New Delhi: Calling the Supreme Court’s verdict on Aadhaar as “historical and landmark”, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Wednesday said the Act withstood the judicial scrutiny and its “purpose is legitimate”.
The UIDAI in a statement said that Aadhaar as an idea “does not create a surveillance state and does not violate privacy”, rather it is a tool of empowerment.
UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey said, “Aadhaar has come out winning as the champion of the empowerment of people, especially the marginalised sections of the society and also as the key to the welfare schemes delivery of the Government that has eradicated the fakes, duplicates and middlemen. The verdict is a victory for UIDAI and the Government of India and has also set the pace of India’s digital destiny.”
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court said that linking Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile phone numbers is not mandatory, but a must for Permanent Account Number (PAN).
While announcing its verdict on a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar, the court said that Aadhaar is not needed for opening a bank account and no mobile company can demand it for connections.
The court struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act, barring private companies from seeking Aadhaar details of consumers.
However, the five-judge Constitution bench of the court also upheld most of the provisions in the Aadhaar Act and also ruled that it does not breach privacy.