SC: Aadhaar not mandatory for schools, bank accounts

Aadhaar verdict Justice Chandrachud dissents says it will lead to profiling of voters

Supreme Court rules Aadhaar not mandatory for bank accounts, mobile numbers, school admissions

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court held the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar and struck down the Section 57 of Aadhaar Act that was allowing the private entities to avail the Aadhaar data from the government.

The court also struck down a notification issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act that made Aadhaar mandatory for all e-kyc.

Section 47 excluded the jurisdiction of courts under the Aadhaar Act and only authorised personnel could file complaints.

The bench, also comprising of D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, had on May 10 reserved its judgment on a string of writ petitions, pending since 2012, challenging the constitutionality of the Aadhaar Act, bringing to a conclusion which, in the words of Attorney General KK Venugopal, was the second-longest hearing in the history of the apex court.

Those opposing Aadhaar, which is essentially a unique 12-digit number given to every citizen, claim it was a massive surveillance launched by the Centre and violated privacy.

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Passing the judgement, the Supreme Court said that the Aadhaar data can not be stored for over six months.

Striking down this section has upheld the fundamental right to hearing and representation before access and usage of Aadhaar data for any form of implication.

In another important judgment, the top court said schools could not make Aadhaar compulsory.

"Minimal demographic and biometric data of citizens are collected by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) for Aadhaar enrolment".

Addressing a press conference in the national capital, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader hit out at the critics of Aadhaar, saying those criticising the unique identification scheme need to understand that they "cannot defy technology".

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The court has also partially struck down Section 33 (1) of the Act that allowed disclosure of Aadhaar information to a district judge.

The Judgment was delivered by five Judge bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Kurian Joseph, Justice R F Nariman, Justice S K Kaul and Justice Indu Malhotra.

"Linking of Aadhaar to mobile phones not constitutional". "From day one Mamata Banerjee and TMC's views on Aadhaar have been consistent, well-articulated and well known".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government on Wednesday welcomed the verdict on Aadhaar by the Supreme Court.

In a 100-page unanimous verdict penned by the CJI, the apex court left it to Parliament to make a law to ensure that persons facing serious criminal cases do not enter the political stream. There is no possibility of obtaining a duplicate Aadhar card, he said, adding that there is sufficient defence mechanism for authentication in the Aadhar scheme. The verdict is brilliant by the Supreme Court and it gets my thumbs up.

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