The Supreme Court, in a majority opinion, upheld Aadhaar as a reasonable restriction on individual privacy that fulfils the government’s legitimate aim to provide dignity to a large, marginalised population living in abject poverty.
The Constitution does not exist for a few or minority of the people of India, but ‘We the People’.
Aadhaar is a document of empowerment. An unparalleled identity proof. A document that cannot be duplicated, unlike PAN, ration card, and passport.
It is better to be unique than the best. The best makes you number one, but unique makes you the only one.
Technology had become a vital tool for ensuring good governance in a social welfare state. Schemes such as the PDS, scholarships, mid-day meals and LPG subsidies involve a huge amount of money, and fool proof Aadhaar helped welfare reach the poor.
Majority opinion upheld the constitutionality of Aadhaar. Arguments
Justice D.Y. Chandrachud wrote a sharp dissent, declaring Aadhaar unconstitutional.
Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, who wrote the lone dissenting opinion declaring Aadhaar unconstitutional, held that the unique identity scheme reduces a person to a 12-digit number.
He said that if the requirement of Aadhaar is made mandatory for every benefit or service which the government provides, it is impossible to live in contemporary India without Aadhaar.
The legitimate aim of the state to provide dignity to the poor could have been fulfilled by adopting less intrusive measures. Why has Aadhaar been made the sole repository of identification?
He said efficiency in governance could not steamroll fundamental freedoms. If so, there was a danger of a society crossing the line which divided democracy from authoritarian cultures.
The entire Aadhaar programme, since 2009, suffers from constitutional infirmities and violations of fundamental rights. The enactment of the Aadhaar Act does not save the Aadhaar project. The Aadhaar Act, the Rules and Regulations framed under it, and the framework prior to the enactment of the Act are unconstitutional, he held.