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Supreme Court declares Aadhaar valid, says linkage with bank accounts not mandatory

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Linkage of Aadhaar with bank accounts no longer stands mandatory.

Supreme Court declares Aadhaar valid, says linkage with bank accounts not mandatory
The Supreme Court on Wednesday declared the centre's flagship Aadhaar scheme as "constitutionally valid". The apex court's five-judge constitution bench said Aadhaar means unique and it is better to be unique than being best.
The court, however, ruled Section 57 to be unconstitutional.
Section 57 enabled any "body corporate or person" or private entity to demand Aadhaar. These corporates include telecom companies, banks, etc. This means that linkage of Aadhaar with bank accounts no longer stands mandatory.
While linkage of Aadhaar for filing of income-tax returns is still mandatory.
The first of the three judgements was pronounced by justice A K Sikri. Justice Sikri pronounced the judgement for himself, chief justice Dipak Misra and justice A M Khanwilkar.
The petitioners had argued that Aadhaar act strikes at the heart of right to privacy as guaranteed by the constitution.
Reading out the majority judgement, justice Sikri said that the government argued that "the fundamental difference between Aadhaar and other documents of identity like PAN, etc. is that Aadhaar cannot be duplicated and an attempt to get Aadhaar by anyone can be traced by biometric system. Therefore Aadhaar is unique."
"It is to empower marginalised section of the society who are illiterate. They can claim benefit for many govt schemes," he added.
The court has asked the government to bring out a data protection regime as per Shrikrishna Committee report on data protection as early as possible.
With inputs from PTI
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