Friday, September 9, 2022

Bihar Chief Secretary takes cognisance of manifest violation of Supreme Court Judgement on Unique Identification (UID)/Aadhaar Number

Amir Shubhani, Chief Secretary, Bihar has taken cognisance of a lawyer's letter regarding manifest violation of Supreme Court Judgement dated September 26, 2018 on Unique Identification (UID)/Aadhaar Number under Aadhaar Act, 2016 and has communicated it to Dipak Kumar Singh, Additional Chief Secretary, Education Department, Bihar Vide Reference no. 5371 dated 08.09.2022. UID/Aadhhar is meant for those residents of India who have lived in India for at least 182 days prior to enrolment for UID/Aadhaar Number according to the Aadhaar Act. It is irrelevant for the rights and entitlements of citizens. Chief Secretary's prompt response came in reaction to a letter addressed to Dr. Chandra Shekhar, State Minister of Education dated September 8, 2022. The letter is with reference to mandatory requirement for Unique Identification (UID)/Aadhaar Number under Aadhaar Act, 2016. The following legal aspects have been submitted for consideration:

1. Mandatory requirement for Unique Identification (UID)/Aadhaar Number under Aadhaar Act, 2016 is in manifest violation of the 1448 page long verdict of Hon'ble Supreme Court on UID/Aadhaar Number.  

The verdict is available at:

2.The directions given at page numbers 401-402, paragraph 332 of the Court's verdict of 26 September, 2018 creates a logical compulsion for review and revision of the orders which make UID/Aadhaar compulsory. The relevant text of Hon'ble Court's verdict is as under:

" 332) After considering the matter in depth and having regard to the discussion aforesaid, we hold as under:

(a) For the enrolment of children under the Aadhaar Act, it would be essential to have the consent of their parents/guardian.

(b) On attaining the age of majority, such children who are enrolled under Aadhaar with the consent of their parents, shall be given the right to exit from Aadhaar, if they so choose.

(c) Insofar as the school admissions of children are concerned, requirement of Aadhaar would not be compulsory as it is neither a service nor subsidy. Further, having regard to the fact that a child between the age of 6 to 14 years has the fundamental right to education under Article 21A of the Constitution, school admission cannot be treated as ‘benefit’ as well.

(d) Benefits to children between 6 to 14 years under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, likewise, shall not require mandatory Aadhaar Writ Petition (Civil) No. 494 of 2012 & connected matters Page 401 of 567 enrolment.

(e) For availing the benefits of other welfare schemes which are covered by Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act, though enrolment number can be insisted, it would be subject to the consent of the parents, as mentioned in (a) above.

(f) We also clarify that no child shall be denied benefit of any of these schemes if, for some reasons, she is not able to produce the Aadhaar number and the benefit shall be given by verifying the identity on the basis of any other documents. We may record that a statement to this effect was also made by Mr. K.K. Venugopal, learned Attorney General for India, at the Bar."

3. Subsequent to Hon’ble Court’s directions, a reply dated June 8, 2018 provided by Shri Dalbir Singh, Under Secretary, Department of School Education & Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development (now Ministry of Education), Government of India, F. No. 7-1/2018-154 under RTI Act, 2005 reveals that UID/Aadhaar cannot be made mandatory. It states “(i) Aadhar card is not a mandatory requirement for Shaalakosh and UDISE. (ii) There is no order/circular issued regarding non-permitting students to continue their education without Aadhar card.”

4.  It is pertinent to note that a 255 page long verdict of a 5-Judge Constitution Bench of Supreme Court dated November 13, 2019 has referred the matter of the constitutionality of the enactment of Aadhaar Act 2016 to a 7-Judge Constitution Bench. This verdict of the Constitution Bench is available at  

In view of the above, there is a constitutional and legal obligation on the part of public institutions like the Department of Education to ensure compliance with the directions of the Court and to consider issuance of necessary instructions to educational institutions who are demanding UID/Aadhaar number in this regard.