New Delhi, May 10: The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its verdict in the batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar. The judgement was finalised by the five-judge bench after a marathon hearing which stretched for nearly three and a half months.
According to Attorney General KK Venugopal, the case involving Aadhaar witnessed the second longest hearing by the top court in India's judicial history. The longest case ever heard by the Supreme Court is of 'Kesavananda Bharati versus State of Kerala' (1973), which went on for five months.
The case against Aadhaar was taken up for hearing by a Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra in January.
A clutch of petitioners had approached the apex court citing privacy violations through mandatory linkage of Aadhaar, apart from the denial of benefits to vast chunk of population which has not been enrolled by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
In the final hearing on Wednesday, Justice DY Chandrachud, who is part of the five-judge bench, asked the government how would it ensure that technical glitches do not end up depriving the beneficiary his due. The judge gave the example of his mother, who has to authenticate her thumb impressions each month to avail the pension, despite suffering from Alzheimer's.
The government, in the past year, made Aadhaar mandatory to avail a range of services and subsidies, apart from filing income tax returns. The move was contested by an array of petitioners, including retired judges, human rights' activists and Opposition leaders, calling it a violation of the Right to Privacy -- which the apex court had underlined as a fundamental right last year.