Aadhar Card Verdict: Over one billion Indian people have already signed up for Aadhar card. The Aadhar card was made earlier compulsory for bank accounts, PAN cards, cell phone services, passport and even driving licenses as an overarching proof of identity and residence.
The petitioners that challenged the constitutional validity of the Aadhar card were debating in court on fundamental issues of privacy, surveillance, data protection, consent, and legislative processes.
Aadhar Card Verdict
For Aadhar card privacy concern the Supreme Court declared that Aadhar is constitutionally valid, but it is not mandatory for all services. This means that you no longer need to link your bank account or mobile number with an Aadhar card. It is also no longer compulsory to give an Aadhar card number for school admissions.
The Supreme Court said that seeking Aadhar details does not violate the right to privacy. Aadhar card must be linked with the government subsidies and welfare schemes to avail the benefits, the Supreme Court said, adding that when children become adults, they can opt out from these facilities.
This section of the Aadhar Act provided that private companies could ask consumers for Aadhar card details for identification purposes. The court’s judgment means that private bodies like telecom companies, e-commerce firms, private banks, and other such firms cannot ask for biometric and other data from consumers for their services.
This provision in the Aadhar card Act allowed the sharing of data with security agencies on the ground of national security.
This section allowed only the government to complain in case of theft of Aadhar card data. Now the individual too can file a complaint.
The Supreme Court asked the Centre to bring a robust law for data protection as soon as possible.
The Aadhar Card Verdict Means for Us
Aadhar card & PAN card Linking:
Aadhar is compulsory for filing Income Tax return, so you must link it with your PAN card number. PAN-Aadhar linking deadline is March 31, 2019.
Aadhar card & Welfare Schemes Linking:
If you wish to avail the benefits from the government’s welfare schemes and subsidies, you must link them with Aadhar card.
Aadhar card & phone number Linking:
It is no longer compulsory to link your phone number with Aadhar card, so the messages from the telecom service providers to link Aadhar card can safely be ignored.
Aadhar card & Bank Account Linking:
You are no longer required to link your bank accounts with Aadhar card.
Aadhar card for Private Companies:
The Supreme Court has struck down Section 57 of the Aadhar Act, which means that private companies cannot ask for Aadhar card numbers of the consumers. So you don’t need to share your Aadhar card number with any third party.
Aadhar card for school admissions:
Aadhar card is not compulsory for school admissions and no child can be denied benefits of any schemes for not producing Aadhar.
Aadhar card linking for exams:
Aadhar card is no longer mandatory for CBSE, NEET and other university exams.
Aadhar card data stored:
The Aadhar authentication data can be stored only for 6 months. Whereas earlier authorities can store the data up to the period of 5 years.
Benefits of having Aadhaar card:
- Unless the consumer has linked the Aadhaar card to the saving account otherwise the saving account with zero balance would be available to him / her.
- To withdraw money from ATM facilities, the customer must receive a RuPay wallet.
- Having an Aadhaar card is a perfect opportunity consumers would be eligible to get the Passport in just 10 days.
- Subsidy deposited to preserve the account of the customer while buying the LPG cylinder and other things including kerosene, coal, rice, etc.
Though maintaining the statutory legitimacy of the Aadhaar system, the Supreme Court ruled that when you decide to exchange biometric details, Aadhaar Act does not infringe your right to privacy. Private organizations have been prohibited from using Aadhaar card for KYC authentication purposes, but for numerous other purposes, including PAN card and ITR filing, you would always require Aadhaar.
The government accepted the Supreme Court ruling with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley that using Aadhaar helped the government save 90,000 crops a year by targeting beneficiaries and plugging leaks.
Your mobile service provider can not request Aadhaar data from you in order to purchase a new SIM card. To get a new SIM phone, only have certain KYC documentation such as Voter ID card, driving license, etc. Justice Chandrachud has favored the deletion by cell service providers of user Aadhaar info.
Many commercial banks, payment institutions, and e-wallet firms such as Paytm have so far relied on consumers using Aadhaar card to have their KYC completed and advised account holders that their services would be disrupted in the event of failure. They can not check data from Aadhaar now. Many KYC requirements will also need to be met but Aadhaar authentication for bank accounts is now a thing of the past.
However, for the gain of healthcare services and government subsidies, Aadhaar card is needed as it empowers the poor and oppressed.
The Supreme Court has made exception for children saying that if they don’t have an Aadhaar card, no child can be denied benefits from any scheme.
The Supreme Court ruled that Aadhar is legally permissible for Aadhar card privacy issues, but it is not compulsory for all the services. This means you do not need to connect your bank account or mobile number to an Aadhar card any longer. Giving an Aadhar card number for school admissions is now no longer compulsory.
The Supreme Court said that finding information regarding Aadhar does not infringe the right to privacy. Aadhar card must be connected to government subsidies and welfare programs in order to benefit from the benefits, the Supreme Court said, adding that children should opt out of such services when they are adults