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Aadhar case in SC: Centre calls Aadhar as enabler for millions of residents

Team SoOLEGAL 22 Mar 2018 1:34pm

Aadhar case in SC: Centre calls Aadhar as enabler for millions of residents

New Delhi : Arguing on behalf of Centre Government, Attorney General KK Venugopal called Aadhaar as an enabler for millions of residents.He was replying  to several of the petitioners’ concerns, including about privacy, data security and public benefits.

He told the bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra the “core effort” of the Aadhaar Act was to protect the money spent on bridging the gap between the rich and the poor.

Venugopal added that the government has taken every effort to ensure it and that the Aadhaar was not a “fly-by-night scheme, but a serious effort to insulate deserving beneficiaries from the effects of corruption. He said the chance of breach of privacy “is at the lowest possible level”. He pointed out that before the Act came into place, the Supreme Court had made Aadhaar voluntary. “So there should be no question of fundamental rights violations. If it was voluntary, how could there be violation?” he asked.

Justice DY Chandrachud, however responded  to this and said, “When people agreed to obtain Aadhaar, they did not accept a surrender of their data.”

Attorney General also asked the court if the Unique Identification Authority of India chief could make a power point presentation on the steps taken to ensure better security.

The five-judge Constitution bench, however, asked the attorney general to “first make legal contentions”. Chief Justice Dipak Misra said the petitioners had concerns about privacy, dignity, surveillance and unconstitutional conditions among other things, and asked Venugopal to reply to these.

Venugopal told the court that the Aadhaar scheme could be a way to check corruption. “The object of the Act is targeted delivery for genuine beneficiaries,” he said. “It furthers the Article 21 right of the poor people of India, and advances the Directive Principles.”

Justice AK Sikri then observed that both the Centre and the petitioners were talking about the right to dignity.

The Chief Justice then asked Venugopal if his argument is that the “individual right to privacy must give way to the right to distributive justice”. Venugopal responded saying, “In this country, if you are poor, you become invisible.”

He also pointed out that many NGOs had brought up the problem of exclusion, but the court was yet to hear from such affected people. He added that the main question in this case was “one of balancing”. Venugopal said Aadhaar is an “enabler for millions of residents”, and added that it enabled their right to food, livelihood and pensions. “A handful of petitioners want it to be struck down on grounds of privacy.”

Tagged: SC   Centre   Aadhar Card  
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