Right to privacy violated by Aadhaar?

Randall Craig
July 13, 2017

On October 7, 2015, the three-judge Bench, referred to a Constitution Bench, the question whether by enrolling for Aadhaar to access government welfare services, a person can voluntarily cast off his right to privacy.

Challenging the constitutionality of the Aadhaar project, a five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court will hear a bunch of petitions.

Senior Advocate Shyam Divan and Attorney General for India KK Venugopal mentioned the matter today before Chief Justice JS Khehar.

The SC said the Constitution Bench will sit on July 18 and 19 to hear matters related to Aadhaar.

They contended that the collection of biometric data and iris scan violated the fundamental right to privacy as personal data was not protected, and was vulnerable to exposure and misuse.

It had also asked the Centre and those opposing Aadhaar to approach the CJI for setting up of a Constitution Bench.

It was argued that Aadhaar card is an invasion of privacy and a bad violation of basic human rights.

Venugopal told the bench that an eight-judge bench of the apex court had earlier held that right to privacy was not a fundamental right and its five-judge Constitution Bench would have to examine whether the matter was required to be referred to a nine-judge bench. I can only say that a matter can be disposed of by a nine-judge bench.

The five-judge would begin the hearing from July 18.

One of the petitions being heard is filed by Shanta Sinha against 17 government notifications "making Aadhaar mandatory to access welfare schemes and benefits". It said about 115 crore people had already been issued Aadhaar card and by this method lakhs of fake ration cardholders had been eliminated and Rs. 56,000 crore had been saved.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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