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With Aadhaar, State has a ‘switch’ that can cause ‘civil death of a citizen’: Petitioner in SC

A Supreme Court bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and four other judges -- Justices AM Khanwilkar, Adarsh Kumar Sikri, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan -- was hearing a number of petitions challenging the validity of Aadhaar.

india Updated: Jan 17, 2018 17:56 IST
Agencies
Agencies
Agencies, New Delhi
Aadhaar,Aadhaar hearing,Civil rights
In this file photo, an employees marks her attendance through an Aadhaar-based system at a government office. (Vipin Kumar/HT File Photo)

Aadhaar has given the state a “switch” that can cause the “civil death of a citizen”, said a petitioner before the Supreme Court on Wednesday as a five-judge constitution bench began hearing petitions against the biometric card.

In the ongoing hearing of the matter related to the constitutional validity of linking Aadhaar card to a number of government schemes, Shyam Divan, who is appearing for the petitioners, said that the people’s Constitution was being converted into the State’s Constitution and it was incorrect to take people’s biometric data for Aadhaar.

The bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and four other judges -- Justices AM Khanwilkar, Adarsh Kumar Sikri, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan -- was hearing a number of petitions challenging the validity of the identification system.

Since the inception of Aadhaar, its validity and possible leakages of data have surfaced time and again. The apex court has also received petitions regarding the linkage of this 12-digit number with mobile phones, bank accounts and so on, the last date for which was extended to March 31 this year.

Recently, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) decided to enable ‘Face Authentication’ in fusion mode on registered devices by July 1, so that people facing difficulty in other existing modes of verification such as fingerprints, iris, and one-time-password (OTP) could easily authenticate.

On November 27, the apex court had said it may consider setting up a constitution bench to hear pleas challenging the Centre’s move to make Aadhaar card mandatory for availing various services and benefits of welfare schemes.

It had on October 30 said a constitution bench would commence hearing on the clutch of petitions against the Aadhaar scheme from the last week of November.

Recently, a nine-judge constitution bench of the apex court had held that Right to Privacy was a Fundamental Right under the Constitution. Several petitioners challenging the validity of Aadhaar had claimed it violated privacy rights.

First Published: Jan 17, 2018 17:38 IST