The five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on September 26, 2018, upheld most of the provisions of the Aadhaar Act by 4:1 Majority while hearing the petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other. Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016.
Of the five-judges, Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and Justices A.K. Sikri, A.M. Khanwilkar, Ashok Bhushan validated the provisions of the Aadhaar with few restrictions, while Justice D.Y. Chandrachud held that the entire Aadhar project is unconstitutional.
The Aadhaar, issued by the UIDAI, 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 MP Sharma and Kharak Singh cases, which declared that the Right to Privacy was not protected by the Constitution. Henceforth, this verdict was termed as a historic one and was considered as a course to determine whether the submission of an individual’s Aadhaar number can be made compulsory for access to government schemes or not. The question of whether Aadhaar violates the Right to Privacy or not still lingered on.