WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO 494 OF 2012

Technology and biometrics are recent entrants to litigation. Individually, 

each presents specific claims: of technology as the great enabler; and of 

biometrics as the unique identifier. As recombinant elements, they create as it 

were, new genetic material. Combined together, they present unforeseen 

challenges for governance in a digital age. Part of the reason for these 

challenges is that our law evolved in a radically different age and time. The 

law evolved instruments of governance in incremental stages. They were 

suited to the social, political and economic context of the time. The forms of 

expression which the law codified were developed when paper was 

ubiquitous. The limits of paper allowed for a certain freedom: the freedom of 

individuality and the liberty of being obscure. Governance with paper could 

lapse into governance on paper. Technology has become a universal 

language which straddles culture and language. It confronts institutions of 

governance with new problems. Many of them have no ready answers. 

 

 

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