New Delhi, Sept 26: Reacting to the Supreme Court's verdict on the constitutional validity of Aadhaar, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government's stand has been vindicated today, whereas, the Congress has been "exposed".
"Congress cuts a very sorry figure here, they introduced the idea but they did not know what to do with it," Jaitley said, adding that the party should introspect at this moment whether they want to associate with India's progress or side with the fringe who wants to keep the nation in the dark. Aadhaar Declared Constitutionally Valid by Supreme Court, But It's Not Mandatory to Link it With Bank Accounts, Mobile Numbers.
"Everyone who has been criticizing Aadhaar should understand that they cannot defy technology. Mainstream should accept changes, one can understand the fringe being against," he added.
Jaitley said the court's order is "historic" and must be welcomed by all sections of the society. His views were reiterated by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who said, "The SC verdict is the judgement of the moment".
Earlier in the day, the bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra pronounced its verdict in the Aadhaar case, whose set of proceedings formed the "second-longest"in India's judicial history.
The court, while upholding the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act, struck down the provision of mandatory linking the unique identification number with bank accounts, mobile phones and other services. However, linking Aadhaar with PAN will remain mandatory for Income Tax Return (ITR) filing.
The bench also struck down provisions of the Aadhaar Act which allowed the government to use the biometric information for "national security" purposes. The court said such usage would require a judicial warrant.