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Vide its orders dated 31.07.2017, 31.08.2017, 08.12.2017 and 27.03.2018, CBDT had allowed time till 30th June, 2018 to link PAN with Aadhaar while filing the tax returns. Upon consideration of the matter, CBDT vide order dated 30.6.2018 under Section 119 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 has further extended the time for linking PAN with Aadhaar till 31st March, 2019.

Ministry of Finance

[F.No.225/270/2017/ITA.II]

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After hearing the much-debated Aadhaar matter for 38 days, the 5-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and Dr. AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, Dr. DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, JJ has reserved the judgment. The hearing had begun on January 17, 2018.

Below are the highlights from the arguments advanced on the last day of the Aadhaar Hearing:

  • Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium: 
    • Is Aadhaar really affirmative action? Is the act an enabler or is it in the guise of enabler? The act is not an instrumentality to deliver services. It is only a means of identification. We have to read the true purpose of law and whether the law seeks to achieve that purpose. Dignity and autonomy is not preserved by section 7 of the Aadhaar Act.
    • Aadhaar Act does not have a proper purpose. A claim to a proper purpose is not proper purpose. Authentication is at the heart of the Act. Failure of authentication is a ground for denial of services.
  • Chandrachud, J: An act like Aadhaar needs a regulator which is absent.
  • Gopal Subramanium: The state seeks to take away our data without the backing of a strong data protection framework. Words like “grant of subsidies, benefits and services” are expressions of condescension in Section 7. They are not treated like an entitlement. The burden is on the people to authenticate and establish their identity. Should the State logically be the holder of such information?
  • Chandrachud, J: Is “subsidy” a benefit or a right, that has to be decided.
  • Gopal Subramanium: 
    • Private players have access to Aadhaar data. There is no regime of protection. There is no vertical protection.
    • Section 7 has been interpreted to be mandatory. Can’t make citizens subservient under section 7 and call rights, benefits.
    • The Act is to be struck down completely as it fails all three tests laid down in Puttaswamy. There’s no legitimate state aim as the real aim is different from the purported aim. There was no law when Aadhaar was implemented and there’s no proportionality.
    • This Court consciously overruled ADM Jabalpur. The doctrine of possibility of misuse does not apply here because there is actual denial of rights in the case of Aadhaar.
    • Aadhaar Act should be completely struck down and the architecture and database must be destroyed.

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  • Senior Advocate Arvind P. Datar:
    • Aadhaar cannot be a money bill. At most, it can be a financial bill of category 3 under Article 117(3) of the Constitution.
    • Doctrine of severability will not apply to Aadhaar, since the doctrine is only applicable to validly enacted laws.
    • Mohd.Saeed Siddiqui and Yogendra Jaiswal should be overruled. Finality of speaker’s decision doesn’t mean that the bill cannot be subject to judicial review.
    • Under PMLA, Aadhaar is not just confined to banks but has gone beyond it’s scope. Aadhaar is needed for mutual funds, insurance policies and credit cards as well, among other things.
    • Only magic words like black money, national security and terrorism are being thrown around by the State. The justification of a law for proportionality cannot be a ritualistic exercise. Aadhaar is not justified under Article 300A of the Constitution.
    • Linking Aadhaar will never solve problems of money laundering and black money because the source of such money is different. This is colorable exercise of power. Black money and money laundering is being used as a ruse to collect people’s biometrics.
    • Section 57 should go completely. Anything outside Section 7 is completely violative of the Puttaswamy judgement. S.139AA of the income tax act is inconsistent with the Aadhaar Act.
    • There should be an option of opting out of Aadhaar.

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  • Senior Advocate P. Chidambaram:
    • AG’s reading of the word “only” in Article 110(g) is erroneous. There is no need to tamper the language of the Article.
    • Section 57 travels beyond Article 110 of the Constitution. Clause (g) of 110 (1) must be read very restrictively. The provision has to be incidental to (a) to (f) to come under (g). Clause (g) is not a substantive provision.
    • The implications of passing a non money bill as a money bill are very serious: One half of the parliament is virtually disabled from making any amendments. It denudes the highest constitutional authority of the country, the President of India.
    • There is no provision in the Constitution which gives the court the power of severability in case of an invalidly enacted legislation. The Australian constitution has such a provision.
    • The bill was passed without the effective participation of the Rajya Sabha and without assent from the President. The court cannot save a legislation that is fundamentally unconstitutional.
    • Pith and Substance doctrine cannot be applied in cases where the applicability of Article 110 is being interpreted. Only limited to entries of legislative lists.
    • The Court must strike down the Aadhaar Act as it is not a money bill. It is a mockery of Article 110.

