SC judgement on Aadhaar 'historic': Jaitley

Scheme will help govt save Rs 90k cr annually

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addresses a press conference on Cabinet decisions, in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

Describing the Supreme Court judgement on Aadhaar as "historic", Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said it has helped the government in saving Rs 90,000 crore every year with targeted delivery of government schemes.

In its verdict, the apex court declared the Centre's flagship Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid but struck down some of its provisions, including its linking with bank accounts, mobile phones and school admissions.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra held that while Aadhaar would remain mandatory for the filing of IT returns and allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN), it would not be mandatory to link Aadhaar to bank accounts and the 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 (CBSE), National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for medical entrance and the University Grants Commission (UGC).

"It is a historic judgement and the whole concept of a unique identification number that has been accepted after judicial review is an extremely welcome decision.

"There are now 122 crore people in India who have Aadhaar cards and our estimation is that by identifying beneficiaries of government schemes and ensuring that there are no fake or duplicate or non-existent beneficiaries, we are already saving Rs 90,000 crore every year," Jaitley said. 

Rahul thanks SC for supporting 'Cong's vision' on Aadhaar

Congress president Rahul Gandhi thanked the Supreme Court for its verdict on the Aadhaar Act on Wednesday, saying it was an instrument of empowerment for his party, but a "tool of oppression and surveillance" for the BJP.

"For Congress, Aadhaar was an instrument of empowerment.

"For the BJP, Aadhaar is a tool of oppression and surveillance.

"Thank you Supreme Court for supporting the Congress vision and protecting India," he said on Twitter.​

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SC judgement on Aadhaar 'historic': Jaitley

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