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ORDER PASSED: 23rd Sep, 2013

This was the first order passed by the learned SC judges which mentioned that the matters need to be heard. Interim order was passed that Aadhaar is voluntary.

Detailed order

All the matters require to be heard finally. List all matters for final hearing after the Constitution Bench is over.

In the meanwhile, no person should suffer for not getting the Adhaar card inspite of the fact that some authority had issued a circular making it mandatory and when any person applies to get the Adhaar Card voluntarily, it may be checked whether that person is entitled for it under the law and it should not be given to any illegal immigrant.

ORDER PASSED: 26th Nov, 2013

The learned SC judges continued the interim order from 23rd Sep, 2013.

Detailed order

After hearing the matter at length, we are of the view that all the States and Union Territories have to be impleaded as respondents to give effective directions. In view thereof notice be issued to all the States and Union Territories through standing counsel.

The advocates who have already entered appearance must file their replies within a period of three days from today. Learned standing counsel for the States who were not represented may take instructions from their respective States and file their response within one week.

List this matter for further hearing on 10th December, 2013.

Interim order to continue, in the meantime.

ORDER PASSED: 24th Mar, 2014

In this order, the learned judges overruled Bombay High Court (HC) order which would have forced UIDAI to share biometric data with the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Detailed order

Issue notice.

In addition to normal mode of service, dasti service, is permitted.

Operation of the impugned order shall remain stayed.

In the meanwhile, the present petitioner is restrained from transferring any biometric information of any person who has been allotted the Aadhaar number to any other agency without his consent in writing.

More so, no person shall be deprived of any service for want of Aadhaar number in case he/she is otherwise eligible/entitled. All the authorities are directed to modify their forms/circulars/likes so as to not compulsorily require the Aadhaar number in order to meet the requirement of the interim order passed by this Court forthwith.

ORDER PASSED: 16th Mar, 2015

The learned SC judges continued the interim order from 23rd Sep, 2013.

Detailed order

The matters require considerable time for hearing. Therefore, we direct the matters to be listed for hearing in the second week of July, 2015 after obtaining appropriate orders from Hon’ble the Chief Justice of India.

In the meanwhile, it is brought to our notice that in certain quarters, Aadhaar identification is being insisted upon by the various authorities, we do not propose to go into the specific instances.

Since Union of India is represented by learned Solicitor General and all the States are represented through their respective counsel, we expect that both the Union of India and States and all their functionaries should adhere to the Order passed by this Court on 23rd September, 2013.

ORDER PASSED: 11th Aug, 2015

This was an important order. Here the three-judge bench headed by Justice Chelameswar was of the opinion that the questions involving right to privacy should be examined and authoritatively decided.

They maintained that Aadhaar is not mandatory for any scheme.

They allowed the usage of Aadhaar ONLY for PDS Scheme and LPG Distribution Scheme (DBT).

Detailed order - Part 1

We are of the opinion that the cases on hand raise far reaching questions of importance involving interpretation of the Constitution. What is at stake is the amplitude of the fundamental rights including that precious and inalienable right under Article 21. If the observations made in M.P. Sharma (supra) and Kharak Singh (supra) are to be read literally and accepted as the law of this country, the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India and more particularly right to liberty under Article 21 would be denuded of vigour and vitality. At the same time, we are also of the opinion that the institutional integrity and judicial discipline require that pronouncement made by larger Benches of this Court cannot be ignored by the smaller Benches without appropriately explaining the reasons for not following the pronouncements made by such larger Benches. With due respect to all the learned Judges who rendered the subsequent judgments – where right to privacy is asserted or referred to their Lordships concern for the liberty of human beings, we are of the humble opinion that there appears to be certain amount of apparent unresolved contradiction in the law declared by this Court.

Therefore, in our opinion to give a quietus to the kind of controversy raised in this batch of cases once for all, it is better that the ratio decidendi of M.P. Sharma (supra) and Kharak Singh (supra) is scrutinized and the jurisprudential correctness of the subsequent decisions of this Court where the right to privacy is either asserted or referred be examined and authoritatively decided by a Bench of appropriate strength.

We, therefore, direct the Registry to place these matters before the Hon’ble the Chief Justice of India for appropriate orders.

Detailed order - Part 2

Having considered the matter, we are of the view that the balance of interest would be best served, till the matter is finally decided by a larger Bench if the Union of India or the UIDA proceed in the following manner:-

1. The Union of India shall give wide publicity in the electronic and print media including radio and television networks that it is not mandatory for a citizen to obtain an Aadhaar card;

2. The production of an Aadhaar card will not be condition for obtaining any benefits otherwise due to a citizen;

3. The Unique Identification Number or the Aadhaar card will not be used by the respondents for any purpose other than the PDS Scheme and in particular for the purpose of distribution of foodgrains, etc. and cooking fuel, such as kerosene. The Aadhaar card may also be used for the purpose of the LPG Distribution Scheme

4. The information about an individual obtained by the Unique Identification Authority of India while issuing an Aadhaar card shall not be used for any other purpose, save as above, except as may be directed by a Court for the purpose of criminal investigation

ORDER PASSED: 15th Oct, 2015

In this order, the learned judges allowed the usage of Aadhaar for MGNREGS, PMJDY & EPFO.

