NEET cannot make Aadhaar Card mandatory as per the latest Supreme Court ruling announced as Aadhaar Verdict today, on September 26, 2018. The same goes for CBSE, UGC. Thus, NEET 2019 aspirants need to concern themselves with Aadhaar Card.

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The hearing was on a bunch of petitions that challenged the constitutional validity of Aadhaar Card. Verdict was delivered by a five-judge bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan, D Y Chandrachud, A M Khanwilkar, A K Sikri and Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra who led the bench.

Point number 59 of Writ Petition (Civil) No. 494 of 2012 & connected matters says

The challenge is directed at the constitutional validity of the following facets of Aadhaar:
… (vii) Actions on the part of the authorities to make Aadhaar mandatory even where not covered by Section 7, inter alia: Actions by CBSE, NEET, JEE and UGC requirements for scholarship.

Point number 321 says

No doubt, the Government cannot take umbrage under the aforesaid provision to enlarge the scope of subsidies, services and benefits. ‘Benefits’ should be such which are in the nature of welfare schemes for which resources are to be drawn from the Consolidated Fund of India.

Therefore actions by CBSE, NEET, JEE and UGC requirements for scholarship shall not be covered under Section 7, unless it is demonstrated that the expenditure is incurred from Consolidated Fund of India. Further, the expression ‘benefit’ has to be read ejusdem generis with the preceding word ‘subsidies’.

Point number 323 (c) says

On that basis, CBSE, NEET, JEE, UGC etc. cannot make the requirement of Aadhaar mandatory as they are outside the purview of Section 7 and are not backed by any law.

NEET is the national level medical entrance exam, which is until now held by CBSE and now NTA will conduct NEET 2019. With this judgement it is now clear that Aadhaar Card will not be mandatory for filling application form which is about to be available from November 01, 2018.

Until last year, it was compulsory to enter Aadhaar Card data to fill application form of various entrance exams such as NEET, JEE Main, UGC NET. Students from Assam, JnK, Meghalaya were given exceptions.

Justice Sikri in his judgement annulled those parts of the law that insofar made Aadhaar compulsory for private corporations. The document is constitutionally valid but may only be asked for welfare schemes, IT returns, and for linking to PAN card.

That the Aadhaar Act should not have been a money bill was stated by Justice Chandrachud in his judgement. He furthermore instructed telecom companies to delete all Aadhaar data. However Justice Ashok Bhushan said that (companies) seeking biometric data is not a violation of individual privacy.

The Aadhaar Verdict today strikes off sections 33 (2), 47, 57 of the Aadhaar Act. Section 33 (2) allowed information including identity and authentication to be revealed, in interest of national security. As per Section 47, only UIDAI could file criminal complaints for data breach. Section 57 let private entities use Aadhaar details to authenticate identity of persons.

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