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  • Senior Advocate K.V Vishwanathan: 
    • Respondents’ argument that the least intrusive method is not a facet of proportionality is completely erroneous. You can’t balance your own bundle of rights. Balancing Right to food and right to privacy is wrong.
    • Section 59 doesn’t protect Aadhaar during the time it was not an Act. Its a wrong submission made by the state. To rely on the exception handling mechanism is ultra vires the Act.
    • If it’s my rights and their duty, then they cannot discharge their duty by subjecting the poor and downtrodden of this country to a technological menace.
    • There can be no data collection and digitalization of records. The underpinning of the Aadhaar Act is authentication of individuals.
    • Harmonization of rights is being mis-applied by the respondents.

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To read the highlights from the rejoinder submitted by the petitioners, click here and here.

To read the highlights from the submissions of AG KK Venugopal on the issue of money bill, click here.

To read the highlights from the submissions of Advocate Zoheb Hossain, click here.

To read the highlights from the submissions of Advocate Gopal Sankarnarayanan and Senior Advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, click here.

To read the highlights from the submissions of Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, click here , here , here , here and here.

To read the highlights from the submissions by ASG Tushar Mehta, click here and here.

To read the highlights from the submissions by the Attorney General, click here, here , here and here.

To read the highlights from the PowerPoint Presentation made by the CEO of UIDAI, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates Meenakshi Arora, Sajan Poovayya, CU Singh, Sanjay Hegde and Counsel Jayna Kothari, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates KV Viswanathan and Anand Grover, click here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Arvind Datar’s submissions, click here, here and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium’s submissions, click herehere and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal’s arguments, click here, here and here.

Looking for the detailed submissions of Senior Advocate Shyam Divan? Read the highlights from Day 1Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 , Day 5, Day 6 and Day 7 of the hearing.

Source: twitter.com/SFLCin

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On the penultimate day of the Aadhaar hearing, Senior Advocate Shyam Divan continued with his rejoinder before the 5-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and Dr. AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, Dr. DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, JJ.

Below are the highlights from the arguments advanced on Day 37 of the Aadhaar Hearing:

  • Shyam Divan:
    • We’re linking Individuals Aadhaar with their bank accounts and mobile numbers without their permission. It’s called inorganic seeding. Without statutory backing UIDAI collected biometrics of hundred crore people which is the entire population of Europe and North America.
    • From the citizens perspective, there’s authentication tower and enrollment tower. IP address, ID, date, time and purpose of authentication can be known because of the architecture of Aadhaar. Source code of the Aadhaar software belongs to foreign companies. It is impossible to live in contemporary India without Aadhaar.
    • Aadhaar linking is not a one time thing. It’s a continuous process.
    • ID4D 2015 report was relied on by the Attorney General KK Venugopal. World bank had partnered with Accenture to write this report. Therefore the report is not impartial.
    • Collecting biometrics was ultra vires the 2009 notification. Assuming the notification was an act of parliament, even then it would’ve been ultra vires for collecting something as intrusive as biometrics. Also there was no informed consent and penalties that time.
    • UIDAI has been flouting the interim orders of the SC. Aadhaar schemes under section 7 should not involve children, merit education. Exclude schemes for rehabilitation and involve stigma like bonded labourers, exclude food and nutrition, matters related to health.
    • There cannot be retrogression of human rights.
    • Sarva shiksha Abhiyan and mid day meal schemes requires children to furnish Aadhaar to avail benefits of these schemes. This should be completely excluded from section 7. There should be no conditions placed on children to avail these benefits.
    • Aadhaar was even required to participate in essay competition. This is way beyond any reasonable limit of proportionality.
    • Highly vulnerable groups should not be mandated to provide Aadhaar. Even Ujjwala scheme for women rescued from trafficking requires Aadhaar.
  • Sikri, J: The problem is that wrong beneficiaries receive such benefits.
  • Shyam Divan:
    • Even tuberculosis patients were mandated to disclose Aadhaar numbers. 
    • Please don’t consider Section 7 by itself but the overall impact of the Act. This is an over extension of the coercive powers of the State. Section 7 beneficiaries are demoted to the status of second class citizens. Aadhaar authentication is a violation of personal autonomy.
    • Also, Aadhaar is probabilistic. Non retrogression of rights is an important principle of human rights law.
    • This act has a huge impact on human rights. Constitution has an intricate scheme to defend part III with the final defence lying with the SC. Cannot bypass wisdom of Rajya Sabha and Article 111 to pass Aadhaar as a money bill.
    • Demographic information in many situations is also important and should not be trivialised. People must have the choice to preserve and protect it.
    • The architecture of Aadhaar with full traceability enables mass surveillance, and profiling. There are a lot of lawyers who are doing this pro Bono because they believe this is a huge constitutional matter. There’s no commercial interest.
    • The Aadhaar Act will not survive the first five words of the preamble, “We the people of India”.

