“It is a historic judgement and the whole concept of a unique identification number that has been accepted after judicial review is an extremely welcome decision.
“There are now 122 crore people in India who have Aadhaar cards and our estimation is that by identifying beneficiaries of government schemes and ensuring that there are no fake or duplicate or non-existent beneficiaries, we are already saving Rs 90,000 crore every year,” Jaitley said.
Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Sambit Patra also hit back at the Congress after it projected the verdict as a slap on the face of the ruling party, saying the order has in fact exposed the opposition party.
The Congress favoured middlemen while the Modi government brought Aadhaar to ensure that benefits are given directly to people, he said.
That is why, Patra added, the Congress had moved the apex court against it. The court has ruled that Aadhaar is safe, he said.
“We see it as a big victory of the Modi government, the pro-poor Modi government. The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutional validity of Aadhaar and has also said that it does not violate privacy,” Patra said.
He said the court has noted that Aadhaar gives strength to the poor.
The Supreme Court like the Modi government has stood with the poor of the country, the BJP leader said.
A majority verdict by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AK Sikri and AM Khanwilkar declared the Centre’s flagship Aadhaar scheme constitutionally valid but struck down some of its provisions, including its linking with bank accounts, mobile phones and school admissions.
The top court said Aadhaar serves a bigger public interest. Aadhaar means unique and it is better to be unique than be the best, it said.