India’s Supreme Court has ruled that the country’s bio-metric identity scheme is constitutional and does not violate the right to privacy

 

New Delhi: India’s Supreme Court has ruled that the country’s biometric identity scheme is constitutional and does not violate the right to privacy.  However the court limited the scope of the Aadhaar scheme, saying it could not be compulsory for bank accounts, mobile connections or school admissions.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra held that while Aadhaar would remain mandatory for filing of IT returns and allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN), it would not be mandatory to link Aadhaar to bank accounts and telecom service providers cannot seek its linking for mobile connections.

It would not be mandatory for school admissions, as also for the examinations conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Examination, National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for medical entrance and the University Grants Commission.

The bench also struck down the national security exception under the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday hailed the Supreme Court”s verdict on Aadhaar, saying not linking it to mobile phones and bank accounts was a great relief for the common people.

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