Supreme Court Rules on Aadhaar Scheme Validity

The Supreme Court today finally ruled on the validity of the Aadhaar card and the Aadhaar Act, saying that while it would still be necessary to obtain an Aadhaar card to get a PAN card and file income tax returns, it could no longer be used by private service providers to determine identification as part of the “know your customer” (KYC) process. Banks are among those who will no longer be able to request the Aadhaar card as part of the KYC process.


Mobile service providers who had previously requested and sent repeated emails to customers asking them to submit Aadhaar card copies and verification to avoid discontinuing of services have been asked to seek other forms of valid, government-issued identification to complete the KYC process. The Supreme Court said that it was in favor of having telecom companies delete the personally identifiable data to whom Aadhaar information had already been submitted.


Students of the CBSE, UGC and NEET will no longer need Aadhaar to be able to enroll or sit for exams. Children cannot be denied any benefits for not having Aadhaar identification either. However, adults will need to have this form of identification to avail of welfare schemes that the government operates, as well as to receive government subsidies.


The Supreme Court said that it was not possible for the Aadhaar scheme to lead to a police state as the information recorded for issue of the card were stored in silos, and was therefore difficult to do things like profile card holders on the basis of the minimal amount of information that was provided in the first place. They struck down sections 33(2), 47 and 57 of the Aadhaar Act as being unconstitutional and not being in the interests of the right to privacy of the Indian citizen.

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