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Aadhaar Is Not Unconstitutional Says Supreme Court

Aadhaar Is Not Unconstitutional Says Supreme Court

Mr Kapil Sibal was trying to convince Justice D Y Chandrachud about the need for striking the Aadhaar legislation but the judge could not be convinced. Mr Sibal was talking on behalf of one of the many petitioners against Aadhaar on how the Aadhaar number violated the citizen’s fundamental right to privacy and put several points before the bench in support of his statement.

He refreshed the Court’s memory by quoting a statement uttered by PM Narendra Modi at the World Economic Forum about how a country who has a control over its data has a control over the world. According to him, permitting the continuance of the Aadhaar legislation would impact the future generations greatly. Enforcing the enrolment of the Aadhaar number by the government would provide information to the state and the use of this information for wrong purposes cannot be ruled out. Mr Sibal felt that the presumption of Aadhaar enhancing national security was an overstatement as identification of a citizen as being a money launderer or a terrorist was difficult without having a notice of the crime.

In spite of all arguments, Mr Sibal failed to be convincing and Justice Chandrachud stated on Tuesday that legislation could not be termed unconstitutional merely because it raised the possibility of being misused. He further stated that the legislation has to be proved arbitrary if it has to be revoked. On the question of the several risks likely to be posed by the continuance of Aadhaar, he said that the court was not in a position to determine the acceptable level of risk.

Mr Kapil Sibal clarified that even if the Aadhaar information was not misused by the state possibility of other players like telecom service providers or banks misusing it could not be ruled out. Retrieval of data that has become public is next to impossible.

A bench of five judges was hearing the cases pending against Aadhaar; Justice Chandrachud was one of them.