#AadhaarVerdict: SC upholds constitutional validity of Aadhaar, with conditions

17 2018 shows an Indian woman getting her fingerprints read during the registration process for Aadhaar cards in Amritsar. — AFP

17 2018 shows an Indian woman getting her fingerprints read during the registration process for Aadhaar cards in Amritsar. — AFP

The apex court's five-judge Constitution bench said Aadhaar means unique and it is better to be unique than being best.

In the verdict, the apex court's five-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, ruled that Aadhaar was not mandatory for banking, mobile phone services and admissions to educational institutions. The party said the decision would throw a spanner in the government's works as BJP was pushing its agenda of mass surveillance through intimidation of private companies that were insisting on Aadhaar details. "Private entities are no longer allowed to use Aadhaar for verification purposes", the Congress said on Twitter minutes after the verdict.

Mobile Numbers: Earlier in its order it said that to get a new SIM card and also for existing mobile number holders, Aadhaar was compulsory. The following judgments were given by the apex court after it had heard 27 petitions in a period of 37 days which challenged the Constitutional validity of Aadhaar.

The apex court added that CBSE, NEET, UGC can not make Aadhaar mandatory, also not compulsory for school admissions. The stated that the Aadhaar is unique and said it is better to be unique than be the best.

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Justice DY Chandrachud, while reading out his judgment on the constitutional validity of Aadhaar on Wednesday, 26 September, said the Aadhaar programme in its entirety is unconstitutional, Live Law reported.

Although Aadhaar was introduced during the time of the Congress-led UPA government, the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, benefits and services) Act was passed in the Lok Sabha in March 2016, under the BJP government, as a money bill.

Congress leader Kapil Sibal, at a press conference, told reporters that the Aadhaar Act was against democracy.

Also, with the Privacy Bill not yet being enacted, as citizens we do not have the right to access to our data to know if it has been indeed been deleted.

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In the same year, the SC extended the voluntary use of Aadhaar card to Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), all types of pensions schemes, employee provident fund and the Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana.

Will Mobile Phone Operators Delete Our Data? The issuing body also claimed that Aadhaar had a 2048-bit encryption key, which worked like a number lock, making it extremely secure. He added that the "mainstream should accept changes, one can understand the fringe being against Aadhaar".

He emphasised that there is fundamental difference between the Aadhaar and other identity proofs.

The court added, though, that enrolment of children can only be done with parental consent, and added that they should be given an option to exit on attaining majority.

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