Supreme Court Upholds Constitutional Validity Of Aadhaar Card, Asks Centre To Boost Data Protection

| September 26 , 2018 , 12:06 IST

The Supreme Court on Wednesday announced its verdict on 6-year-case challenging the biometric Aadhaar identification cards and upheld the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar cards, saying it empowers the marginalised section of the society.

The apex court also asked the Centre to "introduce strong data protection law as soon as possible."

However, the apex court struck down Section 33(2) and Section 57 of Aadhaar Act pertaining to the sharing of details of the Aadhaar cards, and said that biometric data shall not be shared with any agency without the permission of the court.

The Supreme Court also said that Aadhaar cards are not mandatory for school admissions, UGC, NEET and CBSE examinations, opening bank accounts or registering mobile phone numbers. However, Aadhaar is mandatory for PAN cards. 

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The verdict was read out by Supreme Court Justice AK Sikri who authored the judgement on behalf of him, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justice Khanwilkar. The other judges of the 5-judge bench hearing the issue, Justice Chandrachud and Justice A Bhushan have written their individual opinions.

"There is a fundamental difference between Aadhaar card and identity. Once the bio-metric information is stored, it remains in the system," said Justice Sikri.

"It is better to be unique than to be best," he said. 

"Aadhaar empowers the marginalised section of the society and gives them an identity, Aadhaar is also different from other ID proofs as it can't be duplicated," Justice Sikri said.

"Minimal demographic and biometric data of citizens are collected by the UIDAI for Aadhaar enrolment. Aadhaar number given to a person is unique and can't go to any other person," said the Supreme Court Justice.

He also said, "the government needs to ensure that illegal migrants do not get Aadhaar card."