Aadhaar verdict: The Supreme Court has upheld the citizen’s right to privacy

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Sikri said Aadhaar was different from other ID proofs as it could not be duplicated. Aadhaar means unique and it is better to be unique than be the best, it said.

Linking of Aadhaar with mobile numbers - Not mandatory.

Even as the Supreme Court upheld the Aadhaar Act and scheme by a 4:1 majority, Justice DY Chandrachud has dissented, striking down same. Private companies can not force you to link your Aadhaar as the SC read down Section 57 of the Act which allowed the use of Aadhaar number for establishing the identity of an individual for any objective.

Supreme Court has also struck down the need of Aadhaar card from admissions in school.

It said there has been minimal demographic and biometric data collected by UIDAI for Aadhaar enrolment. He also added that till the matter has been decided by the court, the petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar could not be taken up.

The petitioners wanted the Aadhaar Act to be struck down in its entirety.

It's worth noting that the government had earlier made Aadhaar mandatory for availing a host of benefits such as schemes for the below poverty line category, LPG subsidies, midday meals in schools, etc. The judgment also stated that Aadhaar numbers would be erased from the telecom operators' database.

But it permitted the government to demand a 12-digit Aadhaar number when citizens are registering tax file numbers or filing annual returns.

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The Supreme Court verdict on Aadhaar is a balanced and appropriate judgement, which offers positive takeaways for both Aadhaar supporters and detractors.

Maintaining that the Prevention of Money Laundering Act Rules proceeded on the assumption that every bank account holder is a money launderer, he said the assumption that every individual who opens a bank account is a potential terrorist or a launderer was "draconian".

But several high-profile leaks of citizens' data have raised privacy concerns.

The apex court's five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said Aadhaar was meant to help benefits reach the marginalised sections of the society, taking into account the dignity of people not only from personal but also from community point of view.

In 2013, an apex court bench passed an interim order stating that the UID number can not be made mandatory for gas connections, vehicle registration, scholarships, marriage registration, salaries and provident fund. It was launched in India in 2009 to streamline welfare payments and reduce wastage in public spending.

In January 2018, the Constitution bench had started the final hearing on a batch of petitions clubbed with the Puttaswamy case that challenged the Aadhaar Act (introduced in Parliament as the Money Bill) on grounds that it violates an individual's fundamental right to privacy.

He also hailed the Supreme Court's move to disallow metadata to be stored in current form.

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