By Arré Bench Sep. 26, 2018
The Supreme Court verdict on Aadhaar is thicker than the last Harry Potter book, looks like a football score, and reads like the fine print of a mutual funds ad on TV. But what does it really mean for you and me? And what should cows who have Aadhaar do with their cards?
The Supreme Court verdict on the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar is out and students across the country had to take a break from their IIT preparations to solve an even more confusing problem: What to link and what not to link with Aadhaar? The verdict is thicker than the last Harry Potter book, looks like a football score, and reads like the fine print of a mutual funds ad on TV. With certain terms and conditions applied, the five-judge bench judge upheld the Aadhaar Act 2016 with a 4:1 decision.“Woh sab toh theek hai but do we have to link our Aadhaar with our SIM cards and banks accounts?” The nation wants to know. The bench adjudged that Aadhaar cannot be made mandatory for mobile phone numbers and bank accounts. So clearly, it is now time for us to extract revenge: Send banks and telecom companies 25 SMSes a day, telling them that Aadhaar is no longer needed.
While Aadhaar is not needed to open new bank account, a PAN card is mandatory. Linking your PAN with Aadhaar is compulsory for filing of income tax returns. It’s basically the court’s version of asking your mom for permission and receiving a condescending reply: “Jo tujhe karna hai kar.” So you end up doing what she wants you to do.
The Aadhaar verdict can be aptly summed up in Justice A K Sikri’s comment, “It is better to be unique than be best”.
Aadhaar has been deemed necessary for availing welfare schemes and subsidies given by the government, which was the Supreme Court’s way of saying “Stick to Aadhaar for government schemes, don’t hand it over to private companies and link it to everything under the sun.” Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act was struck down, which means private companies cannot access Aadhaar data. Companies that had bullied customers over the past couple of years and already have the data are likely to issued a statement today; it reads, “LMAO”.
The bench also ruled that Aadhaar is not required for admission in schools and registering for examinations held by CBSE, NEET, and UGC. It came across as a huge relief for students across the country, who already have to worry about other pointless things to do ahead of the registration, such as getting photocopies, passport photos, attesting their documents, and making demand drafts.
The Supreme Court ordered the government not to issue Aadhaar cards to illegal immigrants and the government pretended like it hasn’t already done this. However, cows with Aadhaar cards around the country are still confused because no clarification has been issued with regard to their identity.
The Aadhaar verdict can be aptly summed up in Justice A K Sikri’s comment, “It is better to be unique than be best”. Whether the verdict is the best, we will know in the years to come, but it is definitely unique.