Those without Aadhaar card can’t be denied service: Supreme Court

Information about fingerprints and other data in criminal investigations could be shared only after a suspect approves it, says apex court

 
By Vani Manocha
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

The Supreme Court on Monday barred the Centre and the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) from sharing the vast database of Aadhaar cards with any third party or agency without the consent of the registered person.

It also ruled that people cannot be denied services or benefit on the basis of not having an Aadhaar card. The UIDAI biometric database has personal information of about 600 million people and is processing more than one million enrollments every day. Aadhaar is a 12-digit unique number issued by UIDAI, a body formed by an executive order.

A bench headed by Justice B S Chauhan said that information about fingerprints and other data in criminal investigations could be shared only after a suspect approves it.

The apex court is considering a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar card and allegations of UIDAI compromising national security.

The government says it has already spent about Rs 50,000 crore on the scheme introduced in 2009.

Earlier also the Supreme Court had said that Aadhar card is not essential for availing essential services, including gas cylinder subsidy. But the Centre went ahead with its plans. In January Union petroleum and natural gas minister, Verappa Moily, and the three oil companies that supply gas cylinders to consumers announced a grace period (varying from city to city) to consumers across the country to update their Aadhaar number with their LPG consumer numbers failing which people without Aadhaar cards were to be held ineligible for any subsidy.

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