New Delhi: Hours after the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of Aadhaar, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant on Wednesday termed the verdict as a good and progressive judgment.
Speaking to ANI, Kant said, “This is a good and progressive judgement. It will bring efficiency in the country and will plug leakages. The Supreme Court has said that this (Aadhaar) has stood the test of constitutionality.”
The top court also ruled that linking Aadhaar with bank accounts, school admissions, NEET, CBSE and UGC examinations and mobile phone numbers is not mandatory, but a must for Permanent Account Number (PAN).
The apex court also struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act, hence barring private companies from seeking Aadhaar details of consumers. A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, included AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan upheld most of the provisions in the Aadhaar Act, and also ruled that it does not breach privacy. The judgment was pronounced 4:1.
The top court announced the verdict on a number of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar and its enabling Act. The key arguments of the petitioners were that the Aadhaar scheme is unconstitutional and is in violation of the fundamental right to privacy and personal bodily autonomy.
The government and the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) have defended the scheme on every instance by stating that it ensures benefits are distributed among the population in a proper manner and also deter syphoning of funds.