Supreme Court and Aadhaar
- SC held Aadhaar as a reasonable restriction on individual privacy that fulfils the government’s “legitimate aim” to provide dignity to a large, marginalised population living in abject poverty.
- Declared Aadhaar a “document of empowerment”. + technology had become a vital tool for ensuring good governance in a social welfare state. Schemes such as the PDS, scholarships, mid-day meals and LPG subsidies involve a huge amount of money, and “foolproof” Aadhaar helped welfare reach the poor.
- SC ruled that the law enabling the implementation of the programme does not violate the right to privacy of citizens; instead, the project empowers marginalised sections and procures dignity for them along with services, benefits and subsidies by leveraging the power of technology
- SC ruling on Aadhaar = upheld the PAN-Aadhaar linkage + upheld it for welfare benefits + declared linking Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile SIM cards unconstitutional + court insulated children from the Aadhaar regime.
- The card was not necessary for children aged between six and 14 under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan as right to education was a fundamental right + aadhar not mandatory by CBSE, JEE, UGC, NEET + Private companies cannot insist on Aadhaar + Aadhar need not to be linked with mobile phone connections(Aadhaar-sim linkages) + Aadhar need not to be linked to bank account + struck down section that courts should not take cognizance of the offence under the act except on a complaint by UIDAI + Struck down the provision that identity and authentication data has to be disclosed if it is interest of national security + struck down the provision that Aadhar can be used to identify individual for any purpose by state or companies
- Aadhaar Act passes the “triple test” laid down in the ‘Privacy’ judgement under which there ought to be a law, a legitimate state interest and an element of proportionality in any law that seeks to abridge the right of privacy.
- Aadhaar = When it is serving much larger purpose by reaching hundreds of millions of deserving persons, it cannot be crucified on the unproven plea of exclusion of some + many people who have paid to get Aadhaar even though it is meant to be free.
- Those with any disability have found it very hard to enrol or have failed to enrol + The number of people excluded from getting Aadhaar may be small (as a percentage of the population), but they happen to be the most vulnerable — bed-ridden old persons, victims of accidents, people with visual disabilities, etc. + With Aadhaar being made compulsory, it has become necessary, but it is not sufficient to get welfare.(as possessing aadhar do not entitle you to PDS grains)
- (UIDAI) submitted to the court that the ‘failed percentage’ of iris and finger authentication are 8.54% and 6%, respectively.