The Government of India had created a statutory authority Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), under the provision of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsiders, Benefits and services) Act, 2016. The Act was established on 12th July 2016 by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology under the Government of India.
With over 1.21 billion enrolled onto Aadhaar with the help of 25,147 enrolment stations as of June 2018. So as linked to India’s population of 1.35 billion, which is around 90 percent population of India has enrolled to the Aadhaar.
The Aadhaar case:
A petition filled by Kalyani Sen Menon, reasoning as there was denial for ration food, as the bio metric data i.e. finger prints didn’t match. This made the reason for the need for change required in the policy making. With this issue, other problems connected as for the mobile connection that was demanded by the cell providers to be linked with Aadhaar, Admission of children in Schools and Colleges, etc. Due to this, there had become a sense of unreliability for giving of data to private companies and the insecurity with the system as the data started leaking out on the Internet. The Attorney General (AG) K.K.Venugopal confirmed that the data is secured with them behind remains secure behind a complex that has its 13-ft high and five feet thick walls.
So for clearing the cluster created by the uses of Aadhaar and having an open clear cut answer to all the petitions filled with link to social welfare schemes provides as directive principle of state i.e. providing basic necessities of life as food to empower those of the marginalised section of the society, the judgement was given as on 26th of September 2018.
The Judgement of the case of Shantha Sinha and Another versus Union of India WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 342 OF 2017. The Judgement was given by the bench of five Judges lead by The Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, with Justice A K Sikri, A M Khanwikar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan. The hearing of the matter began on 17th day of January 2018. In the period of 38 working days in 4 months the final of 1448 page verdict became the Second Longest Oral in the Supreme Court after the Kesavananda Bharati case of 1973.
So the big question is what is in and what is out of the control of Aadhaar
- The provision of basic necessities of life i.e. food is shifted from Social welfare scheme under the Directive Principles of State Policy (DPSP) Part IV to Fundamental Rights (Part III) of the Indian Constitution. It includes that the people have the right to food, even if there Aadhaar can not be authenticated. But the court also directed the government not to give Aadhaar to illegal immigrants.
- “As of today, we do not find anything in Aadhaar Act which violates right to privacy of individual citizen,” said the court in its verdict on 27 petitions that had challenged the merits of Aadhaar.
- Data of Aadhaar including the 12- digit code, finger print, iris scan cannot be demanded by the Private Companies as for their services.
- The Aadhaar no. has to be linked with the citizen’s Permanent Account Number (PAN) information as for the filling of Tax Return. Also Aadhaar is not required for the opening of Bank Accounts.
- “No child shall be denied benefits for the want of Aadhaar,” the judges said, by clarified that the Aadhaar is not Compulsory for School Admissions, for Central Board of Secondary Education, University Grants Commission, and Medical Entrance Test NEET.
- “Aadhaar means unique and it is better to be unique than being best. Uniqueness is the fundamental difference between Aadhaar and other identity proofs. Aadhaar cannot be duplicated and it is a unique identification,” the judges said.
The judgement was decided with Four-One majority, with the declaration that use of Aadhaar for Social Welfare Schemes, but Struck down some rules opposing right to privacy liked mandatory for mobile phone connections and rules not as of needed like for Bank accounts or school admission.
By Priyam Kamra
Student Reporter, INBA