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Aadhaar verdict HIGHLIGHTS: Rahul Gandhi thanks Supreme Court for supporting ‘Congress’ vision’

Aadhaar verdict in Supreme Court LIVE Updates: The Supreme Court has held that the Aadhaar Act was valid but has put restrictions on which entities can access data.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: September 26, 2018 8:41:24 pm
Aadhaar Verdict Live Updates: Supreme court judgment today Aadhaar verdict in Supreme Court LIVE Updates: A five-judge bench will deliver the judgment today. (L-R) Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justice A K Sikri, Justice A M Khanwilkar, Justice D Y Chandrachud, Justice Ashok Bhushan. (Express Illustrations: Suvajit Dey)

The Supreme Court pronounced its verdict on a clutch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act in which it upheld the constitutional validity of Aadhaar, but put restrictions on its use. A five-judge bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, reserved its verdict in the case on May 10 after a 38-day hearing.

The SC was to decide on whether the Aadhaar Act, 2016, is valid, if the government can demand biometric and demographic information from every resident of the country and if a citizen’s privacy is a fundamental right.

There were three separate judgments today from Justices Sikri, Chandrachud and Bhushan. The CJI and Justice Khanwilkar will not deliver separate judgments and have concurred with Justice Sikri. In his verdict, Justice Sikri has struck down portions of the law that made it mandatory for Aadhaar to be provided to private corporations for various services. The court said it can be used only for government services. It also said that children can’t be excluded from school admissions due to lack of Aadhaar.

Justice Chandrachud has said that the Aadhaar Act shouldn’t have been passed as a Money Bill and has also told telecom companies to delete all Aadhaar data received from customers.

Justice Ashok Bhushan has largely agreed with the majority verdict and also noted that seeking biometric data wasn’t a violation of an individual’s privacy.

Live Blog

Aadhaar verdict in Supreme Court today: Supreme Court to decide constitutional validity of Aadhaar. Follow LIVE UPDATES in Malayalam | Bengali

18:34 (IST)26 Sep 2018
SC verdict reaffirms Modi govt's efforts to eliminate corruption: MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar

Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar said the top court's verdict reaffirmed the government's efforts to eliminate 'corruption and leakages in use of public money'. In a press statement, he said, "I welcome the Aadhaar judgement today by the Supreme Court as a petitioner who joined in the original Aadhaar petition in 2013. It reaffirms the steps that Narendra Modi government took to transform UPA Aadhaar into the current corruption free Subsidy delivery platform - to ensure that crores of poor Indians who had to struggle with corrupt middlemen to avail their Government benefits no longer have to do so."

17:35 (IST)26 Sep 2018
Aadhaar has become a symbol of digital economy: SC

The use of the Hindi word 'Aadhaar' would not lead a person to its dictionary meaning but everyone would associate it with the card used to identify an individual that has now virtually become a symbol of a digital economy, the top court had said, while delivering its judgement. Noting that Aadhaar had also become a household name, it said its use has spread like a "wildfire". "It is better to be unique than the best. Because, being the best makes you the number one, but being unique makes you the only one," SC said. The apex court also said that 'Aadhaar' has become a symbol of a digital economy and opened up multiple avenues for a common man.

16:50 (IST)26 Sep 2018
UIDAI sees victory in SC judgement

Terming the verdict as a "victory", Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey said the 4:1 apex court judgement announced is in favour of Aadhaar. "It is 4:1 judgement in favour of Aadhaar. The court has declared Aadhaar constitutionally valid. It is a money bill. It can be used for pan card. It empowers poor and marginalised section. Aadhaar can be used for subsidies and government schemes so that there is no leakage of government funds. It can be used for income tax so that tax evasion and black money can be curbed," Pandey said.

16:09 (IST)26 Sep 2018
Lesson for law ministry: P Chidambaram
15:42 (IST)26 Sep 2018
For BJP, Aadhaar is a tool of oppression: Rahul Gandhi
15:31 (IST)26 Sep 2018
UPA's policy vindicated: Chidambaram
15:20 (IST)26 Sep 2018
Aadhaar not a surveillance tool: Ravi Shankar Prasad
15:13 (IST)26 Sep 2018
SC verdict to empower marginalised: Ravi Shankar Prasad

Reiterating Jaitley, Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, "This judgement is a judgement of empowering democracy and the marginalised. The court himself said no state-sponsored surveillance is possible. The Congress's stand on Aadhaar is nothing but arrogant."

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15:08 (IST)26 Sep 2018
Jaitley attacks Congress

"Everyone who has been criticizing Aadhaar should understand that they cannot defy technology. The mainstream should accept changes, one can understand the fringe being against," Jaitley said. Upping the ante against the Congress, he said, "The Congress cuts a very sorry figure here, they had introduced the idea but they did not know what to do with it."

15:05 (IST)26 Sep 2018
SC verdict 'historical order': Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

Terming the SC verdict as a "historic order", Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, "Aadhaar's concept has been accepted after judicial review. We welcome this decision of the Supreme Court."

