The Supreme Court on Wednesday declared the Centre's flagship Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid but struck down some of its provisions, including its linking with bank accounts, mobile phones and school admissions.
A constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra held that while Aadhaar would remain mandatory for filing of IT returns and allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN), it would not be mandatory to link Aadhaar to bank accounts and telecom service providers cannot seek its linking for mobile connections.
It would not be mandatory for school admissions, as also for the examinations conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Examination, National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for medical entrance and the University Grants Commission.
The bench also struck down the national security exception under the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act.
"The government needs to ensure that illegal migrants do not get Aadhaar card," the Supreme Court said.
Observing that there has been minimal demographic and biometric data collected by UIDAI for Aadhaar enrolment, Justice Sikri said unique identification proof also empowered and gave identity to marginalised sections of society.
Justice AK Sikri said, "Aadhaar empowers the marginalised section of the society and gives them an identity, Aadhaar is also different from other ID proofs as it can't be duplicated" pic.twitter.com/ix9VEdw1nS
— ANI (@ANI) September 26, 2018
There is no possibility of obtaining a duplicate Aadhaar card, he said, adding there is sufficient defence mechanism for authentication in Aadhaar scheme.
"Minimal demographic & biometric data of citizens are collected by the UIDAI for Aadhaar enrolment. Aadhaar number given to a person is unique & can't go to any other person," it said.
Verdict on the constitutional validity of #Aadhaar: Supreme Court says, "minimal demographic & biometric data of citizens are collected by the UIDAI for Aadhaar enrolment. Aadhaar number given to a person is unique & can't go to any other person" pic.twitter.com/rojlIBYF2z— ANI (@ANI) September 26, 2018