Aadhaar will stand the test of Constitutionality: Jaitley

Raj Kamal Rao

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said although the concept of Aadhaar was an “important leap forward” under the UPA regime, its full potential was not realised by the then government.

Speaking at the Conclave on Financial Inclusion by United Nations in Delhi, Finance Minister said the unique biometric identification number was an evolving idea under the previous UPA regime and did have legislative backing.

“What the Aadhaar would be used for was not mentioned in the draft law,” he said.

Jaitley said the Aadhaar legislation, passed during the BJP rule, will stand the test of the constitutionality of using the unique identification number for giving government benefits, he said.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addressing a conference in New Delhi

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addressing a conference in New Delhi

“Some of the illustrative restraints of the Article 21 that could be imposed are in the larger interest of the society, or for the purpose of detection of crime or for the distribution of social benefits. The third criteria are the principal purpose of Aadhaar,” Jaitley said referring to Right to privacy judgment.

“Once you are able to create the identity network, you are able to make sure the resource of the state as a subsidy will reach those who really need it,” he said, adding untargeted subsidy can lead to huge wastage.

Jaitley has also said that India in the past 3 yrs, has succeeded to bring financial inclusion which never previously had an economic or political imperative to focus.