Aadhaar not mandatory for linking bank accounts, mobile connection and school admissions: Supreme Court

New Delhi | The Supreme Court on Wednesday announced its long-awaited verdict on the validity of the Aaadhar. The Supreme Court constitutional bench upheld most of the provisions of Aadhaar Act by a 4:1 Majority.

The Supreme Court Constitutional Bench in its judgement announced that it is no longer mandatory to link Aadhar with bank accounts and mobile connections. Justice A K Sikri while delivering the joined verdict of CJI Dipak Misra and Justice A M Khanwilkar said, “Aadhaar has become the most discussed subject in recent past.”

The Apex court upheld Section 139AA OF Income Tax Act. The Bench stated that it is mandatory quoting of Aadhaar / Enrolment ID of Aadhaar application form, for filing of return of income and for making an application for allotment of Permanent Account Number. The bench also struck down the amendment brought in Prevention of Money Laundering Rules which mandated linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts.

Speaking on the usage of Aadhar in the field of education, the bench said, “No person’s right can be denied on the ground of lack of Aadhaar.” Justice Sikri in his judegement said,” For the enrollment of children, it would be essential to have the consent of parents and school admission cannot be on the basis of Aadhaar.”

The bench also stated that CBSE, NEET, UGC making Aadhaar mandatory is bad and they cannot do so. “No child can be denied any schemes if they are not able to bring their Aadhaar number,” added Justice Sikri. Dismissing the section 47 of the Aadhar act, the Bench said,” any individuals must be allowed to file complaints.” The Bench in its judgment also struck down Sections 33(2), 47 and 57 of the Aadhar Act.

Justice Chandrachud in its judgement speaking on the privacy of Aadhar said,”Aadhaar violates Informational privacy and data protection.” He further added, “Allowing private enterprise to use Aadhaar numbers will lead to exploitation of data.” The Bench also asked the Government to ensure that illegal migrants are not issued Aadhaar to get benefits of social welfare schemes.

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