Once again it was mentioned that Aadhaar is purely voluntary and cannot be made mandatory till the Court decides.

Once again, the CJI was requested to constitute a Bench for final hearing of these matters at the earliest.

Detailed order

After hearing the learned Attorney General for India and other learned senior counsels, we are of the view that in paragraph 3 of the Order dated 11.08.2015, if we add, apart from the other two Schemes, namely, P.D.S. Scheme and the L.P.G. Distribution Scheme, the Schemes like The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employement Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), National Social Assistance Programme (Old Age Pensions, Widow Pensions, Disability Pensions) Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and Employees’ Providend Fund Organisation (EPFO) for the present, it would not dilute earlier order passed by this Court. Therefore, we now include the aforesaid Schemes apart from the other two Schemes that this Court has permitted in its earlier order dated 11.08.2015.

We impress upon the Union of India that it shall strictly follow all the earlier orders passed by this Court commencing from 23.09.2013.

We will also make it clear that the Aadhaar card Scheme is purely voluntary and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by this Court one way or the other.

Since there is some urgency in the matter, we request the learned Chief Justice of India to constitute a Bench for final hearing of these matters at the earliest.

ORDER PASSED: 14th Sep, 2016

The learned judges removed the need for Aadhaar for various scholarships schemes.

Detailed order

We stay the operation and implementation of letters dated 14.07.2006 (i.e. Annexure P-5, P-6 and P-7) for Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme, Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme and Merit-cum-Means Scholarship Scheme to the extent they have made submission of Aadhaar mandatory and direct the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India i.e. Respondent No.2 to remove Aadhaar number as a mandatory condition for student Registration form at the National Scholarship Portal of Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India at the website and stay the implementation of clause (c) of the ‘Important Instructions’ of the advertisement dated 20.08.2016 for the Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme, Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme and Merit-cum-Means Scholarship Scheme, during the pendency of this writ petition.

ORDER PASSED: 10th Feb, 2017

The learned judge of the Karnataka HC removed the need for Aadhaar in PDS.

Detailed order

In the meanwhile, interim stay and it is further directed that the respondents shall disburse ration to which she (petitioner) is entitled even without production of Aadhaar card.

ORDER PASSED: 30th May, 2017

The learned judges of the Rajasthan HC removed the need for Aadhaar in PDS.

Detailed order

Operation of the impugned order dated 24.3.2017 is stayed.

The respondents are directed to ensure that all those who hold a Ration Card are issued the Rations as per the entitlement without insisting upon the holder of the Ration Card obtaining an Aadhar Card. The present order shall continue till vacated or modified.

ORDER PASSED: 9th June, 2017

The learned judges have given partial relief to those who do not have Aadhaar and do not wish to obtain Aadhaar for the time being, that their PAN will not be cancelled so that other consequences under the Income Tax Act for failing to quote PAN may not arise.

Detailed order

We hold that the Parliament was fully competent to enact Section 139AA of the Act and its authority to make this law was not diluted by the orders of this Court.

We do not find any conflict between the provisions of Aadhaar Act and Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act inasmuch as when interpreted harmoniously, they operate in distinct fields.

Section 139AA of the Act is not discriminatory nor it offends equality clause enshrined in Article 14 of the Constitution.

Section 139AA is also not violative of Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution insofar as it mandates giving of Aadhaar enrollment number for applying PAN cards in the income tax returns or notified Aadhaar enrollment number to the designated authorities. Further, proviso to sub-section (2) thereof has to be read down to mean that it would operate only prospective.

The validity of the provision upheld in the aforesaid manner is subject to passing the muster of Article 21 of the Constitution, which is the issue before the Constitution Bench in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 494 of 2012 and other connected matters. Till then, there shall remain a partial stay on the operation of proviso to sub-section (2) of Section 139AA of the Act, as described above.


ORDER PASSED: 18th July, 2017

A 5-member constitution bench presided over by CJI J.S. Khehar decided to constitute a nine-judge bench to determine whether we enjoy a right to privacy as a fundamental right under the Constitution of India.

Detailed order

During the course of the hearing today, it seems that it has become essential for us to determine whether there is any fundamental right of privacy under the Indian Constitution. The determination of this question would essentially entail whether the decision recorded by this Court in M.P. Sharma and Ors. vs. Satish Chandra, District Magistrate, Delhi and Ors. – 1950 SCR 1077 by an eight-Judge Constitution Bench, and also, in Kharak Singh vs. The State of U.P. and Ors. – 1962 (1) SCR 332 by a six-Judge Constitution Bench, that there is no such fundamental right, is the correct expression of the constitutional position.

Before dealing with the matter any further, we are of the view that the issue noticed hereinabove deserves to be placed before the nine-Judge Constitution Bench.
List these matters before the Nine-Judge Constitution Bench on 19.07.2017.

Liberty is granted to the learned counsel appearing for the rival parties to submit their written briefs in the meantime.


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