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  REPORTABLEIN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIACIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTIONWRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 494 OF 2012 JUSTICE K.S. PUTTASWAMY (RETD.) AND ANOTHER.....PETITIONER(S)VERSUSUNION OF INDIA AND OTHERS.....RESPONDENT(S) WITHTRANSFERRED CASE (CIVIL) NO. 151 OF 2013TRANSFERRED CASE (CIVIL) NO. 152 OF 2013WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 833 OF 2013WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 829 OF 2013TRANSFERRED PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 1797 OF 2013WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 932 OF 2013TRANSFERRED PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 1796 OF 2013CONTEMPT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 144 OF 2014 INWRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 494 OF 2012TRANSFERRED PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 313 OF 2014TRANSFERRED PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 312 OF 2014SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRIMINAL) NO. 2524 OF 2014WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 37 OF 2015 Writ Petition (Civil) No. 494 of 2012 & c onnected mattersPage 1  of 567    Digitally signed byCHETAN KUMARDate: 2018.09.2613:36:51 ISTReason:Signature Not Verified WWW.LIVELAW.IN  WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 220 OF 2015CONTEMPT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 674 OF 2015 INWRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 829 OF 2013TRANSFERRED PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 921 OF 2015CONTEMPT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 470 OF 2015 INWRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 494 OF 2012WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 231 OF 2016CONTEMPT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 444 OF 2016INWRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 494 OF 2012CONTEMPT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 608 OF 2016 INWRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 494 OF 2012WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 797 OF 2016CONTEMPT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 844 OF 2017 INWRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 494 OF 2012WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 342 OF 2017WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 372 OF 2017WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 841 OF 2017WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 1058 OF 2017WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 966 OF 2017WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 1014 OF 2017WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 1002 OF 2017 Writ Petition (Civil) No. 494 of 2012 & c onnected mattersPage  2  of 567  WWW.LIVELAW.IN  WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 1056 OF 2017A N DCONTEMPT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 34 OF 2018INWRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 1014 OF 2017 J U D G M E N T A.K. SIKRI, J. (For Chief Justice, himself and A.M. Khanwilkar, J.)Introduction and Preliminaries: It is better to be unique than the best. Because,being the best makes you the number one, but being unique makes you the only one. 2)‘Unique makes you the only one’ is the central message ofAadhaar, which is on the altar facing constitutional challenge inthese petitions. ‘Aadhaar’ which means, in English, ‘foundation’or ‘base’, has become the most talked about expression in recentyears, not only in India but in many other countries andinternational bodies. A word from Hindi dictionary has assumedsecondary significance. Today, mention of the word ‘Aadhaar’ would not lead a listener to the dictionary meaning of this word.Instead, every person on the very mentioning of this word‘Aadhaar’ would associate it with the card that is issued to a Writ Petition (Civil) No. 494 of 2012 & c onnected mattersPage  3  of 567  WWW.LIVELAW.IN  person from where he/she can be identified. It is described as an‘Unique Identity’ and the authority which enrols a person and at whose behest the Aadhaar Card is issued is known as UniqueIdentification Authority of India (hereinafter referred to as ‘UIDAI’or ‘Authority’). It is described as unique for various reasons.UIDAI claims that not only it is a foolproof method of identifying aperson, it is also an instrument whereby a person can enter intoany transaction without needing any other document in support.It has become a symbol of digital economy and has enabledmultiple avenues for a common man. Aadhaar scheme, which was conceptualised in the year 2006 and launched in the year2009 with the creation of UIDAI, has secured the enrolment ofalmost 1.1 billion people in this country. Its use is spreading like wildfire, which is the result of robust and aggressive campaigningdone by the Government, governmental agencies and other suchbodies. In this way it has virtually become a household symbol.The Government boasts of multiple benefits of Aadhaar. 3)At the same time, the very scheme of Aadhaar and thearchitecture built thereupon has received scathing criticism from asection of the society. According to them, Aadhaar is a seriousinvasion into the right to privacy of persons and it has the Writ Petition (Civil) No. 494 of 2012 & c onnected mattersPage  4  of 567  WWW.LIVELAW.IN
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