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  • Aadhaar verdict: What it means for you

    Publish Date: September 28, 2018

    The Supreme Court cleared the air around the Aadhaar on Wednesday. It ruled it constitutional, albeit with certain limitations.

    The apex body, headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, delivered a majority 4-1 decision on the validity of the 12-digit unique identification programme.

    The five-man bench, however, read down the controversial and contested Section 57 of Aadhaar Act. This section was called out by two of the judges — Justices Chandrachud and Sikri — as “unconstitutional”.

    Under Section 57, corporate firms, banks and the government could send messages seeking your Aadhaar details for the purpose of identification. But the strike down of the section means you no longer have to link your Aadhaar for a host of services, unless you want to seek government subsidy or benefits.

    You don’t need Aadhaar for:

    • Getting a mobile connection
    • Opening a bank account. But that’s only on technical grounds. That’s because you need a PAN card to open or maintain a bank account. (The PAN cards need to be linked to your Aadhaar card though)

    Related read: How to link Aadhaar with PAN

    • Getting school admission. Even admission under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan scheme is exempted as right to education between ages 8 and 14 is a fundamental right.
    • Admission to hospital
    • Enrolling in CBSE, NEET, JEE, UGC etc.
    • Investing in mutual funds, insurance policies etc. of private companies
    • Buying air or train tickets from private companies or websites
    • Receiving pension
    • Getting credit card

    You need Aadhaar for:

    • Filing your tax returns. You need to link Aadhaar with PAN card for this purpose.
    • Obtaining and retaining PAN
    • Availing overnment welfare schemes, subsidies and benefits like LPG, MGNREGA etc.

    Related read: How to link Aadhaar with LPG

    However, it remains to be seen if you need Aadhaar details for driving license and passport.

    The Supreme Court also shored up the citizens’ rights.

    -   From now, no child can be barred from government benefits even if s/he doesn’t have Aadhaar details.

    -   Until now, only UIDAI could lodge a complaint in case the Aadhaar Act was violated. But now, the Aadhaar-holder can file a complaint too.

    -   An individual can file a complaint in case of Aadhaar theft.

    -   Now, the court has to give permission if the unique 12-digit number is made public. But the cardholder can go to higher courts to challenge such decisions.

    -   Private companies cannot ask you to share your Aadhaar details because that paves ground for exploitation of private data.

    -   Aadhaar details does not have to be shared with security agencies either.

    Related read: Documents needed for Aadhaar

    The court also ensured that sensitive information about race, religion, cast etc. are not stored. It also ordered that all authenticated transaction data is deleted after six months, unless it is sub judice or is needed during court proceedings.

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