Supreme Court final verdict says Aadhaar is no more mandatory

Supreme Court’s final verdict says Aadhaar is no more mandatory

According to the latest reports, the SC held that while Aadhaar would remain mandatory for filing IT returns and Permanent Account Number (PAN) card applications, it would not be considered mandatory for bank accounts and mobile connections.

The five-judge constitution bench of Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, amended Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act, which states that now no school, office, or company can force an individual to reveal their unique 12-digit number. It would also be not required for examinations conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for medical entrance, and the University Grants Commission (UGC), the court ruled.

Manmohan Singh-led United Progressive Alliance government introduced the scheme back in the year 2009 and later, grown to become the world’s largest biometric ID programme.

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) initially mandated the scheme to mitigate corrupt practices and bring transparency to multiple systems and procedures both in the public and private sectors. However, later the programmer ran into several challenges and controversies when it got expanded in terms of scale and reach from its original directive.

Under Modi government, Aadhaar has become obligatory for at least 22 welfare programmes despite Supreme Court’s order in August 2015, restraining the government from expanding it beyond the public distribution system such as food grains and cooking fuel.

Is it convenient to open bank account without Aadhaar?

After the top court’s final verdict, not the question is whether it will be convenient to open a bank account without Aadhaar? Commenting over the concern, Chairman of the State Bank of India, Rajnish Kumar called the government’s flagship unique biometric ID scheme as a great facility as it has made the whole process of opening a bank account quite convenient and hassle-free.

This comes against the backdrop of the SC judgement declaring Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid, even as it struck down some of its provisions.

"Everybody will have to honour the Supreme Court's judgement, but I believe from services point of view it (Aadhaar) is a great facility," Kumar said during a press briefing.

Can I get a SIM card without Aadhaar?

Few months back, you were getting text messages from your mobile operator to link your Aadhaar with your mobile number or else the number will be barred. Also, Aadhaar was mandatory to get a new SIM card or telecom connection.

However, in a recent verdict, Supreme Court has directed telecom companies to accept alternative KYC documents like driving license, passport, and Voter ID card.