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FAQs on the Aadhaar Judgment

Oct 18,2018 | 12:11 pm

1. Can Aadhaar be required for getting a new mobile connection? Is linking Aadhaar with mobile number mandatory?

No. The Supreme Court of India in Justice K. S. Puttaswamy (Retd.) and Anr. v. Union Of India And Ors. (CWP 494 of 2012) has held that mobile service companies cannot ask for Aadhaar from subscribers. The majority opinion held that the circular dated March 23, 2017 mandating linking of mobile number with Aadhaar is illegal and unconstitutional as it is not backed by any law.

2. I enrolled for Aadhaar when I was a minor. Can I opt out of it now as I have turned a major?

For the enrolment of children under the Aadhaar Act, it would be essential to have the consent of their parents/guardian. On attaining the age of majority, such children who are enrolled under Aadhaar with the consent of their parents shall be given the option to exit from the Aadhaar project if they so choose in case they do not intend to avail welfare benefits or services.

3. Is Aadhaar mandatory for children under the age of 14 for enrolment in schools?

No. The Supreme Court has held that Aadhaar cannot be made mandatory for securing admission in schools as it is neither a subsidy nor a service. Moreover, Right to Education is a fundamental right under Art 21A and thus cannot be subjected to procedural handicaps.

4. Is Aadhaar mandatory for children under the age of 14 for availing social benefits and schemes?

The Court has held that for the scheme- Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan, Aadhaar cannot be made mandatory. However, for other social benefits, Aadhaar may be insisted. But, it would be subject to the consent of the parent.

The court has reiterated that no child can be denied social sector benefits for want of Aadhaar.

5. Is Aadhaar mandatory for enrolment in colleges and sitting in competitive entrance exams?

The Court while defining ambit of ‘benefits’ and ‘services’ under section 7 of the Aadhaar Act, held that these would cover only those instances where expenditure has been drawn from the Consolidated Fund of India. On that basis, CBSE, NEET, JEE, UGC, among others cannot mandatorily ask for Aadhaar as they are outside the purview of Section 7 and are not backed by any law.

6. Can private companies demand Aadhaar as a means to verify identity?

The Court has struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act which provided for ‘use of Aadhaar number for establishing the identity of an individual for any purpose’. So, private entities cannot ask for Aadhaar to verify identity.

7. Is linking Aadhaar with bank account mandatory?

No, the Supreme Court has held that Aadhaar cannot be demanded by banks while opening a bank account. Aadhaar linking is not necessary for existing bank accounts as well.

8. Is Aadhaar mandatory for filing Income Tax Returns and allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN)?

Yes. The Supreme Court has upheld Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, under which every citizen who is eligible to obtain Aadhaar must quote either their Aadhaar Number or the Enrollment ID while filing ITR or applying for PAN.

9. Is Aadhaar mandatory for insurance policies?

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA) in 2017 had made linkage of Aadhaar number to insurance policies mandatory requirement under the Prevention Of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Second Amendment Rules, 2017. However, since the said rules have been set aside by Supreme Court, linking of Aadhaar for insurance policies is not mandatory.

10. Is Aadhaar mandatory for employment provident fund?

Aadhaar is not mandatory for EPFO since it does not constitute a charge on the Consolidated Fund of India. The court held that the Government cannot take umbrage under Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act to enlarge the scope of subsidies, services and benefits. ‘Benefits’ should be such which are in the nature of welfare schemes for which resources are to be drawn from the Consolidated Fund of India.

11. Can I delete my Aadhaar data?

No, as of now there is no mechanism to delete Aadhaar. However, UIDAI provides a mechanism to lock the biometric information and prevent any misuse. Once the biometric is locked, the Aadhaar holder will not be able to use their Biometrics (fingerprints/iris) for authentications and neither can anyone else.

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