NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court will on Wednesday pronounce its judgement on a clutch of petitions which challenged the validity of Aadhaar. After a marathon hearing of 38 days in four months, the five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra had in May reserved its judgment in the case.
The apex court will decide on whether Aadhaar meets the constitutional provisions and whether the government can continue seeking it as a mandatory identification.
During the arguments which went on for over four months, the Centre had strongly defended its decision to link Aadhaar numbers with mobile phones, telling the top court that it could have been hauled up for contempt if the verification of mobile users was not undertaken by it. However, the court had said that the government misinterpreted its order and used it as a "tool" to make Aadhaar mandatory for mobile users.
The court also refused to agree with the government's contention that Aadhaar law was correctly termed as a Money Bill by the Lok Sabha Speaker as it dealt with "targeted delivery of subsidies" for which funds came from the Consolidated Fund of India.
During the course of the hearing, the apex court had also observed that Aadhaar can do little to stop banking frauds. It also questioned the Centre for asking the entire population to link their mobile phones with the unique identity card "just to catch a few terrorists".
The court had made the observations after the Centre argued that Aadhaar would help curb ills like terrorism and banking frauds.
It then asked the Centre what will happen, if tomorrow, the authorities such as the UIDAI, by way of an administrative order, asks the citizens to part with their DNA, semen and blood samples as part of their Aadhaar demographics.
"There is no doubt about the identity of fraudsters. The bank knows whom it is giving loan and it is the bank officials who are hand-in-glove with the fraudsters. Aadhaar can do little to stop it," the bench, which also comprised justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, had observed.