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Apex Court Refuses to Modify Order on Aadhar Card
Oct 10, 2015

The government’s has an ambitious plan to link Aadhar cards with the Digital India initiative and services such as banking and telecom, bu the Supreme Court on October 7 refused to modify an order, which restricted its use to public distribution system and LPG subsidy. A bench led by Justice J. Chelameswar declined to make its August 11 order less stringent till a Constitution Bench considers the legal issue relating to the right to privacy, involved in collection of biometric data for Aadhar cards.

  • Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, the government and its various wings had mentioned that the Supreme Court cannot shut its doors on 50 crore people because of its interim order confining the use of Aadhar to PDS and LPG schemes.

  • Aadhar is meant for targeted delivery of services to the poor and stalling it on the pretext of right to privacy would be tantamount to depriving them of various benefits.

  • The UIDAI argued that restrictions on the use of Aadhar would undermine the government’s Digital India initiative and requested for clearance to include Aadhar’s use for schemes like biometric attendance system, digital certificates and pension payments, among others.

The bench said a batch of requests made by the Centre, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDIA), the Reserve Bank of India and various government regulators for securities, insurance, telecom and pension should be placed before the Constitution Bench.

It noted that since this bench had on August 11 referred the matter for adjudication by a Constitution Bench while issuing necessary interim orders, it would not be appropriate to issue further directives in this matter.

  • Now, the applications seeking clarification and modification of the August 11 order will also be considered by the Constitution Bench, which would dwell upon whether the right to privacy is a fundamental right, and whether collection of data and biometrics under the UID scheme violates it.

  • In a latest development the Supreme Court said a constitution bench will hear the matter on October 14.


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