The world’s largest biometric ID, Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique identity number which every domicile Indian must have. Though, for a long time, debate on the constitutionality of it is on. Regarding the constitutional validity of Aadhaar, the highest court of Justice Supreme Court has said that Aadhaar Act doesn’t violate your right to privacy in case you are agreed to share biometric data.
It is mandatory for filing various purposes including PAN card and ITR. But, now private entities have been barred from using Aadhaar card for KYC authentication purposes. What Supreme Court ruled that has been welcomed by the government. The finance minister Arun Jaitley states that by using Aadhaar, the government has saved Rs 90,000 crore in a year through targeting of beneficiaries and plugging leakages.
It is the 40-page judgement which read out by Justice A.K. Sikri who said there is nothing in the Aadhaar Act that violates right to privacy of individual. The Supreme Court constitution bench comprised of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and four other justices D.Y. Chandrachud, A.K. Sikri, A.M. Khanwilkar and Ashok Bhushan. Aadhaar authentication data cannot be stored for more than six months as per SC rule.
So, know here every detail about the implications of the Aadhaar verdict:
1. Chief Justice Dipak Misra leading a 5-member constitution bench of the Supreme Court ruled that if you pay tax and want to file for PAN card, then it is mandatory to have Aadhaar. Without Aadhaar, you can’t file for income tax returns (ITR) and allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN).
2. Till date, customers of commercial banks, payments bank and e-wallet companies like Paytm are asked to link Aadhaar to get their KYC done. In case, they don’t, they are warned to be barred from their services. As per the Court’s rule, they cannot seek Aadhaar datafrom now. It will be needed to fulfil other KYC criteria but for bank accounts, Aadhaar authentication is not needed.
3. Customers can buy a new SIM card by submitting KYC documents like Voter ID card, driving license, etc. The telecom service provider cannot seek Aadhaar details from you. Also, mobile service providers are asked to delete Aadhaar data by Justice Chandrachud.
4. Not schools and CBSE, NEET, UGC ask students to show Aadhaar to get into the exam hall.
5. To get benefit of welfare schemes and government subsidies available to the poor and marginalised, they need to present Aadhaar card.
6. To enjoy the benefit of welfare schemes, children are exempted from showing the Aadhaar card. The Supreme Court has made exception for children.
7. From now, Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act will be unconstitutional which means no company or private entity can seek Aadhaar identification from any customer.
8. The court has struck down the Aadhaar Act which makes national security exception. From now, on the name of security, Aadhaar isn’t mandatory. It ensures greater privacy of individual’s Aadhaar data and restricting the government accessibility to it.
9. While reading the judgement of the Supreme Court, Justice Sikri said ‘Aadhaar would not lead to a surveillance state because the data was kept in silos.’
10. SC says, it is difficult to profile a person on the basis of minimal biometric information collected.