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#Aadhaar (Day 28) hearing will begin shortly.
ASG Tushar Mehta resumes his arguments from yesterday. Says PMLA amendment was made considering the larger public interest. He's reading the relevant provisions of PMLA.
ASG is reading Prevention of Money-laundering(Maintenance of Records) Rules.
ASG continues defending the PMLA rules. Says it's not ultra vires the Aadhaar act or RBI circular.
ASG says there's no challenge with respect to the PMLA rules being ultra vires the PMLA.
J. Sikri: rule 9(4) is challenged on the ground of proportionality. What is the need to make Aadhaar compulsory when there are other officially valid docs available?
ASG says it is to prevent impersonation.
J. Chandrachud asks ASG to respond Mr. Datar's contentions: PMLA Rules are ultra vires Act; there is no provision under PMLA to render a validly opened account non operational; why is Aadhaar linking extended mutual funds and insurance policies as well.
J. Sikri: Anyone can become a reporting entity under the PMLA, not just banks. How is this proportional.
ASG: We follow zero tolerance policy when it comes to money laundering. Public interest is interest of the nation here.
J. Chandrachud questions the rule that an existing bank account will become non operational if Aadhaar is not linked within six months.
ASG says it's not permanent closure.
CJI and j. Bhushan ask how is blocking accounts if Aadhaar is not provided not in violation of article 300a of the constitution.
ASG says that it's a reasonable restriction.
J. Chandrachud:Is the penal consequence authorized by the Act or rules itself?The Act only talks about verification of bank accounts.
Asg: The rules are part of the Act.Penal consequence is just an ancillary provision and can be provided by the rules.J. Chandrachud does not agree
ASG: only plenary law is considered with respect to "procedure established by law" is wrong. The rules can also be considered.
Freezing of bank account is not a penalty but just a consequence.
J. Sikri: It is a penalty. You're depriving someone of their property.
ASG says the point of such a consequence ( freezing of bank accounts) is so that money launderers render their account non operational.
CJI: Our only question is whether the consequence is mandated under law or is it an overreach.
Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi arguing for the authority says aadhaar is just a condition for opening a bank account and continuance of it.
Given the problems we are facing, we need to re verify the accounts that are already existing, says RD
Bench rises for lunch.
ASG: terror financing destroys the root of our democracy and threatens our national security. There are huge cross border implications. Both in and outside India this kind of menace happens. Therefore it's important to link bank account with Aadhaar
ASG is talking about cross border offences.
Asg: Scheme of PMLA is three fold:
Zero tolerance to money laundering
Curbing black money
Reaching beneficiaries.
There will be minor inconvenience to some citizens but it is in the interest of the nation.
ASG asks the Lordships to weigh public interest and "perceived Privacy" before taking a decision.
Senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi now begins his submissions.
RD says he hasn't felt that he's being surveilled. Says people have voluntarily signed up for Aadhaar.
RD: We (hes talking about some lawyers)don't qualify for targeted delivery but we still got Aadhaar for the sake of having one identity.
RD says GOI has ample means to surveil. No need of Aadhaar. Refers to master circular of CBI that allows monitoring of bank account.
RD says petitioners are using rhetorics to rubbish Aadhaar. Emphasizes again that Aadhaar is not required for surveillance.
J. Chandrachud: technology is a very powerful enabler of mass surveillance. Elections of countries are being swayed with the use of data and technology.
RD says we can't compare Google and Facebook's algorithms with UIDAI's technology.
J. Chandrachud says that the act does not preclude UIDAI to acquire that kind of tech.
RD says it's an offence under section 33.
RD says the only purpose of Aadhaar is authentication and nothing else. There is no power provided under the Act to analyze data.
RD: Meta data is also limited. The meta data is of authentication records and it does not reveal anything about an individual.
RD: Meta data consists of authentication request, result of authentication and the time of authentication only.
J. Sikri: That is enough to reveal a lot about an individual.
RD: The authentication request will show from where the authentication request came (for example from Apollo hospital) but there's no way to know the location from where it came. Also the identity of the person who requested authentication is not revealed.
J. Chandrachud: the requesting entity can store the data, considering there is not even a robust data protection law. Commercial information about an individual is also a gold mine. Surveillance doesn't have to be interpreted in the traditional sense.
RD: Millions like me do not care about privacy.
J. Chandrachud: Giving fingerprints for a limited particular purpose is okay. Under Aadhaar, fingerprints are means for storing data in a central database for the purpose of authentication. Thats a problem.
RD says the biometrics are encrypted. Also the data is not shared with anyone. Even EU data protection law does not have the kind of protection that Aadhaar act has.
There is no reasonable expectation of privacy wrt demographic information
RD says that he understands if people have a problem with the implementation and enforcement of the Aadhaar act. But there's no problem with the law and the technology.
J. Chandrachud says section 29(b) allows sharing of data with third parties by requesting entities.
RD says 29(1) bars sharing of core biometrics completely. Says section 29(b) has to be read in the context of section 29(1).
J. Chandrachud: This act has gone beyond section 7 benefits and that is our major concern.
J. Chandrachud: Section 29(3) uses the word "identity information" which seems to suggest biometrics can also be transferred.
Bench rises. Will continue on Tuesday.
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