The Supreme Court today left it to its Constitution Bench to deal with the apprehension of a “large section of the population” that sharing of biometric data under the Aadhaar scheme invades upon human dignity and the “right to privacy”. The apex court said it was deliberately refraining from entering into the arena of human dignity and the right to privacy on the issue of which arguments have been put forward for protection under Article 21 of the Constitution as the matter was pending before its Constitution Bench.
Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan noted the apprehension that fresh provision in the Income Tax Act making Aadhaar mandatory for allotment of PAN cards and linking it to filing of income tax returns coerces an individual to part with their private information which was a part of human dignity and violative of Article 21.
It observed that all these aspects argued by the petitioners overlap with privacy issue as different aspects of Article 21 and referred to its earlier judgement dealing with the “right to let alone has the shades of right to privacy.”
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“Since the said matter has already been referred to the Constitution Bench, we have consciously avoided discussion, though submissions in this behalf have been taken note of. “We feel that all the aspects of Article 21 need to be dealt with by the Constitution Bench. That is the reason we have deliberately refrained from entering into the said arena,” the bench said.