UID/Aadhaar
SC Constitution bench to hear Aadhaar challenge on privacy issue
A five-judge constitution bench will hear from July 18 the challenge to validity of the controversial Aadhaar Act on the touchstone of privacy, an issue that has been pending for two years.
 
The bench would decide whether the right to privacy is a fundamental right -- a question central to the Aadhaar Act. 
 
A bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said on Wednesday the five-judge bench would hear the matter for two days.
 
Khehar agreed to the hearing by the constitution bench after senior counsel Shyam Divan and Attorney General K.K. Venugopal mentioned the matter for an early hearing. 
 
The question on the validity of Aadhaar scheme on the touchstone of whether privacy was fundamental right was referred to the constitution bench in October 2015. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

A BANERJEE

4 months ago

I sincerely hope that the concerns of the investigating officers in the IT deptt., ED, etc., engaged in unearthing tax fraud cases, money laundering cases, etc., are placed before the Hon'ble Court.

Aadhaar: Counsels to jointly request Chief Justice to set up Constitution Bench
The Government and petitioners in the Aadhaar matter on Friday agreed to approach the Chief Justice of India (CJI), Jagdish Singh Khehar, requesting him to set up a Constitution Bench for early disposal of the main case. 
 
The Supreme Court heard applications for interim relief to stay notifications, which make unique identification (UID) number or Aadhaar, a biometrics-linked identity number for residents, mandatory for availing of any benefits and entitlements. The applications are by the same petitioners whose challenge against the constitutionality of the Aadhaar Act is pending before a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court. 
 
The hearing began with the senior counsel for the petitioners, Shyam Divan, taking the Bench through the earlier orders of the Supreme Court, including those of 11 August 2015 and the 15 October 2015, which clearly stated that Aadhaar shall be purely voluntary. 
 
Mr Divan emphasised that the case deals with a vital Constitutional question, as allowing the Aadhaar project to go ahead unchecked in this manner, seeking linking of Aadhaar to almost every transaction and aspect in life, is effectively reducing the citizen to a 12-digit number and transforming the country into a concentration camp for its citizens.  
 
The Court was of the view that, given that the entire matter was before a Constitution Bench and that the litigation on Aadhaar has been going on for years, the correct course would be for both the parties, that is, the petitioners and the government, to jointly mention before and impress upon the Chief Justice to constitute a Constitution Bench to finally dispose of the entire batch of petitions.  Attorney General KK Venugopal, who was present in Court, agreed to join Mr Divan for a mentioning before the CJI early next week for that purpose. 
 
The Bench, headed by Justice Jasti Chelameswar, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Navin Sinha, indicated that in the eventuality of the CJI not being able to form a Constitution bench, the petitioners may come back to the court and argue for interim relief.
 
Today's hearing marks the first time that the government has agreed to mention before the CJI to constitute a larger bench to finally hear the Constitutional challenge to the project and the Aadhaar Act. In October 2015, the government had mentioned before the then CJI, HL Dattu, to get the Constitution Bench only to hear and decide their applications for modifying the 11 August order. 
 
The notifications make Aadhaar mandatory for a number of schemes, including for children to get hot cooked meals, several scholarships for disabled students and students in SC, ST, OBC categories, schemes for relief for women rescued from trafficking, bonded labourers, and relief for Bhopal gas leak victims. The notifications make possession of an Aadhaar number, or proof of enrolment in Aadhaar database, mandatory. 
 
Petitioners have prayed that imposing enrolment in Aadhaar as a pre-condition for availing of social benefits violates the fundamental rights of citizens. It is causing denial of benefits to persons, who are otherwise legally entitled to the benefits, at enrolment stages, as well as when they face biometric rejection, data errors, network errors, and other problems.
 
These applications were earlier heard on 9 May 2017 and then on 27 June 2017 by a vacation bench consisting of Justice Khanwilkar and Justice Sinha. 
 
Justice Chelameswar also headed the Bench that passed the order dated 11 August 2015 that referred the batch of petitions challenging the Aadhaar project to a Constitution Bench as it felt it required a definitive pronouncement on, among other issues, the issue of the existence and scope of a fundamental right to privacy under the Constitution of India.   

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COMMENTS

A BANERJEE

4 months ago

It would be better if the Govt invites the opinion of some retired officers of the IRS , who had investigated into the tax evasion in very big and sensitive cases in the past , about the problems faced in investigation in such cases and also in respect of recovery of outstanding taxes for want of proper addresses or identification of fake assessees. These can be compioled as affidavits for submission before the apex court. Only genuine investigators into tax fraud would be able to assert as to how, if Aadhaar were there in existence in the past, it would have been much easier in tracing fake shareholders, investors, taxpayers, etc.

Mahesh S Bhatt

4 months ago

Today at phone activation of Reliance Jio shop finger print scanner didnot work to validate Aadhar for one subsriber.Operations/Security breaches are common.Common Citizen stands naked in front of State & that's Ex AG Rohatgi's comment that your body is not your body State has right & he quit. Now new AG
Mahesh Bhatt

Feroza Saran

4 months ago

Similar schemes have been scrapped by other countries in the West. Originally the pan card, and other cards were sufficient ID proofs. The Aadhar card is a violation of the right to privacy, and should not be made mandatory at all, considering the fact that there have been glaring mistakes with regularity in all such schemes.

SC says people without Aadhaar should not be deprived of any govt schemes till 7th July
The Supreme Court while refusing to pass any order or interim order in Aadhaar case had said that those who do not have the UID would not be deprived of any Government schemes or benefits till next date of hearing. The apex court has fixed 7th July as next date of hearing.
 
A vacation bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Navin Sinha while refusing any further clarificatory order opined that the decision in the PAN case was sufficient now. In the 9 June 2017 judgement, the apex court had upheld validity of a provision of the Income Tax Act making Aadhaar mandatory for allotment of PAN cards and filing of tax returns, but had put a partial stay on its implementation till a Constitution bench addressed the issue of right to privacy.

The Bench said, "In view of the observations made in the judgement in Para 90 of the case... decided on 9 June 2017, no further observation is required."

As the hearing begin, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta raised a preliminary point about a rejoinder by petitioners, which he said requires a sur-rejoinder and sought time till next week to file the same. Mr Mehta told the bench that benefits of various social welfare schemes would be given to persons even if he or she does not have Aadhaar. Referring to the 8 February 2017 notification regarding benefits of the public distribution system (PDS) scheme, the ASG stated it was said that if someone does not have Aadhaar, he or she would get the benefit of these schemes by using other identity cards like voter ID, driving licence, passport and PAN card.
 
Mr Mehta also told the bench that the Centre has extended to 30 September 2017, the 30th June deadline for enrolment for those who do not have Aadhaar and are availing benefits of various social welfare schemes.

Senior Counsel Shyam Divan submitted that nobody should be deprived of benefits under any scheme till the next hearing and requested the Bench for an ad-interim order clarifying the same.

"No interim order can be passed in mandamus (restraining order) on mere apprehensions. You have to wait for one week. If somebody is deprived (of the benefits) you can point out the same to this court," the Bench told Mr Divan.

While posting the matter for further hearing on 7 July 2017, the Bench observed, "The state is a democratic welfare state which is saying that they will not deprive anyone of the benefits. Alternative IDs are valid as of now."
 
The apex court was hearing three separate petitions challenging government's notification making Aadhaar mandatory for availing benefits of various social welfare schemes.

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COMMENTS

abbas sampya

1 month ago

i agree with you

abbas sampya

1 month ago

i

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