Govt to hold inter-ministerial consultation to assess impact of Supreme Court judgment on Aadhaar
The government will hold inter-ministerial consultation to assess the impact of the Supreme Court judgement on Aadhaar and action will be taken thereafter, law and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Wednesday.
“The government will take a comprehensive view as to what is doable and required to be done. Obviously this will require inter-ministerial consultation at the highest level,” Prasad told reporters on Wednesday.
The apex court while holding the Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid struck down section 57 of the Aadhaar Act which is about permission of allowing use of the 12-digit unique ID number by private entities.
Section 57 of the act says, “Nothing contained in this Act shall prevent the use of Aadhaar number for establishing the identity of an individual for any purpose, whether by the State or any body corporate or person, pursuant to any law, for the time being in force, or any contract to this effect.”
Prasad termed the judgement as historic and said that the order promotes cleanliness in financial administration. He said that judgement found linking of Aadhaar with PAN card valid. “Entire implications of the judgement will have to be examined by respective department. Thereafter structure view will be taken,” Prasad said.
When asked that if individuals can get their Aadhaar details deleted from the database of bank and telecom companies, Prasad said that their enough security safeguards already in place in the act to prevent misuse of the data collected by private entities.
“Any authentication was done by private company it was done for specific purpose. They were required to maintain sanctity of that storage. Any misuse of that storage is punishable with 3 years imprisonment and 10 lakh in fine,” Prasad said.
The government had issued directions to telecom companies and banks to verify their customers with the help of Aadhaar. The directions for telephone connections was withdrawn later after the apex court said that it never mandated Aadhaar-based verification for telecom subscribers.
An IT ministry source, however, said, “In the light of judgement they can surely withdraw it. The method will be decided by the department of telecom.”