September 26th, 2018 – A 5 judge constitutional bench of Supreme Court has investigated and withhold the constitutional validity of Aadhaar and clarified the situations of usage of Aadhaar privacy and prevent misuse of data. The overall balanced approach means that Aadhaar usage will now be limited to certain specific purposes such as delivering welfare schemes and filing income tax. The court partially struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act preventing private companies from using Aadhaar’s biometric identification system to provide services. Below section clarifies the where and Where not to use Aadhaar,

Aadhaar Required Aadhaar Not Required
PAN Card LinkingWhile Opening Bank Accounts
Recording Public Distribution SystemFor Mobile number
For LPG ConnectionsFor School Admissions
Buying FertilisersFor Insurances
For Private Companies, & Corporates
Appearing for Exams like CBSE, UGC, NEET

Though Supreme Court has made clarifications, linking of Aadhaar with bank account and real estate transactions could have prevented Benami transactions. Similarly linking Aadhaar with Voters List could have helped in weeding out Duplicate and ghost voters. Also, Aadhaar needed for PAN and PAN needed for Bank Account. But Aadhaar not needed for Bank account is still in confusing side.

Other side, PAN not needed for bank account. One may fill Form 60A of Income Tax Act. Form 60 is a declaration to be filed by an individual or a person (not being a company or firm) who does not have a Permanent Account Number and who enters into any transaction specified in rule 114-B. In such case, Banks cannot insist for PAN.

The Supreme Court has done well by limiting the compulsiveness of Aadhaar to government welfare schemes. At the same time, it has saved people from a lot of embarrassment being faced by them while opening Bank Account, Admissions of children in schools. It needs to be ensured that every citizen, particularly in rural areas, targets of government welfare schemes, has got Aadhaar. But there PDS benefits should not be subjected to Aadhar because in the want of Aadhar, a woman in Jharkhand had to face starvation, because the concerned distributor did not provide her with necessary stuff. Some alternative must be placed so that those who do not have Aadhar, may not starve or suffer. For bank purposes, PAN card is vital, that can be made mandatory and should be but Aadhaar is not. A small relief from Supreme Court on Aadhar, Supreme Courts could have made more clarity on more situations.

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