IKAN report: Supreme Court of India upholds validity of Aadhar card

India’s Supreme Court has upheld the validity of the Aadhaar scheme – the unique identity number based on biometric and demographic data that can be obtained by residents of India – but with some amendments.

Supreme Court of India upholds validity of Aadhar card
In a far reaching and much awaited verdict, today the Supreme Court of India has upheld the Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid. However, the apex court's five-judge constitution bench also revoked several provisions in the Aadhaar Act which were contentious and under dispute for some time.

Security measures are sufficient

The Supreme Court upheld the validity of Aadhaar stating that current security measures are already sufficient to protect data and that launching surveillance on citizens on the basis of Aadhaar would prove too difficult.A five-judge bench led by CJI Dipak Misra asked the government to provide additional security measures as well as reduce the period of storage of data and pass a robust law for data protection at the earliest.

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Aadhaar number mandatory for residents of India
More importantly, the Supreme court made it clear that the Aadhaar card cannot be made mandatory for opening bank accounts and for securing mobile phone connections. This had been a long term problem for the expatriate community as Aadhar numbers have to be secured before being able to apply for bank accounts and mobile phone connections, compounding the difficulties of settling in.

Aadhaar number not required for school admission

In other positive news for the expatriate community, an Aadhaar number will not be required for school admission.

Find out about changes to the same-sex law in India.

However the Supreme Court has made the linking of Aadhaar and PAN mandatory. The apex court also made Aadhaar mandatory for all Indian citizens when filing Income Tax Returns (ITR), unless exempt. Non-Indian citizens are already exempt from this requirement.

The Court mandated that no private company or citizen could demand or seek a copy of the Aadhar.

The unique nature of the Aadhaar number

It also highlighted that there is a fundamental difference between Aadhar and other forms of identity as Aadhaar cannot be duplicated and therefore biometric information that is stored must remain in the system.It added that Aadhaar is to empower the marginalised sections of the society.The apex court also revoked the provision in Aadhaar law allowing sharing of data on the grounds of national security. Information provided by IKAN Relocation Services.Click here for more news on IndiaAccess the digital Autumn issue of Relocate Magazine.Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory 

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