The Supreme Court will on Wednesday pass its verdict on a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar, the government’s biometric identification scheme. On May 10, a Constitution Bench of the top court had reserved its judgement in the case after a hearing that lasted 38 sessions.

The petitioners have raised concerns about privacy and have also questioned why the identity number has been made mandatory for people to avail of welfare schemes, file income tax returns, hold mobile numbers, and bank accounts.

However, the Unique Identification Authority of India, the agency that issues Aadhaar numbers, said that it insisted on linking the biometric-based unique identification number with various services to protect people from crimes, not because it believes everyone is a criminal.

Justice DY Chandrachud, who is part of the Constitution Bench, had said that failures in authentication while using Aadhaar could create problems for those in need, and that a solution was needed to address the matter.

On September 11, the Aadhaar authority dismissed as “completely incorrect and baseless” a news report that claimed that a software hack, which can bypass some critical security features of the Aadhaar enrolment platform, is available on WhatsApp groups for as little as Rs 2,500. In a statement on Twitter, the UIDAI said that “certain vested interests are deliberately trying to create confusion in the minds of people”.