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#Aadhaar final hearing- Day 9: Bench assembles. Kapil Sibal to resume.
KS: Refers to today's news report of old age pension. Authentication has to happen everywhere. So, if no electricity or WiFi is there, it results in exclusion.
DYC J. Exclusion also has two aspects: exclusion due to infrastructure and exclusion due to old age or other factors.
In case of infrastructure, it will have to be upgraded.
KS: But what do you do in the time when infrastructure is being upgraded? It is resulting in exclusion.
Respondents: No one is being excluded due to infrastructure.
Rakesh Dwivedi: Says that as per Section 7, can just show the Aadhaar card and number.
Refers to regulation 6, says that residents who are unable to provide any biometric, exception will be made and a procedure would be specified to issue them Aadhaar.
ASG Tushar Mehta: Reads out a cabinet release and says that no exclusion is taking place at any stage-enrolment or authentication.
ASG: Further reads that in case authentication fails due to connectivity, offline mode of authentication shall be ensured. Further, alternatives available in exceptional cases.
DYC J.: In a country as diverse as ours, it should be ensured that people are not excluded.
ASG reiterates that they are not being excluded.
Sikri J on provision for updation of biometrics says that many illiterate or poor people who might not be aware of these provisions. They would not know that such remedies lie.
ASG: We have ensured that.
KS: These are very serious problems on ground. Can't be ascertained by reading the statute.
Attorney General: Says that instead of providing Aadhaar number, it is sufficient to show that an individual has enrolled. If biometrics fail, then other modes of identification apply. There has to be either an Aadhaar number or an enrollment number.
KS comes back on law. Reads on section 4(3) of the Act on properties of Aadhaar number. Says that it has to be either in physical or electronic form.
DYC J. Says that section 7 gives three alternatives: authentication, proof of possession or proof of application.
DYC J: Authentication is the heart of the matter.
KS: Reads out regulation 26 about registrars. Says that the only consequence of a breach is fine.
KS: Reads out excerpts on the UK identity project.
KS: Reads on the arguments against the project. Says that it changed the relationship between state and citizens. The identity register is a massive identity database which can be accessed by govt.and officials without permission.
KS: Reads out comments of Theresa May, Secy. of State for Home dept. Reads that it is intrusive and ineffective. We are servants of the people not their masters.
KS: Further reads May that if the database is compromised, so is the security. Refers to the breaches. Reads that ID cards would not make people safer.
KS: Says that you are putting individuals and their data at risk.
KS: Reads on about the destruction of ID data in UK.
KS: Talks about Social Security Number. Says that it is an identity card.
KS: Says that in US a person can use SSN wherever she wants to use it. It is only a number.
KS: Says that what we have in Aadhaar today is identity plus which is unconstitutional. Pluses include metadata.
KS: You can draft an individual's life using the metadata.
KS: Says that the sections 3, 4, 8 & 57 of Aadhaar Act are the most important provisions in the statute.
KS: Says that Section 7 is not the key to this Act. That could have been done even under food security Act. The real intent of this Act is to extend it to every other service.
KS: Says that here identity does not matter as the benefit relates to the status of an individual not identity.
KS: Says that you are excluding all other proofs of identity which are acceptable otherwise for enrollment.
KS: Takes the court through Article 19 of the Constitution. Says compelling public interest is absent in 19(2),(3) &(4).
DYC J. Constitution itself postulates multiple identities which may be in terms of gender, religion, status, etc. However, the identity in the Act does not talk about identity in Constitutional sense.
KS: Says that there's an infringement as there's only one proof of identity. You're denying an individual the right to establish his identity in a manner which the Constitution permits bit the law does not.
KS: Article 21 gives you choice only for the Act to take it away.
KS hands over a note on the similar identity system in Israel and reads on.
KS: Details the biometric attributes included in the smart identity cards. Says that it allows the user, if they choose to do so, to safely identify themselves online from home when availing govt. services.
KS: Highlights the voluntary nature of the Smart IDs in Israel.
Says that authentication should be voluntary and should be embedded in the card itself. Also, alternative methods to establish identity should be available.
Bench rises. Hearing to continue on Tuesday, 13th February, 2018.
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