New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday thanked the Supreme Court for its verdict on the Aadhaar Act, saying that it was an instrument of empowerment for his party, but a “tool of oppression and surveillance” for the BJP.

“For Congress, Aadhaar was an instrument of empowerment. For the BJP, Aadhaar is a tool of oppression and surveillance. Thank you Supreme Court for supporting the Congress vision and protecting India,” tweeted Rahul Gandhi.

In its verdict, the apex court declared the Centre’s flagship Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid, but struck down some of its provisions, including its linking with bank accounts, mobile phones and school admissions.

Supreme Court Says Aadhaar Constitutionally Valid, But With Riders

Supreme Court Says Aadhaar Constitutionally Valid, But With Riders

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra held that while Aadhaar would remain mandatory for filing of IT returns and allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN), it would not be mandatory to link Aadhaar to bank accounts and the telecom service providers cannot seek its linking for mobile connections.

It would not be mandatory for school admissions, as also for the examinations conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE), National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for medical entrance and the University Grants Commission (UGC).

Meanwhile, the government termed the top court’s verdict as a big victory for the “pro-poor Modi government”, saying the apex court has upheld the constitutional validity of the scheme and asserted that it does not violate privacy.