SC: Aadhaar not mandatory for schools, bank accounts

Aadhaar verdict scuttles Modi's JAM plan

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

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said Patel's plea against the petition of BJP leader Balwantsinh Rajput required "de novo" (fresh) adjudication.

A number of petitions were filed before the Top-Court challenging the vires of the above provision.

In major turn of events, however, the Supreme Court struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act.

Justice Chandrachud said the collection of data could lead to individual profiling of citizens and the Aadhaar scheme violated informational privacy, self-determination and data protection which has been admitted by UIDAI.

He observed that the enactment of the Act does not save the Centre's Aadhaar scheme. They envision a future where Aadhaar forms the core of a digital identity that could eventually include every Indian's health records, credit scores, e-signatures, criminal backgrounds, welfare entitlements and other data.

"The benefits of that (basic ID - Aadhaar) are very high", Gates, who runs the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, had said on May 3, 2018. The Aadhaar litigation in the Supreme Court has now spanned over six years while at least 26 judges have heard this case at various points in time. This means that you no longer need to link your bank account or mobile number with Aadhaar. Reading this down, the apex court ruled that mobile numbers need not be linked with Aadhaar.

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Justice Sikri struck down Section 57 which permitted private entities to avail Aadhaar data from individuals and ruled that Aadhaar authentication data can not be stored for more than six months.

"Linking of Aadhaar to mobile phones not constitutional".

During one of the hearing, Attorney General, K.K. Venugopal said, "The state is using Aadhaar as an "enabler of the citizens" right to life. including their right to food, livelihood, pension and other social assistance benefits'". "As the Snowden revelations show, if the state has the power, there is always a temptation", said Nachiket Udupa, one of the petitioners, referring to the former National Security Agency agent who leaked details of the US government's electronic surveillance program.

The court has also struck down Section 47 of the legislation that barred individuals from filing complaints in case of a breach of their data. Citizens have been asked for their Aadhaar cards to access a host of government and private services including new bank accounts, school enrollment, booking flight tickets.

The court added, though, that enrolment of children can only be done with parental consent, and added that they should be given an option to exit on attaining majority. The verdict is brilliant by the Supreme Court and it gets my thumbs up.

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.

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