aadhaar due to the biometrics and added that it collects only minimum demographic and biometric details. He also said Aadhaar is “unique in an unparallelled way.”

- The Bench struck down section 57 of the Aadhaar Act, which allows private entities to use Aadhaar for verification purposes.

 

- Section 33(2) that allows UIDAI to share data with specially authorised officers in the interest of national security, was also struck down.

- Three of five judges were of the view that Aadhaar is valid. “Aadhaar gives dignity to the marginalised. Dignity to the marginalised outweighs privacy,” Justice Sikri’s judgment read.

- Aadhaar requirement by CBSE, NEET, and UGC has been struck down, but Aadhaar-PAN linkage has been upheld.

- Seeding Aadhaar with mobile phone numbers and bank accounts is not needed. Schools too, cannot insist on Aadhaar for admission of students.

- Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, in his judgment, said that passing the Aadhaar Act as a Money Bill was a fraud on the Constitution. In this, he dissented from the majority opinion. He also held section 7 of the Act, which makes Aadhaar mandatory for state subsidies, as unconstitutional.

- Data collected for authentication purposes can ben held for only six months. The Aadhaar Act had said that data can be held for five years.

- Justice Chandrachud ordered service providers to delete any information collected by them after linking Aadhaar with SIMs.

- Justice Ashok Bhushan concurred with the majority but differed on a couple of points — he held that beneficiaries cannot be denied services or subsidies in the name of Aadhaar, and that the passage of the Act as a Money Bill can be subjected to judicial review.

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