Watch: War Of Words Between BJP, Congress Over SC Aadhaar Verdict
Video Editor: Mohd Irshad Alam
The Supreme Court on Wednesday, 26 September, 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 admission procedures.
The BJP hailed the Supreme Court judgment on Aadhaar as a big victory for the "pro-poor Modi government", saying the apex court has upheld the constitutional validity of the scheme and asserted that it does not violate privacy.
The Congress, though silent on other developments, lauded the top court’s decision for the amendment to the Aadhaar Act. Congress president Rahul Gandhi hailed the judgment while slamming the BJP for making Aadhaar an “instrument of oppression”.
'Good Governance' Vs 'Adhikaar Act'
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad hailed theSupreme Court’s verdict as “historic”, saying that Aadhaar is constitutionally valid and it empowers the poor with dignity.
“The Supreme Court has clearly said that Aadhaar does not lead to any kind of surveillance. Second thing, Aadhaar is constitutionally valid. It empowers the poor with dignity. They get services of welfare measures. Aadhaar has saved Rs 90,000 crore in DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer). Lastly, the Supreme Court judgment is Aadhaar promotes good governance.Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Law Minister
Former law minister Kapil Sibal, too, “welcomed” the judgment, saying that the striking down linkage of bank accounts with Aadhaar is a very welcome step.
If they had listened to us and introduced the Aadhaar Bill into the Rajya Sabha, we would have given them some advice. The government is rushing things be it demonetisation, GST or buying Rafale jets. They work without thinking. This is what happened today. If there was an Aadhaar Act, this situation would not have occurred. But they made the Aadhaar Act into an ‘Adhikaar’ act.Kapil Sibal, Former Law Minister
'Can't Afford to Be a Technology Laggard' Vs 'Slap on the Wrist for the Govt'
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said everyone criticising Aadhaar should understand that they cannot defy technology.
In no field can we afford to be a technology laggard. You have people who are seriously advocating this in the country. Don’t have a unique identity number. Let impersonation, duplication and fake identity go on. Don’t have electronic voting machines. Go back to paper. Don’t have digital currency or a digital economy. Cash should remain the best transaction for trade. You can well see the thread that is running through this thought process.Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister
Lashing out at the BJP dispensation after the verdict, former finance minister P Chidambaram said that the “majority judgment in the Aadhaar case has retrieved the UPA's original idea of Aadhaar.”
We introduced Aadhaar and we extended it to a few benefits and subsidies and said that over a period of time, we will extend it to other benefits and subsidies. Who took it beyond benefits and subsidies? Who took it to things like school admission, bank accounts and mobile services? Why does the govt not accept that it has got a firm slap on the wrist, that it should extend the original purpose of Aadhaar?P Chidambaram, Former Finance Minister