New Delhi, Sep 25 (PTI) The Supreme Court has pronounced its crucial verdict Wednesday on a batch of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of Centre’s flagship Aadhaar scheme and its enabling 2016 law.
A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had on May 10 reserved the verdict on the matter after a marathon hearing that went on for 38 days, spanning four-and-half months.
A key argument against the Aadhaar scheme was that it was violative of the nine-judge bench verdict that had held that Right to Privacy is a fundamental right under the Constitution.
During the arguments, the Centre had strongly defended its decision to seed Aadhaar numbers with mobile phones, telling the top court that it could have been hauled up for contempt if the verification of mobile users was not undertaken by it.
However, the court had said that the government had misinterpreted its order and used it as a “tool” to make Aadhaar mandatory for mobile users.
The court had also not agreed prima facie with the government’s contention that the Aadhaar law was correctly termed as a Money Bill by the Lok Sabha Speaker as it dealt with “targeted delivery of subsidies” for which funds came from the Consolidated Fund of India.
The counsel for one of the petitioners had termed Aadhaar as “an electronic leash” and said that the government could completely destroy an individual by “switching off” the 12-digit unique identifier number.
On the other hand, the Centre had said that the law was valid and allowed minimal invasion to ensure the right to life of millions of Indians by ensuring seamless delivery of subsidies, benefits and services to the poorest of poor.