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.
India's Supreme Court has ruled that the country's controversial biometric identity scheme is constitutional and does not violate the right to privacy. Section 57 essentially allowed not only the State but also any "body corporate or person" or private entity to demand Aadhaar.
Court struck down the provision in Aadhaar law allowing sharing of data on the ground of national security.
Aadhaar not mandatory for Sarvasiksha Abhiyan.
"Aadhaar gives dignity to the marginalised". It has been admitted by UIDAI that it stores vital data which is violative of right to privacy, he added.
The Supreme Court ruled that the Aadhaar card is not needed for school admissions and mobile phone connections, neither it is mandatory for opening of bank account.
Addressing a press conference in the national capital, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader hit out at the critics of Aadhaar, saying those criticising the unique identification scheme need to understand that they "cannot defy technology". "This may affect the fintech as well as other financial companies which uses the only Aadhar as their identity verification mechanism", added Patel.
That was the second longest hearing in the history of the apex court, the first being the Kesavananda Bharti case that questioned if Parliament's power to amend the Constitution was unlimited, to the extent of taking away fundamental rights.
The Supreme Court verdict clearly upholds the Aadhaar Act as not being unconstitutional and the act of collecting biometric data as not being illegal. However, he "personally" appreciated Justice DY Chandrachud's minority judgment, striking it down on the ground that it violates a citizen's Right to Privacy, which was pronounced as a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution past year. However, in March, in an interim order, the apex court had said that the mandatory linking of bank accounts and mobile phones would stand extended "indefinitely" till judgment on the petitions pending before it was pronounced.
Aadhaar's role in eduction and admissions was also restricted as it was held that it could not be made compulsory for school admissions and authorities like Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and University Grants Commission (UGC) could not insist on it. The top court said going by the constitutional framework, it would be inappropriate for the court to take recourse to any other method as it can not legislate but only recommend bringing in of a law.