Aadhaar: Where it is mandatory, and where it is not

The Supreme Court said Wednesday that Aadhaar, a public scheme that covers more than 122 crore Indians, is constitutionally valid.

Three judges in the Constitution bench — which included Chief Justice Dipak Misra — delivered the majority verdict. Justice DY Chandrachud dissented, and Justice Ashok Bhushan concurred with the majority judgment.

Besides striking down a few provisions in Aadhaar’s enabling law, the Supreme Court also listed services that would require Aadhaar, and those that would not. Here’s a handy guide.

You need to link Aadhaar with:

  • Your Permanent Account Number, or PAN

You DON’T need to link it with:

  • Your bank account
  • Your mobile number

You also need Aadhaar to:

  • File your Income Tax returns
  • Avail facilities of welfare schemes and government subsidies

You don’t need Aadhaar for:

  • School admissions
  • Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and University Grants Commission (UGC) exams, or the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET)

The court also said no child can be denied benefits of any schemes if he or she can’t produce an Aadhaar number.

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Supreme Court’s verdict on Aadhaar was “a victory of good governance, the empowerment of ordinary people and the efficient delivery of public services to the people of India.”

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the Congress party “cuts a sorry figure today.”

“They introduced Aadhaar but did not know what to do with that.”

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader and former Union Minister P Chidambaram said the majority judgment in the Aadhaar case “has retrieved the UPA’s original idea of Aadhaar.”

“Aadhaar was meant to be a benign instrument to deliver benefits, subsidies and services to the poor. Glad that the UPA’s policy has been vindicated.”

“Several provisions of the Act and the Regulations have been struck down as unconstitutional,” Chidambaram said. “That is a humbling lesson for the Ministry of Law.”

Inputs from PTI

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