The Supreme Court will be passing the verdict on the number of petitions filed challenging the BJP government's Aadhaar. The government had made it compulsory for Indian citizens to link the Aadhaar number to the mobile numbers, bank accounts and PAN card.
The first petition challenging the Aadhaar was filed in 2012. However, the proceedings for the case began only in October 2015.
This is Chief Justice Dipak Misra's last week on the bench before his retirement on October 2. The Supreme Court has planned on passing judgments on a number of cases, including women's entry into the Sabarimala temple, live-streaming the Supreme Court proceedings and SC/ST quota in promotions.
The five-member bench will be head by Chief Justice Misra along with Justice A K Sikri, Justice A M Khanwilkar, Justice D Y Chandrachud, Justice Ashok Bhushan.
Here are the LIVE updates regarding the case:
- Finance Minister Arun Jaitley commented on the verdict. He said, "we welcome this decision".
- All India Trinamool Congress reacted to the Aadhaar judgment passed by the Supreme Court. The Mamata Banerjee-led party said that it won't link their mobile numbers with Aadhaar.
- Justice Chandrachud is the only dissenting judge. He said that Aadhaar numbers shall be removed from the telecom companies' databases.
- Chandrachud calls making the Aadhaar Act as a money bill as unconstitutional. He says, "By declaring an ordinary bill to be a money bill, it is berefting the Rajya Sabha of its power. Aadhaar act cannot be regarded as a money bill. Aadhaar act does not contain provisions 'only' limited to clauses a-g." He adds, "The case is about the rule of law and governance. All-encompassing nature of Aadhaar project, magnitude, make it imperative to carefully scrutinise the project. The issue of whether money bill can be judicially reviewed," according to Firstpost.
- Justice Chandrachud has an opposing opinion regarding the Aadhaar Act being passed as a Money Bill.
- The Congress Party welcomes the Supreme Court scrapping Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act 2016
- Educational institutions can not demand Aadhaar from students. They can provide admissions to students who do not possess Aadhaar cards.
- Mobile needn't be linked to Aadhaar
- Supreme Court has made linking PAN to Aadhaar compulsory.
- Aadhaar can be passed as a money bill. Banks cannot ask for Aadhaar numbers. People do not require Aadhaar to open bank accounts.
- Aadhaar to exclude metadata of transactions
- The judgment goes on to say that Aadhaar will not be provided to illegal immigrants.
- CBSE, UGC and NEET cannot mandate Aadhaar
- Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act is struck down. This act allows the state, any body corporate or person to demand Aadhaar from citizens for the purpose of identification.
- The Supreme Court rules that Aadhaar is constitutionally valid.
- Justice Sikri said that biometric information can not be shared by private firms.
- Section 33 (2) of Aadhaar Act is revoked. This act permits the disclosure of identity information and authentication records for national security.
- Justice Sikri says, "The main plank to challenge Aadhaar is that it infringes with the Right to Privacy.
- Sikri also says that Aadhaar eliminates the risk of duplication and empowers the marginalised. He says, "The unique identification proof also empowers and gives identity to marginalised sections of the society The unique identification proof also empowers and gives identity to marginalised sections of the society."
- Justice Sikri says, "It is better being unique than the best".
- The judgment is 40 pages long.
- Justice Sikri reads out the majority judgment.
- The judges have arrived for the judgment
- The Bhopal gas tragedy victims and relatives of the victims could avail compensation with help of the Aadhaar card, the government says.
- Activists say that by linking sensitive data, there is a rise in the risk of misuse. There is no monitoring the Aadhaar leaks,
- The government argues that the Aadhaar will help weed out ghost beneficiaries of schemes. It also helps the poor and differently abled avail the benefits of government schemes.
- The Centre, UIDAI, the RBI, and the Maharashtra and Gujarat governments support the Aadhaar. They are represented Attorney General, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, senior advocates Rakesh Dwivedi and Jayant Bhushan and lawyer Zoheb Hossain, according to FirstPost.
- Arguments against the Aadhaar brought senior advocate Shyam Divan saying that the Aadhaar was a threat and a frontal attack on the constitution, reports The Indian Express.
He said, "This leash is connected to a central database that is designed to track transactions across the life of the citizen. This record will enable the state to profile citizens, track their movements, assess their habits and silently influence their behaviour. Over time, the profiling enables the state to stifle dissent and influence political decision making... Inalienable and natural rights are dependent on a compulsory exaction. The state is empowered with a 'switch' by which it can cause the civil death of an individual. Where every basic facility is linked to Aadhaar and one cannot live in society without an Aadhaar number, the switching off of Aadhaar completely destroys the individual."
- The former Chairperson of UIDAI said earlier this year that the Aadhaar will not be scrapped. He said, "If you are just taking a negative view, and not a constructive view, then you also have other (negative) reactions. I think everybody has to accept Aadhaar is here to stay," according to the Indian Express.
- The verdict will be out by 10:30 am on Wednesday.
- What is the Aadhaar?
Aadhaar is a unique identification number given to the citizens of the country. The government has aimed to use this as a secure identification method which can help the person avail many government benefits. The person can secure his information with biometric, retinal scan and most recently live facial recognition. The government made it mandatory to link information such as the mobile number, bank account, PAN card and even PayTm with the Aadhaar to avail the services.
- The Right to Privacy verdict which was passed in 2017 could interfere with the Aadhaar which requires all the accounts to be linked.
- Questions the Supreme Court will be asking:
- Does the government have the right to demand the citizens to link sensitive information such as bank accounts with the Aadhaar which also requires biometric, retinal scan, and facial recognition?
- Will the Aadhaar encroach upon the citizen's fundamental Right to Privacy?
- Is the Aadhaar required for a person to receive government benefits or can they benefit it by identifying themselves using other documents issued by the government?
- The government has argued that the Aadhaar is highly beneficial to the poorer section of society. It said that many deaths have occurred since the handwritten ration cards were cancelled. With the Aadhar cards, they can have access to food, water and other amenities.