Aadhaar identification is unparalleled, the Supreme Court said while pronouncing its judgement on the petitions challenging the system on the grounds that it violates privacy. "It is better to be unique than the best. Unique means only one. Aadhaar is treated as unique and cannot be assigned to any other person," said Justice AK Sikri, reading out the Aadhaar judgement. Aadhaar is a unique 12-digit identification number issued to individuals by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDIA) after storing their biometrics data.
The Aadhaar verdict was announced by a five-judge constitution bench comprising Justice A.K. Sikri, Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Ashok Bhushan. The bench had reserved the verdict after hearing the petitions for over 38 days starting January 17 this year.
The fate of Aadhaar, the 12-digit unique identity number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has been dangling ever since privacy concerns were raised. The compulsory linking of the Aadhaar card with bank accounts, PAN card, welfare schemes and a host of other utilities violates the fundamental right to privacy, alleged a spree of petitions challenging its validity.
The petition challenging the Aadhaar scheme -- when it had no statutory backing which eventually came by 2016 Aadhaar Act -- was first moved by the retired judge of Karnataka High Court Justice K.S. Puttaswamy, reported news agency Indo-Asian
The legal battle against Aadhaar from the day one was led by senior counsel Shyam Divan who appeared for Justice Puttaswamy and later represented other petitioners as well.