1. Supreme Court slams Mamata Banerjee government on Aadhaar issue: Here’s what the top court said

Supreme Court slams Mamata Banerjee government on Aadhaar issue: Here’s what the top court said

The Supreme Court on Monday rapped West Bengal government led by CM Mamata Banerjee for filing a plea against Aadhaar.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: October 30, 2017 1:12 PM
aadhaar issue, mamata banerjee, west bengal, west bengal government, supreme court West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. (PTI File Photo)

The Supreme Court on Monday rapped West Bengal government led by CM Mamata Banerjee for filing a plea against Aadhaar. The top court asked as to how can a state question a Central law. Earlier, the West Bengal government had moved the apex court against the Centre’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing the benefits of various social welfare schemes. According to ANI, the apex court observed that anyone can move top court in personal capacity but the state can’t question Central law. The plea was listed for hearing today before a bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan.

What the Supreme Court said

“How can a state file such a plea. In a federal structure, how can a state file a plea challenging Parliament’s mandate,” a bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government, told the court that the plea was filed by the labour department of the state as subsidies under these schemes have to be given by them.

“You satisfy us how the state has challenged it. We know it is a matter which needs consideration,” the bench said adding the Centre’s move can be challenged by an individual but not by states. “Let Mamata Banerjee come and file a plea as an individual. We will entertain it as she will be an individual,” the top court said. However, Sibal said the state was entitled to file such a plea but said that they would amend the prayer in the petition.

Notice to Centre

The bench has issued a notice to the Centre on a separate plea filed by an individual challenging the linking of mobile phone numbers with Aadhaar. The court asked the Centre to file its response on the plea in four weeks.

Senior advocate and member of parliament Kalyan Banerjee had earlier said West Bengal government has challenged the provision which said that without Aadhaar, the benefits of social welfare schemes would not be extended. On October 25, the Centre had told the top court that the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar to avail benefits of various government schemes has been extended till March 31 next year for those who do not have the 12-digit biometric identification number.

Attorney General K K Venugopal had told a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that the deadline extension from December end this year till March 31, 2018, would apply only to those who do not have Aadhaar and are willing to enrol for it.

However, Venugopal had told the bench that he would take instructions on certain issues on Aadhaar after which the court had asked him to mention the matter again on October 30. Several petitions, challenging the Centre’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory for welfare schemes and notifications to link it with mobile numbers and bank accounts, are pending with the apex court.

  1. R
    Reader
    Nov 6, 2017 at 7:50 am
    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. If the biometric details of a person are COMPROMISED ONCE, then even a new Aadhaar card will not help the person concerned. This is NOT like blocking an ATM card and taking a new one.
    Reply
    1. V
      Vinnie
      Oct 30, 2017 at 4:50 pm
      I say remove the Voters' ID card and let there be only Adhaar for Voting. Why is not SC doing this logical thing? This will eradicate the entire vote bank. Neither BJP or Congress is talking about this, because they know the implications.
      Reply
      1. R
        Reader
        Oct 30, 2017 at 3:02 pm
        The Supreme Court is yet to take a decision on the validity of Aadhaar and whether the State can compulsorily link Aadhaar to various programs and all financial transactions. The Supreme Court will hear peti-tions related to Aadhaar including those for scrapping the Aadhaar Act, stopping biometric profiling, halting bank and mobile databases seeding with Aadhaar, etc. in the coming months.
        Reply
        1. R
          Reader
          Oct 30, 2017 at 4:29 pm
          Update: The Supreme Court will soon set up a five-judge Cons ution bench that will hear those pe ions in the last week of November 2017.
          Reply
        2. R
          Reader
          Oct 30, 2017 at 3:01 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
          1. R
            Reader
            Oct 30, 2017 at 3:01 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
              Oct 30, 2017 at 3:00 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
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