homeeconomy NewsSupreme Court upholds Aadhaar, but limits its uses and calls for changes

Supreme Court upholds Aadhaar, but limits its uses and calls for changes

Supreme Court upholds Aadhaar, but limits its uses and calls for changes
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By CNBC-TV18 Sept 27, 2018 6:20:28 AM IST (Updated)

The Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of India's ambitious biometric identity project 'Aadhaar', saying it benefits the marginalised and poor, but raised multiple concerns around the law that governs it, particularly concerning privacy and called for a raft of changes. Here are the key highlights….

The Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of India's ambitious biometric identity project 'Aadhaar', saying it benefits the marginalised and poor, but raised multiple concerns around the law that governs it, particularly concerning privacy and called for a raft of changes.

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A five-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India said benefits under the Aadhaar project should be in the nature of welfare schemes and it cannot be made compulsory for services such as bank accounts, mobile connections or school admissions. The court ruled that Aadhaar must be liked to PAN cards, making it essential for filing income tax returns.
“Aadhaar is serving a much larger public interest … marginalised section of society will get the benefits. Let there be minimal collection of data,” the court ruled.  The court asked the government to bring out a data protection regime based on the Srikrishna Committee report as early as possible.
BJP MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar said the Aadhaar Act was passed by parliament for delivering subsidies and benefits and the Supreme Court has upheld it today. “So all of the opposition created by the (opposition party) Congress against it and the fear-mongering of surveillance etc has been found to be wrong.”
Congress leader Kapil Sibal welcomed the verdict. “I think what the Supreme Court (SC) has said is that it is necessary for those who are marginalised and to that extent, Aadhaar is valid,” Siba, a senior lawyer said.
Among other things, India's unique Aadhaar number - linked to an individual's face, iris and finger prints - is used to help plug theft and leakages in the $23.63 billion a year food welfare programme.
With inputs from Reuters
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