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Centre defends Aadhaar law in Supreme Court, says it’s fair, just and reasonable

The Centre referred to the Supreme Court verdict and said the reasonable restrictions, which are applicable on right to life, would also govern the right to privacy.

india Updated: Apr 03, 2018 23:20 IST
HT Correspondent, New Delhi
Aadhaar law,Aadhaar,Supreme Court of India
The Centre told a five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, which is examining the validity of Aadhaar scheme, that the privacy verdict provided that state can seek certain information if there is a law, a legitimate state interest and the proportionality doctrine to weigh citizens’ privacy and the state’s interests.(AFP File Photo)

The Aadhaar Act is a “fair and reasonable law” that meets the criteria laid down in the Supreme Court’s epochal privacy judgement, the government argued on Tuesday.

“The law meets the standards and has adequate safeguards. It is in pursuance of a larger public interest, including preventing dissipation of social welfare benefits, prevention of black money and money laundering. And, these are all legitimate state interests,” attorney general KK Venugopal told a five-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra that is hearing a batch of petitions questioning the Aadhaar Act.

A nine-judge constitution bench, on August 24 last year, declared the right to privacy as a fundamental right and termed it as an intrinsic part of right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution. However, in case of a social benefits scheme, the State could collate data of its citizens provided there is a legitimate state interest , it added.

Venugopal also argued that Aadhaar meets the test of proportionality mentioned in the privacy judgement. There is a rational nexus between the means and the goal, he said. All subsidies are part of the right to live with dignity and prevail over the right to privacy, he contended.

A constitutionally valid law is not rendered invalid on the ground of “improper implementation,” as argued by the petitioners, Venugopal said, defending lapses in how schemes based on Aadhaar have been implemented.

And the invasion of privacy, if any, is kept to the minimum, he added.

First Published: Apr 03, 2018 20:07 IST