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#Aadhaar case to be heard today by a 5-Judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court for interim relief.
Judges who would be hearing the matter: CJI Dipak Misra, A.K. Sikri, A.M. Khanwilkar, D.Y. Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan.
Hearing for #Aadhaar interim relief has started.
Mr Divan, counsel for petitioner, refers to the November order by the division bench which stated that the petitioners can press for interim relief if matter is not taken up in November.
Mr Divan reads out the interim orders of SC passed in the matter.
Highlights 15.10.2015 order of SC which said that the Aadhaar scheme is purely voluntary and cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by the court.
SD emphasises that that the previous orders of SC making Aadhaar voluntary still hold the ground as they have not been varied or modified by the court.
Reads out Chandrachud J. opinion in the Privacy judgment- para 180.
Mentions that for State to infringe privacy of people, there must be a law.
Refers to the notifications making Aadhaar mandatory for medical exam, JEE engineering entrances, school admissions. Says that these are without any statutory backing.
AG says that there's no pleading on these issues. Hence, can't defend it. SD replies that there's an IA on each of these matters.
AG says that no notice has been issued on these IAs. Hence, cannot answer it.
CJI says that they are not bound to see newspaper reports and website articles.
The court has risen for lunch and will resume at 2.30 pm.
Unfortunately due to connectivity issues in the court we were unable to live tweet today. We will put up a blog post later today with details of the arguments.
The court resumes.
SD continues with his arguments. Reads out the long title and provisions of Aadhaar act. Points out that Aadhaar is an entitlement not an obligation.
Emphasises on the proviso to Section 7 about the availability of alternative and viable means in case individual is not enrolled for Aadhaar.
Points out to schedule 1, form for enrollment which says Aadhaar is free and voluntary.
SD: Aadhaar Act is a comprehensive statute in itself with provisions on enrollment and authentication, provides for establishment of authority, audits, protection of information, etc.
SD: reads out section 57. Says nothing in it overrides the earlier order. Aadhaar remains voluntary.
SD: W.r.t. mobile phones linking order, 3 submissions- 1. There is no statute to back it.
2. No direction of SC to back these actions.
3. When this order was passed, 5 Judge bench was not noticed.
Reads out the DoT circular and order in Lokniti Foundation case.
Submits that when this order was passed, Govt. on affidavit had submitted that Aadhaae was an alternative process. Hence, not mandatory.
The order doesn't make Aadhaar mandatory for re-verification. Hence, no need to make it mandatory for cell phones.
Lists out the extensions of various deadlines for Aadhaar linking by the govt.
Requests that 1. 15th october order be reiterated.
2. 11th august be refered to.
3. No coercive step be undertaken for want of Aadhaar.
4. All circulars be consistent with the order of the court.
Gopal Subramaniam: All the orders of the court say that Aadhaar is voluntary even for the 6 schemes mentioned in the earlier order of SC.
The interim order cannot be abrogated by the legislature. It is an encroachment on judicial power.
GS: Section 7 doesn't make Aadhaar compulsory but the notifications make it compulsory.
GS: Above is in violation of SC order. Wants the orders of the court to be maintained The legality of act is a separate matter. The sanctity of judicial orders should be maintained.
Arvind Datar: Aadhaar being made mandatory for matters not connected to subsidy, benefit or service and for matters not incurring expenditure from CFI. Refers to it being made mandatory for obtaining death certificates.
AD: Interim order that if the matter is not incurring expenditure from CFI or connected to benefits, subsidies, it can't be made mandatory. All acts must be consistent with orders of SC.
KTS Tulsi: No data protection laws in existence. Right to privacy of people endangered.
Tulsi: In case of a breach, no action can be undertaken due to the absence of a law.
Khanwilkar, J: section 29 puts up a safeguard.
Anand Grover: section 29 is there, but it is not in place today. It is not the law today.
Grover: No data protection law. Srikrishna committee is working on a draft.
Grover: biometrics being taken are iris and fingerprints. They are not full-proof. Can be de-duplicated.
Grover: people being excluded because of it.
Aadhaar is not secure. Data not secure inherently. Corporate entities have access to it. In cases of breach, individual has no remedy. He cannot do anything about it.
Grover: Section 29 needs measures and infrastructure to take effect.
KV Vishwanathan: mere extension of deadlines doesn't serve the purpose.
Extension of services for all, no compulsion and no coercive measures till 31st march.
Arguments on aadhaar being mandatory for opening of new bank accounts.
Petitioners argue that it should be extended for all services including new bank accounts.
Sundaram: For new bank accounts, aadhaar compulsory only for the purpose of identification. Nothing more.
Petitioners: Bank accounts linking is under PMLA. However, it is in no way connected to CFI. The whole country cannot be suspected of money laundering.
CJI: Extension of deadline for all the services, central or state, barring new bank accounts and cellphone linking.
Petitioners: Request that it be mentioned that there would be no coercive measures and no denial of services in case aadhaar is not produced.
Also, deadlines for both new and old bank accounts be extended to 31st March.
CJI: Order to be pronounced tomorrow. Final hearing to start from 10th January, 2017.
Bench Rises.
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