Provision of Aadhaar Act validating collection of data is 'badly drafted': Supreme Court

Apr 11, 2018 16:28 IST
Provision of Aadhaar Act validating collection of data is 'badly drafted': Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on April 10, 2018 ruled that the provision of Aadhaar Act, 2016 that seeks to validate the collection of data from 2009 to 2016, the time before the Act was enacted, has been "badly drafted".

The five judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also noted that the supposed deemed consent for parting with biometric data can't be extended to mean giving up of fundamental right to privacy of the people.

Other judges on the constitution bench were Justice AK Sikri, Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Ashok Bhushan.

The constitution bench is hearing a batch of petitions filed by former Karnataka High Court Judge KS Puttuswamy, Shanta Sinha, feminist Kalyani Sen Menon, social activist Aruna Roy, Nachiket Udupa and others challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act at the backdrop of the Fundamental Right to Privacy.


Attorney General KK Venugopal’s take on Aadhaar Act

The court's ruling came after Attorney General KK Venugopal sought to defend the data collected from 2009 to 2016 on the strength of administrative orders without obtaining the consent of the people on the collection and storage of their biometric and demographic data.

Venugopal also claimed that people gave their biometric data voluntarily and at that point of time, it did not violate the privacy as the Right to Privacy was not a fundamental right that time.

The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 was enacted in 2016. One of the provisions of the Act seeks to validate the collection of biometric and demographic data of the people from 2009 to 2016 on the strength of administrative instructions.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta’s take on linking of PAN-Aadhaar

While defending the insertion of Section 139AA in the Income Tax Act, 1961 to mandate the linking of PAN number with Aadhaar number, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta claimed that this provision was introduced to eliminate the duplicate PANs from the system.

Mehta also asserted that by linking Aadhaar with PAN, government seeks to curb the tax evasion and black money menace and to prevent money laundering and terror financing.


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