Aadhaar verdict: Justice AK Sikri says it empowers marginalised sections

Blanche Robertson
September 26, 2018

Also, Aadhaar will not be mandatory for obtaining a new SIM card.

The deadline for Aadhaar linking to mobile numbers had been extended to December 31 from March 31, earlier. Essentially, Aadhaar makes a massive database of the personal information of over 1 billion people in India.

When the project began, it was initially used to improve the delivery of welfare services. The government has aimed to use this as a secure identification method which can help the person avail many government benefits.

Eventually, the scope of Aadhaar was expanded by the government.

It however, said that private entities including mobile phone operators and private banks would no longer have the authority to demand customers' Aadhaar numbers and instructed the government to "bring out a robust data protection law urgently".

Justice Sikri's judgment also upheld Section 139AA OF Income Tax Act. It had not specified when the breach took place.

The Tribune report caused such an uproar that the Delhi Police lodged an FIR naming The Tribune reporter.

The judgment goes on to say that Aadhaar will not be provided to illegal immigrants.

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Several Aadhaar-linked hunger deaths have been reported across India, including in Jharkhand's Simdega district where an 11-year-old girl died of starvation last year, months after her family's ration card, similar to welfare coupons in the U.S., was cancelled because they did not possess an Aadhaar number.

The Supreme Court is likely to deliver on Wednesday several significant verdicts including the constitutional validity of Centre's flagship Aadhaar scheme, reservations in promotions for SC/ST government employees and whether an appellate court's stay on conviction of a disqualified lawmakers would revive their membership of parliament or legislatures. The interim order was pronounced the next day.

This data was vulnerable to be misused by third party and private vendors, and that too, without the consent of an individual, Justice Chandrachud maintained and said the Aadhaar project has failed to remedy the flaws in its design, leading to exclusion.

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

The court says that this is arbitrary and requires a judicial warrant.

- Requirement for Aadhaar by statutory bodies such as CBSE, NEET, and UGC is upheld, as has Aadhaar-PAN linkage.

Beginning in 2009, the Indian government began enrolling residents onto a platform known as Aadhaar, which provided each enrollee with a 12-digit unique identification number linked to both their demographic and biometric details, including fingerprints and iris scans. He said the attack on Aadhar by petitioners is based on violation of rights under the Constitution, will lead to a surveillance State.

The Supreme Court on September 26 gave its much-awaited judgement on the controversial issue of the constitutional validity of Aadhaar.

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