New Delhi: Bringing major relief to aspirants across the country, the Central Board of Secondary Education(CBSE), has been directed by the Supreme Court to refrain from making Aadhaar identification mandatory for students appearing in NEET 2018, along with all other all India examinations.
The apex court instructed that other identity proofs like passport number, driving licence, bank statement, voter card or ration card could be taken from the students by the CBSE for identification purposes for exam enrollment as was the case in states like Jammu and Kashmir, Assam and Meghalaya.
A Chief Justice, Dipak Misra headed five-judge Constitution has given the CBSE, a directive to upload the information on its official website. The bench has further stated that the arrangement is “for now” till the cases pending in the matter challenging the Aadhaar being made mandatory and its enabling Act is not taken a decisionVibha Dutta Makhija, arguing for petitioner Abidali Yusufbhai, informed the bench that the CBSE through its circular had announced its decision to make Aadhaar number mandatory for enrolling of students for appearing in NEET examination since last year.
She said that since the challenge to Aadhaar and its enabling Act was still in the process of being heard by the Constitution bench of the apex court and taking cognizance of the various interim orders passed by the court, the CBSE is to be directed to remove its condition of making the Aadhaar mandatory for students appearing for NEET 2018 along with all other examinations, and announce the same on its website.
Earlier in the day, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) had announced to the apex court that it had not conferred any powers on the CBSE to make Aadhaar a mandatory submission for students for NEET or any other exam enrollment.
Attorney General, K K Venugopal informed the bench that instructions from UIDAI had been received by him that ID proofs similar to those sought in Jammu and Kashmir, Meghalaya and Assam could be asked for in other regions as well.
On February 27, the Gujarat High Court had dismissed petitioner Yusufbhai request that an interim order is passed, refraining the CBSE from taking the Aadhaar number from the students for the NEET 2018 examination, with March 9 being the last date for filling of form.
The high court, however, kept the main petition pending; listing it for a hearing on March 27.
Yusuf Bhai then moved the SC through the advocate, Abhinav Jain, who put up the matter for urgent listing. The court, in turn, announced that the matter would be taken up in the latter part of the day’s hearings.