India’s Supreme Court has ruled that the country’s controversial biometric identity scheme is constitutional and does not violate the right to privacy.
However the court limited the scope of the Aadhaar scheme, saying it could not be compulsory for bank accounts, mobile connections or school admissions.
The world’s largest biometric ID database covers welfare and tax payments and access to social services.
More than a billion Indians have already been enrolled.
Many don’t have other forms of identification – only 65 million own a passport and 200 million have a driving licence.
Those who enrolled in Aadhaar received a unique 12-digit identification number after submitting their fingerprints and retina scans.
About 30 petitioners went to court to argue that the scheme infringed Indians’ privacy.