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October 2018
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Aadhaar gets thumbs up from Supreme Court
 
New Delhi, Sep 22: The Supreme Court, in a majority opinion on Wednesday, upheld 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.

“The Constitution does not exist for a few or minority of the people of India, but ‘We the People’,” the Supreme Court observed.

The majority view by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices A.K. Sikri and A.M. Khanwilkar declared Aadhaar a “document of empowerment.” An “unparalleled” identity proof. A document that cannot be duplicated unlike PAN, ration card, and passport.

“It is better to be unique than the best. The best makes you number one, but unique makes you the only one,” Justice Sikri, who authored the majority opinion, wrote.

Justice D.Y. Chandrachud wrote a sharp dissent, declaring Aadhaar unconstitutional. Justice Ashok Bhushan, in a separate opinion, concurred with the majority view, saying Aadhaar has been widely accepted. The three opinions of the Constitution Bench span 1,448 pages.

Justice Sikri said technology had become a vital tool for ensuring good governance in a social welfare state. Schemes like PDS, scholarships, mid-day meals, LPG subsidies, involve a huge amount of money and “fool-proof” Aadhaar helped welfare reach the poor.

Upholding the passage of the Aadhaar Act as a Money Bill, the Supreme Court said neither were individuals profiled nor their movements traced when Aadhaar was used to avail government benefits under Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act of 2016.

The statute only sought “minimal” biometric information, and this did not amount to invasion of privacy.


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