Center welcomes SC’s decision on Aadhaar, terms it ‘historic’
New Delhi [India], Sept. 26 (ANI): The Centre on Wednesday welcomed the Supreme Court's ruling on Aadhaar which upheld its Constitutional validity while making it non-mandatory in certain cases including school admission, NEET and CBSE exams. Addressing the media here, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley termed the decision of the top court as 'historic'. He said, "Aadhaar's concept has been accepted after judicial review; we welcome this decision of the Supreme Court." Jaitley said that the Centre's decision to introduce the Aadhaar Act was widely criticised, but now with the court's decision, "Mainstream should accept changes, as one can understand the fringe being against." Mocking at the Congress party, Jaitley said that Aadhaar was introduced by them (Congress) but they did not know what to do with it. Echoing similar sentiments, Union Minister for Law Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the apex court's verdict on Aadhaar is a victory of good governance, empowerment of ordinary people and efficient delivery of public services to the people. The apex court earlier in the day said that linking Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile phone numbers is not mandatory, but it is a must for Permanent Account Number (PAN). While announcing its verdict on a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar, the court said that "Aadhaar is not needed for opening a bank account and no mobile company can demand Aadhaar card for connections." The apex court struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act, hence barring private companies from seeking Aadhaar details of consumers. However, the five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court also upheld most of the provisions in the Aadhaar Act, and also ruled that it does not breach privacy.
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