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Supreme Court rejects pleas seeking review of 2018 Aadhaar verdict

Supreme Court
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Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court has dismissed petitions seeking review of its verdict that upheld the validity of the Aadhaar scheme more than two years ago

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has dismissed petitions seeking review of its verdict that upheld the validity of the Aadhaar scheme more than two years ago. "In our opinion, no case for review of judgment and order dated 26.09.2018 is made out," a five-judge Bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar said, rejecting a batch of review petitions by 4:1.

"We hasten to add that change in the law or subsequent decision/judgment of a coordinate or larger Bench by itself cannot be regarded as a ground for review. The review petitions are accordingly dismissed," the top court noted in its January 11 order. While Justice Khanwilkar, Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice S Abdul Nazeer and Justice BR Gavai dismissed the review petitions, Justice DY Chandrachud -- who had earlier delivered a dissenting verdict -- allowed them.

The Supreme Court had on September 26, 2018 upheld the validity of Aadhaar scheme but struck down or read down as many as six provisions, including those on linking of bank accounts, mobile phones and school admissions to the unique identification number.

By a 4:1 verdict, a five-judge Constitution Bench led by the then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra had, however, ruled that Aadhaar would remain mandatory for filing of IT returns and allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN).

While rejecting allegations of surveillance state created by Aadhaar scheme, the top court had asked the Government to put in place a robust data protection regime as early as possible.

In a relief to the government, it had upheld the constitutional validity of 12 other provisions, including section 59 of the Aadhaar Act which extended validity to the data collected during 2009 to 2016 when the law was not there.

The top court had ruled that banks and telecom companies cannot insist on Aadhaar for opening of accounts or giving mobile connections. Similarly, Schools, Central Board of Secondary Examination, National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and University Grants Commission can't ask for Aadhaar, it had said.

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