Aadhaar Not Must, Bigger SC Bench to Take Privacy Call

SC barred government from making Aadhaar mandatory for availing welfare schemes, directed it not to share personal data with any authority.

Published: 12th August 2015 03:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th August 2015 03:30 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday barred the government from making the Aadhaar card mandatory for availing of government welfare scheme and directed it not to share personal biometric data collected for enrollment under the scheme with  any authority.

A Constitution bench of the SC will decide the larger question of whether collecting biometric data for preparing the Aadhaar cards infringes on an individual’s privacy and if right to privacy was a fundamental right.

“No personal information of Aadhaar card shall be shared by any authority,” a bench headed by Justice J

Chelameswar said and took on record Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi’s statement to this effect. “UIDAI/Aadhaar will not be used for any other purpose except PDS, kerosene and LPG distribution,” the bench said and made it clear that even for availing of these facilities the card won’t be mandatory. The bench directed that the information received by UIDAI shall not be used for any other purpose, except in criminal investigation and that too with the permission of the court.

Allowing the Centre’s plea, the SC framed questions, including whether right to privacy is a fundamental right, to be decided by the Constitution bench. “If yes, then what would be the contours of the right to privacy,” the bench said while referring the matter to CJI H L Dattu for setting up the larger bench.

During the hearing, senior lawyer Shyam Divan argued that the exercise of getting enrolled in the Aadhaar scheme is done without the presence of any government officer, which is itself questionable. On this, the AG rebutted the plea for suspension of enrollments and said the balance of probabilities have shifted in favour of the government since 90 per cent of the adult population had already been enrolled.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp