Update at 12.25 pm: : No private companies, banks, mobile companies nor schools can ask for Aadhaar: Prashant Bhushan on Aadhaar
Update at 12.19 pm: Aadhaar upheld with caveats with a 4:1 majority.
Update at 11.40 am: Justice Chandrachud says the decision of the speaker of the Lok Sabha to treat Aadhaar as a money bill is subject to judicial scrutiny
Update at 11.31 am: Thw majority judgment has been pronounced
Update at 11.30 am: 5-judge bench holds linking of Aadhaar to bank accounts and mobile phones as unconstitutional, says no reasoning backing this
Update at 11.29 am: Supreme Court rules no linking of Aadhaar to mobile phones and bank accounts
Update at 11:25 am: Apprehension of the petitioners is that govt will share their information. Aadhaar act does not contain any such provision. If a provision like this comes about, it can be challenged. At this stage we dont find anything like this. Any future laws or provisions regarding aadhaar will be subject to judicial scrutiny: Justice Sikri
Update at 11:20 am: No child shall be denied benefit under any welfare scheme in case they fail to produce an Aadhaar card. Section 2(d) pertains to authentication records. No meta data to be stored in records collected by the authority. Govt to take suitable measures to ensure illegal immigrants cannot get Aadhaar cards: Justice Sikri
Update at 11:15 am: Aadhaar helps marginalised communities. Remedies to curb loopholes rather than axing the project is in larger interest. For children to be allowed under the Aadhaar act shall be on permission from their parents: Justice Sikri
Update at 11.13 am: There is a valid, legitimate aim behind this act: Justice Sikri
Update at 11.13 am: On the question of privacy, we have to see whether it is proportional or not, we have applied the test of proportionality: Justice Sikri
Update at 11.12 am: There needs to be a mechanism to ward of any arbitrariness. We have struck down some of the provisions of the Aadhaar act in public interest. A robust data protection regime is required: Justice Sikri
Update at 11.11 am:Section 33(1) of Aadhaar act to be read down.
Update at 11.10 am: Authentication records not to be kept over a period of 6 months. Provision allowing authentication records being kept for 5 years is bad in law: Justice Sikri
Update at 11.07 am: We have also taken into consideration larger public interest. Conclusions of majority judgment. What is the magnitude of protection to be given to to biometric data? Education took us from thumb impressions to signatures. Technology has taken us from signatures to thumb impressions. Authentication process by the authority should not be exposed to the internet: Justice Sikri
Update at 11.04 am: We have laid down norms in the expectation of privacy: Justice Sikri
Update at 11.03 am: This court can also impose reasonable restrictions on the state in larger public interest. Minimum possible demographic, biometrics is required for Aadhaar. Human dignity as a concept is something that needs to be kept in mind. It impacts a large segment of the society: Justice Sikri
Update at 11.02 am: Aadhaar satisfies the doctrine of proportionality. This court has adopted fair and reasonable standards: Justice Sikri
Update at 11.00 am: Aadhaar empowers marginalised section of societies as it gives identity to such persons. Main argument of the challengers is that Aadhaar infringes right to privacy. Right to privacy included right to live with dignity: Justice Sikri
Update at 10.59 am: An individual can manipulate the system having multiple PAN cards, passports etc. A person can't have multiple biometric information and therefore Aadhaar is unique. Aadhaar can't be duplicated. It is a unique identity verification: Justice Sikri
Update at 10.58 am: Aadhaar gives a unique identity to all citizens. There is a fundamental difference between Aadhaar and other documents to verify identity: Justice Sikri
Update at 10.57 am: Court has concluded that minimal possible data is gathered by the UIDAI: Justice Sikri
Update ar 10.56 am: Justice Sikri reads out the majority judgment on Aadhaar
Update ar 10.54 am: Better to be unique than the best. Best is number 1, but unique means the only one: Justice AK Sikri
Update ar 10.53 am: UIDAI is established as a statutory body. All residents in India are eligible to get Aadhaar numbers. Aadhaar number is unique: Justice AK Sikri
Update ar 10.52 am: Being unique is better than being the best. Uniqueness is the central message of Aadhaar. Everyone associated Aadhaar with the unique Aadhaar with the unique Aadhaar card which identifies them : Justice AK Sikri
Update ar 10.49 am: Justice AK Sikri: "CJI and Justice Khanwilkar have agreed with my judgment"
Update ar 10.49 am: Verdict being pronounced
Update ar 10.48 am: Aadhaar bench assembles
Update at 10.28 am: The 5-judge bench of Supreme Court will deliver 3 separate opinions. Opinions penned down by -Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice AK Sikri and Justice Ashok Bhushan
Update at 10.10 am: Former Attorney General of India Mukul Rohatgi also batted for Aadhaar and said, "Data must be protected".
"I hope the judgment is in favour. Data protection law is coming and the government is very clear that the data must be protected," added the former Attorney General of India.
Update at 9.56 am: Republic TV spoke exclusively to Aadhaar lawyer in top court, Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, who said, “It's a massive step taken and shouldn't be dismissed without considering its benefits. We will develop it and strengthen it further. The Supreme court is expected to set some guidelines regarding the same.”
The five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had on May 10 reserved the verdict on the matter after a marathon hearing that went on for 38 days, spanning four-and-half months.
As many as 31 petitions, including one by former High Court judge K S Puttaswamy, have been filed in the matter.
When the judgement was reserved by the court, Attorney General K K Venugopal had told the bench, which also comprised Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, that this matter had become the "second longest" one in terms of days of hearing after the historic Kesavananda Bharati case of 1973.
The Kesavananda Bharati case, which was heard by a 13-judge bench, by a majority of 7:6 had propounded the doctrine of the 'Basic Structure and of the Constitution'. It had held that the amendments which may affect this structure were subject to judicial review.
A battery of senior lawyers, including Shyam Divan, Gopal Subramaniam, Kapil Sibal, P Chidambaram, Arvind Datar, K V Vishwanath, Anand Grover, Sajan Poovayya and a few others, had argued on behalf of the petitioners opposing the Aadhaar Scheme on various grounds.
Besides the former HC judge, the top lawyers argued for petitioners, who included Magsaysay awardee Shanta Sinha, feminist researcher Kalyani Sen Menon, social activists Aruna Roy, Nikhil De, Nachiket Udupa and CPI leader Binoy Visman.
A key argument against the Aadhaar scheme was that it was violative of the nine-judge bench verdict that had held that Right to Privacy is a fundamental right under the Constitution.
The Centre, the Unique Identificaiton Authority of India (UIDAI), the governments of Maharashtra and Gujarat and the RBI had argued in favour of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits And Services) Act, 2016 and were represented by the Attorney General, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, senior advocates Rakesh Dwivedi and Jayant Bhushan and lawyer Zoheb Hossain.
During the arguments, the Centre had strongly defended its decision to seed 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 had misinterpreted its order and used it as a "tool" to make Aadhaar mandatory for mobile users.
The court had also not agreed prima facie with the government's contention that the 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.
The counsel for one of the petitioners had termed Aadhaar as "an electronic leash" and said that the government could completely destroy an individual by "switching off" the 12-digit unique identifier number.
On the other hand, the Centre had said that the law was valid and allowed minimal invasion to ensure the right to life of millions of Indians by ensuring seamless delivery of subsidies, benefits and services to the poorest of poor.