New Delhi: Hailing the Supreme Court verdict on Aadhaar, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Wednesday said it has retrieved the UPA’s original idea of the scheme after the NDA government tried to convert it into a “monster”. Chidambaram said the Aadhaar remains work in progress and a future government will surely bring in amendments. “For now, we can be satisfied that a rampaging government has been restrained and the reach of Aadhaar has been contained to benefits, subsidies and services paid out of the Consolidated Fund of India,” he said.
In a series of tweets, the former Union minister said the Aadhaar was meant to be a “benign instrument” to deliver benefits, subsidies and services to the poor and the majority judgment in the Aadhaar case has retrieved the UPA government’s original idea of Aadhaar. “The NDA tried to convert Aadhaar into a monster that will rule every aspect of a person’s life. And the NDA had been firmly rebuffed… Glad that the UPA’s policy has been vindicated,” he said.
The former finance and home minister said several provisions of the Act and the regulations have been struck down as unconstitutional and it was a humbling lesson for the Union Ministry of Law. “The Act came perilously close to being struck down on the ground it was passed as a Money Bill when it was not. The Act was saved by judicial forbearance. The dissenting judgment of Justice Chandrachud has many valuable lessons for all governments, especially the imperious NDA government. They would do well to heed those lessons,” he said.
A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra held that the Aadhaar is constitutionally valid but struck down some of its provisions, including its linking with bank accounts, mobile phone connections and school admissions. The Supreme Court judgement kept the provision of Aadhaar mandatory for filing of IT returns and allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN).