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#Aadhaar hearing (Day 25) will begin shortly.
Attorney general resumes his arguments from yesterday. Reiterates that we live in a digital era and Aadhaar is the best way to prevent money laundering and deliver subsidies and benefits. Says that a lot of govt. funds has gone into this project.
AG: Aadhaar will last for a long time in the future. It has been approved by UN and world bank. Aadhaar is an ongoing process and the technology and security will be updated as and when required.
AG says that policy decisions of the government approved by experts are not subject to judicial review. Gives example of Unified Access Service License. Says three organs of the State should have mutual respect for each other in a democracy.
AG: Development will slow down if there's judicial review of every administrative action. Courts should not interfere in matters of technical expertise. The only duty of the court is to expound the language of the act. They cannot decide if a particular policy decision is fair
Justice Sikri: The petitioners are arguing on the basis of proportionaliy. You say there's minimal invasion of privacy. Petitioners are challenging that argument.
AG says that the State has a legitimate state interest in rolling out Aadhaar. Aadhaar is in line with the Puttaswamy judgement.
J.Bhushan we are not concerned with policy decision. We are looking at the Act and regulations.
AG reiterates that courts cannot question the wisdom of experts. Says there's no question of privacy involved in this case. The entire challenge is whether Aadhaar is safe and secure, which we have already proved it is, remarks AG.
AG is explaining the sixteen digit virtual ID. Says it is an excellent safety measure.
J. Chandrachud: Is the onus on the individual to generate a virtual ID? AG says it's on the individual. J. Chandrachud questions whether twenty crores people can do it.
AG says it's an additional measure. J. Chandrachud says that maybe this measure should be applicable to every Aadhaar no.without the individual having to generate it.
J. Chandrachud: perhaps Aadhaar passes the test of legitimate state interest, but proportionality is in question.
AG says that it stands the test of proportionality because all alternative measures we're considered before adopting Aadhaar.
AG repeats that the court should not become an approval authority. It is the duty of the State to look after the welfare of the people in a democracy.
J. Chandrachud: "Biological attributes" is open ended.
AG says that blood, urine, dna can be added, but it'll be subject to examination by the courts, just like right now the court is examining whether collection of fingerprints and Iris scans are a violation of privacy.
AG cites Section 55 and says that the parliament will be an oversight body. J. chandrachud says that the power of UIDAI to decide what is 'biological attributes" and the method of collecting it has to meet the test of proportionality.
J. Chandrachud:The regulations dont need the approval of the parliament under section 55. The parliament can only disapprove of it. But the initial power to frame regulations lies with UIDAI which might be a case of excessive delegation.
AG says that he'll answer this point later
AG hands over a UN report praising Aadhaar. Cites UN commission on science and technology for development report in support of Aadhaar. AG mentions Pradhan Mantri
Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan for spreading digital literacy in rural areas.
Bench has risen for lunch.
Correction: AG was reading out India's statement at the 20th session of UN commission on science and technology for development on the theme: New innovation approaches to support the implementation of sustainable development goals.
AG resumes his submissions. He's citing judgments on fingerprints. Says state may have a vital interest in collection of fingerprints.
J. Chandrachud: Pervasive use of fingerprints beyond a specific purpose is a problem and breaches proportionality. Limited use like in the case of prisoner identification is not a problem.
AG lists out the purpose of Aadhaar like curbing terrorism, money laundering, black money etc. Says these are specific purposes and legitimate state interests.
AG says that fingerprinting is no more considered a stigma and used for various purposes. Gives example of fingerprints of US government employees being collected.
AG says fingerprints are used for non criminal uses as well, and that it is not an unwarranted invasion of personal liberty.
AG denies that fingerprints can be used for surveillance. Says that they provide a simple means for identification. Emphasizes that no government in the last seven years has conducted surveillance and there is no record of the same.
AG quotes Whalen v. Roe wherein SCOTUS said that the state need not show that state action was necessary to solve a particular problem and there's no reason for assuming that state security provisions would be improperly administered.
J. Chandrachud says that SSN doesn't collect biometrics. It only contains an individuals name and number. SSN is similar to pan card, not Aadhaar.
AG is of the view that SSN collects more information than Aadhaar.
AG reads out excerpts from the American judgements of People v. Stuller and Buchanan v. Wing.
Bench rises for the day
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