All the major political parties in India welcomed the Supreme Court’s judgement on Aadhaar on Wednesday. The court upheld the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar and said it does not violate a person’s right to privacy. However, it struck down certain provisions of the Aadhaar Act.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley termed it a “historic order” and welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision. “Aadhaar’s concept has been accepted after judicial review...” he said.
“Congress cuts a very sorry figure here, they introduced the idea but they did not know what to do with it,” ANI quoted Jaitley as saying.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the judgment empowers democracy, good governance, service delivery and the ordinary Indian, reported Hindustan Times.
Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Sambit Patra said the judgment was a “big victory” for the Narendra Modi-led government, according to ET Now. “Apart from upholding the constitutional validity of UIDAI, Supreme Court has also stated that Aadhaar does not violate privacy,” he said.
Patra added that the court has noted that Aadhaar gives strength to the poor, according to The Indian Express. “The Supreme Court, like the Modi government, has stood with the poor of the country.”
The Congress welcomed the top court’s decision to not make the linkage of mobile phones and bank accounts mandatory. “This is an endorsement of the UPA’s vision for Aadhaar and a rejection of the NDA’s clumsy attempt to gather meta data on its citizens without any rationale,” said a statement issued by Congress leaders Ashok Gehlot, Kapil Sibal, and Randeep Singh Surjewala.
“The Congress-led UPA’s vision of Aadhaar was always voluntary and never mandatory,” the statement added.
“By striking down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act, which allowed private bodies to seek authentication, the Supreme Court has put an end to the mass surveillance exercise being carried out under the guise of Aadhaar by the central government and the grotesque distortion of an idea conceived by the UPA,” Sibal said, according to ANI.
Sibal, however, said the passage of the law violates the fundamental right to privacy and is a gross abuse of the Money Bill route, reported ANI.
Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the party has “from day one fought” against the linking of Aadhaar to mobile phone and bank accounts. “Not linking Aadhaar to mobile phones, bank accounts and others is a great relief for the common people,” she tweeted.
TMC leader Derek O’Brien said Banerjee had issued an open challenge on Aadhaar, ANI quoted him as saying. “Our stance has been vindicated,” he said. “I’m glad the SC [Supreme Court] said what it said. On data privacy [and] data protection, that’s also something we need to take a close look at, so the BJP can’t make it into a policed state.”
Chief Executive Officer of NITI Aayog Amitabh Kant termed it a “progressive judgement”. “It will bring efficiency in the country,” Kant told ANI. “The Supreme Court has said that this [Aadhaar] has stood the test of constitutionality.”