13:57 (IST)26 Sep 2018
Congress's Kapil Sibal says they will move Supreme Court again

Congress's Kapil Sibal says that they will move Supreme Court seeking that a larger bench consider whether the Aadhaar Act should have been passed as a Money Bill or not. 

Only Justice Chandrachud on the five-judge bench said that the law shouldn't have been passed as a Money Bill and called it 'subterfuge'. 

13:36 (IST)26 Sep 2018
Lawyer for petitioners says verdict will need to be read carefully

Lawyer for the petitioners, Arvind Datar, said that the judgment has said that no meta data, which is granular data within Aadhaar, can be further analysed. 

He said they were happy that meta data from Aadhaar can' t be shared with private corporations. Now whatever data is stored for authentication has to be struck down after six months, the lawyer said.

The lawyer also said that the judgment has to be read carefully to understand what all has been said. 

13:25 (IST)26 Sep 2018
More reactions to the verdict are pouring in

Lawyers like Apar Gupta, who have been vocal critics of Aadhaar, have said that the scheme has little legitimacy left. 

Here's how others have reacted

13:14 (IST)26 Sep 2018
Attorney General KK Venugopal says he's very happy with the judgment

ANI reports that Attorney General KK Venugopal has said that he is "very happy with the judgement". It is a landmark and remarkable judgment, he said. 

13:08 (IST)26 Sep 2018
Congress spokesperson says judgment's a blow for BJP, BJP says it's a good one

Congress spokesperson and lawyer for the petitioners Abhishek Manu Singhvi has said that the verdict is a blow for the BJP. He said that the judgment is very important. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra also said this judgment a good one. 

12:58 (IST)26 Sep 2018
In a nutshell
12:44 (IST)26 Sep 2018
So what are the sections of law struck down by the Supreme Court?

Just in case you missed it, the Supreme Court struck down various provisions of the Aadhaar Act while holding it constitutional. 

Here's a guide on what each of these sections dealt with.

12:34 (IST)26 Sep 2018
How the verdict ended: 4-1 in favour of Aadhaar

Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, and Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar and Ashok Bhushan favoured the Aadhaar Act. Justice D Y Chandrachud dissented. 

So in sum, Aadhaar stays but there are a lot more restrictions on who can seek the data of people. 

12:32 (IST)26 Sep 2018
Lawyer for petitioners Prashant Bhushan says that Aadhaar judgement is a major relief for people

Speaking outside court, lawyer for the petitioners Prashant Bhushan has said that the court has ruled that Aadhaar will not be mandatory any more. Bhushan said that there was a difference in opinion over whether the legislation could have been passed as a Money Bill. He said Justice Chandrachud's judgment is a very strong comment on how the bill was passed by Parliament. Bhushan says it gives major relief to people who have been complaining about needing Aadhaar for everything. Additionally, reports say that the judgement may be 1000 pages long. Talk about heavy reading. 

12:24 (IST)26 Sep 2018
Justice Bhushan says it's ok to seek biometric data

In his judgement, Justice Askok Bhushan has said that seeking biometric details for Aadhaar does not violate an individual's fundamental right to privacy. He also said that Aadhaar's architecture does not facilitate surveillance, reports G Ananthakrishnan. 

Supreme Court Aadhaar Verdict Live Updates: Privacy, Surveillance of state, welfare schemes Aadhaar verdict in Supreme Court today: On January 17,2018, a five-judge Bench began hearing the Aadhaar case. It reserved its verdict on May 10, 2018. (Express Illustration)

Aadhaar Verdict in Supreme Court today LIVE Updates:

The concept of an unique identity for citizens was conceived under the UPA II in 2009-10, a year before the National Identification Authority of India Bill, 2010, was introduced. The Bill, however, was passed only in 2016, under the present BJP-led government. Since the passage of the Bill, several petitions have been filed challenging the validity of the Aadhaar Act, 2016, and on grounds that it can be misused by the state for surveillance and goes against the right to privacy.

On August 24, 2017, a nine-judge Bench ruled that the right to privacy is a fundamental right, a shot in the arm for the petitioners. However, the court had also ruled that “besides national security, the State may have justifiable reasons for the collection and storage of data. In a social welfare state, the government embarks upon programmes which provide benefits to impoverished and marginalised sections of society. There is a vital State interest in ensuring that scarce public resources are not dissipated by the diversion of resources to persons who do not qualify as recipients.”

Also read | From validity to fears of misuse for surveillance and privacy, a look at the issues that have come up before the five-judge Constitution Bench

On January 17,2018, a five-judge Bench began hearing the Aadhaar case. It reserved its verdict on May 10, 2018.

This case is a part of a slew of verdict expected this week by CJI-led benches, ahead of Dipak Misra's retirement on October 2. Today, the SC will also decide the question of reservation in promotions, and whether live-streaming of court proceedings should be allowed.

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First published on: 26-09-2018 at 07:53:51 am
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