Aadhaar Verdict: Supreme Court upholds constitutional validity of Aadhaar Act 2016

The Supreme Court on September 26, 2018, upheld the validity of Aadhaar while hearing the petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other. Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016. Earlier on May 10, the five-judge Constitution Bench, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A. K. Sikri, A. M. Khanwilkar, D. Y. Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan reserved its order on the same after 38 days long hearing. These petitions have been pending since 2012.

In the words of Attorney General KK Venugopal, May 2018 hearing was the longest hearing in the history of the apex court, second only to that in the landmark Kesavananda Bharti case. As many as 27 petitions were heard against Aadhaar scheme. The Aadhaar seeks to establish a database of personal identity of every Indian resident, by assimilating their demographic and biometric information. A nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court on August 24, 2017 ruled that the Right to Privacy is the Fundamental Right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.

The bench observed that privacy is intrinsic to freedom of life and personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. The bench overruled the previous judgments in the M P Sharma and Kharak Singh cases, which declared that the Right to Privacy was not protected by the Constitution.

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