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SC says Aadhaar is constitutionally valid, but with conditions applied

Team SoOLEGAL 26 Sep 2018 2:30pm

SC says Aadhaar is constitutionally valid, but with conditions applied

The Supreme Court’s five-judge Constitution bench today declared the Centre’s flagship Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid, but struck down certain sections of the Aadhaar Act, including Section 33(2) Section 47 and Section 57.

The judgement on the matter was pronounced by a Bench of CJI Dipak Misra and Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan. Justice Chandrachud, however, dissented from the majority.

Aadhaar allows constructing profiles of individuals, which is against the right to privacy and enables potential surveillance,” Justice DY Chandrachud said in his dissenting judgement.

But, the others in the constitution bench ruled that the Aadhaar scheme empowers the marginalised sections of the society, and its benefits outweigh concerns about the violation of privacy and data breach.

Below are the key highlights of the verdict:

  1. It is better to be unique than to be best”, Justice Sikri said, while eventually holding that the Aadhaar scheme had strict regulations to collect citizens’ biometric data and has a sufficient defence mechanism.
  2. Aadhaar is mandatory for PAN card linking.
  3. Aadhaar is not mandatory for opening of a bank account, for obtaining mobile connections, and for school admission.
  4. The top court upheld Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, which mandates Aadhaar-PAN linkage.
  5. The Court struck down Section 57, meaning private companies can’t ask for Aadhaar details from customers.
  6. The court struck down Section 33(2) of the Aadhaar Act that allowed sharing of the data on the ground of national security.
  7. The court said Aadhaar act could be passed as money bill.
  8. Section 47 must empower individual complainants to set the law into motion in case of a violation.
  9. The apex court directed the government to ensure that illegal migrants are not issued Aadhaar to get the benefits of social welfare schemes.
  10. The Bench asked the Centre to provide more security measures as well as reduce the period of retention of data (from a period of 5 years to 6 months).
Tagged: Aadhaar Scheme   Aadhaar Cards   Section 33 of Aadhaar Act   Section 47 of Aadhaar Act   Section 57 of Aadhaar Act   Constitution Bench   Justice AK Sikri   Justice DY Chandrachud   Supreme Court  
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