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.