PAN-Aadhaar Linking for ITR Filing Valid, Aadhaar for Govt. Subsidies OK: SC Judgement upholds Constitutional Validity of Aadhaar
Hon’ble Supreme Court of India (SC) has upheld the constitutional validity of Aadhaar project. Now Aadhaar is mandatory for availing benefits of Government subsidies and for filing Income Tax Returns (linking of PAN with Aadhaar).
However, Aadhaar is no more required for linking of mobile connection, bank account, etc. Hon’ble SC has set aside the GOI Circular dt. 23 March 2017 (treating the same as unconstitutional/ not backed by law) relating to directions for mobile operators to link the mobile connections with Aadhaar. Similarly RBI Notifications/ directions issued under PML Rule 9A to link bank account with Aadhaar have been set aside.
Besides, the CBSE, NEET, JEE, UGC, etc Educational Regulators/ Institutions can’t force Aadhaar requirement for admissions/ examinations. Also, minor children can’t be denied benefits under welfare schemes for want of Aadhaar, as any other documents shall be acceptable.
Conclusion paras on page 1442 to 1446 of the Judgement of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India on Constitutional Validity of Aadhaar (dt. 26 sept. 2018) are being reproduced for reference, here-under:
(1) The requirement under Aadhaar Act to give one’s demographic and biometric information does not violate fundamental right of privacy.
(2) The provisions of Aadhaar Act requiring demographic and biometric information from a resident for Aadhaar Number pass threefold test as laid down in Puttaswamy (supra) case, hence cannot be said to be unconstitutional.
(3) Collection of data, its storage and use does not violate fundamental Right of Privacy.
(4) Aadhaar Act does not create an architecture for pervasive surveillance.
(5) Aadhaar Act and Regulations provides protection and safety of the data received from individuals.
(6) Section 7 of the Aadhaar is constitutional. The provision does not deserve to be struck down on account of denial in some cases of right to claim on account of failure of authentication.
(7) The State while enlivening right to food, right to shelter etc. envisaged under Article 21 cannot encroach upon the right of privacy of beneficiaries nor former can be given precedence over the latter.
(8) Provisions of Section 29 is constitutional and does not deserves to be struck down.
(9) Section 33 cannot be said to be unconstitutional as it provides for the use of Aadhaar data base for police investigation nor it can be said to violate protection granted under Article 20(3).
(10) Section 47 of the Aadhaar Act cannot be held to be unconstitutional on the ground that it does not allow an individual who finds that there is a violation of Aadhaar Act to initiate any criminal process.
(11) Section 57, to the extent, which permits use of Aadhaar by the State or any body corporate or person, in pursuant to any contract to this effect is unconstitutional and void. Thus, the last phrase in main provision of Section 57, i.e. “or any contract to this effect” is struck down.
(12) Section 59 has validated all actions taken by the Central Government under the notifications dated 28.01.2009 and 12.09.2009 and all actions shall be deemed to have been taken under the Aadhaar Act.
(13) Parental consent for providing biometric information under Regulation 3 & demographic information under Regulation 4 has to be read for enrolment of children between 5 to 18 years to uphold the constitutionality of Regulations 3 & 4 of Aadhaar (Enrolment and Update) Regulations, 2016.
(14) Rule 9 as amended by PMLA (Second Amendment) Rules, 2017 is not unconstitutional and does not violate Articles 14, 19(1)(g), 21 & 300A of the Constitution and Sections 3, 7 & 51 of the Aadhaar Act. Further Rule 9 as amended is not ultra vires to PMLA Act, 2002.
(15) Circular dated 23.03.2017 being unconstitutional is set aside.
(16) Aadhaar Act has been rightly passed as Money Bill. The decision of Speaker certifying the Aadhaar Bill, 2016 as Money Bill is not immuned from Judicial Review.
(17) Section 139AA does not breach fundamental Right of Privacy as per Privacy Judgment in Puttaswamy case.
(18) The Aadhaar Act does not violate the interim orders passed in Writ Petition (C) No. 494 of 2012 and other Writ Petitions.