1. Aadhaar Card row: SC seeks Centre’s reply on four pleas

Aadhaar Card row: SC seeks Centre’s reply on four pleas

The Supreme Court today sought the government's response on four petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act and linking of bank accounts and mobile numbers with the 12-digit biometric identification number.

By: | New Delhi | Published: November 3, 2017 2:26 PM
aadhaar card, aadhaar, aadhaar plea, supreme court, sc, centre, aadhaar row, aadhaar card row They have also objected to the CBSE’s alleged move to make Aadhaar card mandatory for students appearing for examinations, a contention denied by the Centre. (PTI)

The Supreme Court today sought the government’s response on four petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act and linking of bank accounts and mobile numbers with the 12-digit biometric identification number. The apex court did not pass any interim order in the matter saying that final hearing in all Aadhaar-related issues would start before another bench in the last week of this month and the Centre has already extended the deadline till December 31. A bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, however, said that the banks and telecom service providers should indicate the last date of linking bank accounts and mobile numbers with Aadhaar in the messages sent by them to their customers. “We make it clear that in the messages sent by banks and telecom service providers, the date of December 31, 2017 and February 6, 2018, shall also be indicated as the last date of linking Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile numbers,” the bench said. Senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for one of the petitioners, referred to a recently filed affidavit by the Centre and said the government has said the deadline for linking Aadhaar may be extended till March 31, 2018.

The bench, however, said the petitioners can raise this issue before the court which would hear all Aadhaar-related matters in the last week of November. “There is no doubt that these arguments need consideration. The matter is going to come up in the last week of November and the time (to link Aadhaar with bank accounts) has been extended till December 31,” the bench said. On October 30, a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had said that a constitution bench would be constituted and Aadhaar-related matters would come up for hearing before it in November last. Several petitions challenging the Centre’s move to make Aadhaar card mandatory for availing various services and benefits of welfare schemes have been filed in the apex court.

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. The Centre had on October 25 told the top court that the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to receive benefits of government schemes has been extended till March 31, 2018 for those who do not have the 12-digit unique biometric identification number and were willing to enroll for it. Some petitioners in the top court have termed the linking of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) number with bank accounts and mobile numbers as “illegal and unconstitutional”.

They have also objected to the CBSE’s alleged move to make Aadhaar card mandatory for students appearing for examinations, a contention denied by the Centre. One of the counsel representing the petitioners had earlier said the final hearing in the main Aadhaar matter, which is pending before the apex court, was necessary as the government “cannot compel” citizens to link their Aadhaar with either bank accounts or cell phone numbers.

  1. R
    Reader
    Nov 3, 2017 at 3:36 pm
    The biometrics-based Aadhaar program is inherently flawed. Biometrics can be easily lifted by external means, there is no need to hack the system. High-resolution cameras can capture your fingerprints and iris information from a distance. Every eye hospital will have iris images of its patients. So another person can clone your fingerprints and iris images without your knowledge, and the same can be used for authentication. That is why advanced countries like the US, UK, etc. did not implement such a self-destructive biometrics-based system.
    Reply
    1. R
      Reader
      Nov 3, 2017 at 3:36 pm
      UK’s Biometric ID Database was dismantled. Why the United Kingdom's biometrics-linked National Identi-ty Card project to create a centralized register of sensitive information about residents similar to Aadhaar was scrapped in 2010?? The reasons were the massive threat posed to the privacy of people, the possibility of a surveillance state, the dangers of maintaining such a huge centralized repository of personal information and the purposes it could be used for, the dangers of such a centralized database being hacked, and the unreliability of such large-scale biometric verification processes. The Aadhaar program was designed in 2009 by mainly considering the 'Identi-ty Cards Act 2006' of UK, but the UK stopped that project in 2010, whereas India continued the biometrics-based program. We must think why the United Kingdom abandoned their project and destroyed the data collected. (Google: 'Identi-ty Cards Act 2006' and 'Identi-ty Documents Act 2010' )
      Reply
      1. R
        Reader
        Nov 3, 2017 at 3:35 pm
        The US Social Security Number (SSN) card has NO BIOMETRIC DETAILS, no photograph, no physical description and no birth date. All it does is confirm that a particular number has been issued to a particular name. Instead, a driving license or state ID card is used as an identification for adults. The US government DOES NOT collect the biometric details of its own citizens for the purpose of issuing Social Security Number. The US collects the fingerprints of only those citizens who are involved in any criminal activity (it has nothing to do with SSN), and the citizens of other countries who come to the US.
        Reply
        1. R
          Reader
          Nov 3, 2017 at 3:35 pm
          A centralized and inter-linked biometric database like Aadhaar will lead to profiling and self-censorship, endangering freedom. Personal data gathered under the Aadhaar program is prone to misuse and surveillance. Aadhaar project has created a vulnerability to identi-ty fraud, even identi-ty theft. Easy harvesting of biometrics traits and publicly-available Aadhaar numbers increase the risk of impersonation, especially online and banking fraud. Centralized databases can be hacked. Biometrics can be cloned, copied and reused. Thus, BIOMETRICS CAN BE FAKED. High-resolution cameras can capture your fingerprints and iris information from a distance. Every eye hospital will have iris images of its patients. So another person can clone your fingerprints and iris images without your knowledge, and the same can be used for authentication. If the Aadhaar scheme is NOT STOPPED by the Supreme Court, the biometric features of Indians will soon be cloned, misused, and even traded.
          Reply

          Go to Top