New Delhi: Stating that Aadhar empowers marginalised sections of the society and gives them identity, the Supreme Court of India on Wednesday ruled it constitutionally valid but declined to make it compulsory for admission in schools.
The Apex Court also ruled that there will not be any need to link Aadhar with bank accounts and mobile number - a relief for thousands who suffered just because their bank accounts and mobile phones were not linked with the 12-digit UID number.
"Aadhaar gives dignity to marginalised sections, which outweighs the harm," the Supreme Court of India said while pronouncing its verdict on 27 petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar and calling it a violation of the right to privacy.
Ruling out compulsory Aadhaar for admission in school, Justice AK Sikri, one of the five judges of the SC bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, said, "For children enrolment, consent of parent or guardian is needed. On attaining majority, if child wants to exit, should be given permission to do so. Aadhaar not compulsory for school admissions."
Aadhar - the 12-digit Unique Identification (UID) Number was made mandatory for services including bank accounts, PAN cards, cellphone services, passport and even driving licenses. It was made the comprehensive proof of identity and residence, overriding all other earlier identity proofs.
The judgment authored by Justice AK Sikri, has concurrence of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A M Khanwilkar.
The Supreme Court has also struck down a section of the law which prevented individuals from filing cases under the Aadhaar Act. Earlier, only the UIDAI and its officials could file cases, but now even indviduals can.
The Supreme Court of India also strikes down Section 57 of Aadhaar Act, 2016, which says private body corporates can seek Aadhaar data. "It’s unconstitutional", the Apex Court said.
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