Aadhaar a Household Name, Spread Like Wildfire | The use of the Hindi word 'Aadhaar' would not lead a person to its dictionary meaning but everyone would associate it with the card used to identify an individual that has now virtually become a symbol of a digital economy, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday. Noting that Aadhaar had also become a household name, it said its use has spread like a "wildfire". "It is better to be unique than the best. Because, being the best makes you the number one, but being unique makes you the only one," said the top court, which by a majority verdict declared the Centre's flagship Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley dubbed the Supreme Court verdict on Aadhaar as 'historic'.
The first of the three verdicts was pronounced by Justice A K Sikri who wrote the judgment for himself, CJI Dipak Misra and Justice AM Khanwilkar. Justice Sikri said robust data protection regime has to be brought in place as early as possible. He said attack on Aadhaar by petitioners is based on violation of rights under the Constitution, will lead to a surveillance State. He said there has been minimal demographic and biometric data collected by UIDAI for Aadhaar enrolment.
Justice Sikri said unique identification proof also empowers and gives identity to marginalised sections of society. There is no possibility of obtaining a duplicate Aadhaar card, he said, adding that there is sufficient defence mechanism for authentication in the Aadhaar scheme. The concept of human dignity has been enlarged in the judgement, he said. Justice Chandrachud and Justice A Bhushan, who are part of the bench, have written their individual opinions.
The verdict was pronounced on a batch of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar scheme and its enabling 2016 law. The bench 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.
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