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Aadhaar not mandatory for enrolment of students in all India exams: SC

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the CBSE not to make Aadhaar number mandatory for enrolment of students appearing in NEET 2018 and other all- India examinations. The top court said that the CBSE can take other identity proofs like passport number, driving licence, bank statement, voter card or ration card from the students for enrolling them for appearing in the examinations.

A five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief justice Dipak Misra directed the CBSE to upload the information on its official website and clarified that this arrangement is made “for now” till the pendency of cases related to challenge to the Aadhaar and its enabling Act is not decided. During the hearing, Vibha Dutta Makhija, appearing for Patel Abidali Yusufbhai, said that the CBSE in its circular had made Aadhaar number mandatory for enrolling of students for appearing in NEET examination from last year. She said that since the challenge to Aadhaar and its enabling Act is still being heard by the Constitution bench of apex court and keeping in mind the various interim orders passed by the court, the CBSE shall be directed to remove the mandatory condition and give the information on its website.

Earlier in the day, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) had told the apex court that it has not authorised the CBSE to mandatorily take Aadhaar number of students for enrolling them for appearing in NEET 2018 examination. Attorney General K K Venugopal told the bench that he has instructions from UIDAI that like in Jammu and Kashmir, Meghalaya and Assam other identity proofs like passport, voter card, driving licence and ration card can be used by the CBSE for enroling the students in the examination.

The Gujarat High Court had on February 27 dismissed a prayer of Yusufbhai that an interim order be passed to restrain the CBSE from taking the Aadhaar number from the students for the NEET examination of 2018 as the last date of filing of form is March 9.

The high court had however kept the main petition pending and listed it for hearing on March 27. Yusufbhai then moved the apex court through advocate Abhinav Jain, who mentioned the matter for urgent listing. The court then said that it will take up the matter during the course of the day.

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