Supreme Court to deliver judgment on validity of Aadhaar law tomorrow
The Supreme Court will on Wednesday give its verdict on Aadhaar, the national identity card project the government has been pushing but critics have opposed as intrusive.
A five-judge Constitution bench, in marathon hearings which went on for 38 days spread across four months, heard over 30 petitions against the Aadhaar Act and the Centre’s defence of the controversial law before reserving their decision in May.
The main thrust of the case brought by petitioners was that Aadhaar encroached on the privacy of citizens because it entailed collection of fingerprints, iris scans and other details of citizens with/without their consent.
The government has rejected criticism of Aadhaar, the 12-digit Unique Identification Number that’s now compulsory for linking of bank accounts, mobile phone numbers, and filing income tax returns, saying it ensures misuses of social welfare benefits and counters black money and money laundering. Aadhaar data, government is safe and cannot be breached, the government and Aadhaar Aadhaar UIDAI have said.
The Supreme Court in August 2017 ruled individual privacy is a “guaranteed fundamental right” in the Constitution, giving hope to critics who contend that Aadhaar is intrusive and helps government spy on people.
The Supreme Court in March 2018 expressed concern over the potential misuse of Aadhaar authentication data, commenting after a four-hour PowerPoint presentation by the UIDAI chairman.
In April 2108, the court questioned the Department of Telecommunications for using an ostensible court directive as an excuse to order the linking of mobile phone numbers to Aadhaar unique identity numbers.