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Prasanna S @prasanna_s
, 23 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
#Aadhaar hearing continues. Sorry was stuck in another courtroom. ASG Tushar Mehta continuing to defend the PMLA rules making aadhaar bank linking mandatory.

He is arguing how it is not ultra vires the PMLA Act.
TM: The power under PMLA Act of the law being able to reach the right beneficial owner of any entity is not under challenge.

Sikri J interjects saying Rule 9 (4) is challenged on proportionality where there are several other officially valid documents.
TM: Aadhaar is the most robust and most fraud proof identity we have now. No biometric auth with other ids.
TM: Reading the rules.

DYC J interjects and asks TM to respond to contentions of Mr. Datar.

1. That the Rules are just subordinate legislation and that it is ultra vires Act.
2. There is no provision under PMLA to render a validly opened account inoperational.
3. How is life insurance or health insurance included under the Rules?

SD also says it is also a question of one time verification v continuous verification.
TM says that is the very mischief sought to be remedied.

DYC J says the overall purpose is clear but that we are into the nitty gritty legalities.
Sikri J raises a question about "Designated Business" under the definition of Reporting Entity under PMLA.

TM says may be there are no notifications.

Shyam Divan points out that it is defined under 2 (sa).

TM now defends that (!) saying these are about prize schemes etc.
TM: the intention is very clear, zero tolerance for money laundering and blackmoney etc.
Sikri J asks if you will ask for Aadhaar even for a person who goes to a casino in Goa for fun.

TM says it is absolutely required. Public interest. Interest of the Nation. (It is not a FR violation by govt but FR violation for the nation!)
Sikri j is not so sure this will measure up on proportionality then and asks doubtfully to TM.

TM repeats the "national interest" argument.
Sikri J asks TM to address the precise points raised by Petitioners.

TM wants to first address the question of accounts being non says it is only temporarily non operational till aadhaar is given.
TM next says there is plenary legislation of a valid statute Section 12 and 15 give the statutory status to the PMLA Rules under challenge.
CJI and Ashok Bhushan J says those provisions under the Act cannot give sanction to render a new account inoperative after 6 months ...That is the 300A violation alleged by Mr. Datar.
DYC J exposits how Section 12 and Section 15 by any stretch cannot sanction prescribing penalties by Rule making power.
TM: Consequence of noncompliance can be prescribed by Rules. DYC J is not so sure.
Sikri J and DYC J roar at TM when he says this is only a consequence of non compliance and not penal.

Sikri J says when someone cannot withdraw his property, it is a 300A deprivation.

Sikri j earlier also asked about what about a pensioner who has been known to be a pensioner..
...who is known to be a pensioner for so many years...what is the need to trouble him and harrass him by not allowing him to withdraw on just the ground of no aadhaar.
CJI asks TM to show legal authority to show how Rules may prescribe consequences of non compliance as drastic as this when Act does not provide for it. TM promises he will.
TM reads a judgment that says Rules once issued are effectively part of the Act.

CJI and Sikri J but that cannot apply to Rules outside of Rule making power.

CJI says conditions, limitations, consequences are all different under law.
Rakesh Dwivedi, Sr. Advocate...also arguing for the authority interjects and says aadhaar is mere a condition for opening an continuance of account.
Ashok Bhushan J points out that the condition mentioned in 12(c) only applies to verification. Not about continuance of accounts etc.

Sikri J refers to existing accounts and how you can freeze those accounts under the Act...even those validly opened accounts.
Bench rises for lunch. Please follow @SFLCin for second half.
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