The Honourable Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra has given its final verdict on the highly debated Aadhaar issue. The historic verdict on Aadhaar was given by a five judge bench today which, apart from the CJI Dipak Misra, also had Justice A K Sikri, Justice A M Khanwilkar, Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Ashok Bhushan. The petition challenging the validity of Aadhaar was filed in the Supreme Court by a team of petitioners headed by retired High Court judge K Puttaswamy, the petitioners had contested the validity and authority of Aadhaar on the grounds that it violated the right to privacy of individuals. The Supreme Court verdict came after a record 38 days of hearing in which the SC bench heard approximately 27 petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar and other alleged violations related to it.
The Supreme Court verdict upheld the constitutional validity of Aadhaar nullifying the petitions filed against it. The Supreme Court judgement was read out by Justice A K Sikri on behalf of the five court bench. The five court bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra unequivocally agreed that Aadhaar is fully within the ambit of the Constitution and implementing it is within the central government’s rights. Aadhaar from now on has also been made mandatory for Permanent Account Number (PAN) linking and its passage as a money bill has also been approved by the apex court. The verdict also struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act. Another controversial section of Aadhaar which allowed individuals and corporate houses to collect the Aadhaar data too has been struck down by the Supreme Court. Section 33 (2) of the act made an exception to the privacy of security of data of an individual and gave the right to an officer of the rank of Joint Secretary to disclose the data in public if and when it was related to matters of national security.
1. Private companies no longer permitted to demand Aadhaar data
2. National Security exception struck down
3. Bring in robust Data Protection Law
4. 33(1) read down
5. Aadhaar constitutionally valid. Purpose of the Act legitimate
On balance, EXCELLENT #AadhaarVerdict.
— Anand Ranganathan (@ARanganathan72) September 26, 2018
This is a big win for the central government which was represented in the Supreme Court by Mukul Rohtagi, Attorney General of India. There was an unnecessary hoopla created around Aadhaar and its implementation by the opposition and the left cabal in India. The Supreme Court judgement should now silence everyone who was opposed to it. The fear mongering against UID had been carried out since its inception. The opposition had tried to present it as a means for the government to snoop in on individuals while in reality the program had been used extensively to provide benefits directly to the beneficiary. The program has come instrumental in implementing subsidies like LPG and other schemes and has also proven to be a saving grace for the poor Indians by providing them with an identity. The Supreme Court verdict given today will give the central government the boost needed to make UID more secure and impact worthy in the future.