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  • Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium:
    • State functionaries have a continuing constitutional obligation. If the obligation is not met, it cannot be reversed and the burden of proof cannot be on Individuals to establish their identity.
    • Do children want fake mid day meals? Do poor disabled people want to fake their identity?
    • Section 33 will allow sharing of authentication records. Footprints of ones activities are known by the State. Is there any nexus between such knowledge of the State and delivery of services?
    • You need all the other identity documents like ration cards, along with Aadhaar number. A person can ping the authentication machine three times and get rejected and then get accepted on the fourth ping. How can we subject citizens to this?
    • Is Aadhaar really for the oppressed? Because everyone is now supposed to link it with banks, telecom etc. What exactly is the compelling state interest that has been demonstrated?
    • Admissions to schools is denied for lack of Aadhaar. The legislation is not an enabler, and not used for empowerment. Therefore, it falls on all grounds that is Articles 14, 19 and 21.
    • Data of citizens can be used for political exercise. Aadhaar’s preponderant nature is likely to invade. Aadhaar alters the symbiotic nature between state and citizen.
    • This law is a fetter on self actualization. However noble your intentions maybe, if you step out of the boundaries of the Constitution, then there’s no saving such legislation.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

To read the highlights from the submissions of AG KK Venugopal on the issue of money bill, click here.

To read the highlights from the submissions of Advocate Zoheb Hossain, click here.

To read the highlights from the submissions of Advocate Gopal Sankarnarayanan and Senior Advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, click here.

To read the highlights from the submissions of Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, click here , here , here , here and here.

To read the highlights from the submissions by ASG Tushar Mehta, click here and here.

To read the highlights from the submissions by the Attorney General, click here, here , here and here.

To read the highlights from the PowerPoint Presentation made by the CEO of UIDAI, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates Meenakshi Arora, Sajan Poovayya, CU Singh, Sanjay Hegde and Counsel Jayna Kothari, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates KV Viswanathan and Anand Grover, click here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Arvind Datar’s submissions, click here, here and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium’s submissions, click herehere and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal’s arguments, click here, here and here.

Looking for the detailed submissions of Senior Advocate Shyam Divan? Read the highlights from Day 1Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 , Day 5, Day 6 and Day 7 of the hearing.

Source: twitter.com/SFLCin

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On Day 36 of the Aadhaar Hearing, Attorney General KK Venugopal concluded his arguments on the issue of Aadhaar Act, 2016 being introduced as Money Bill before the 5-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and Dr. AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, Dr. DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, JJ. It also marked the end of the submissions of the State and the petitioners began rejoinder post lunch.

Below are the highlights from the arguments advanced on Day 36 of the Aadhaar Hearing:

  • Attorney General KK Venugopal: Article 110(1)(g) is a standalone provision. There can be a bill that does not relate to 110(1)(a)-(g) but is still covered independently under 110(1)(g). Therefore, the Aadhaar bill did not have to to be passed by the Rajya Sabha. RS could only make recommendations.
  • CJI: Section 57 is an enabling provision that allows state legislature to introduce Aadhaar for various services. The state legislature may or may not introduce it as a money bill. It’s nature will then be examined if it’s challenged in a court of law.
  • AG (On Aadhaar SIM linking):
    • Aadhaar is not mandatory to obtain a new connection ,but there will be no chance of forgery and fraud if Aadhaar is linked to SIM card.
    • Aadhaar was made optional as per the direction of the Supreme Court but it will only remain optional till the final disposal of the matter. (SC had denied a few days ago that it had issued any direction to make Aadhaar mandatory for sim in the lokniti case)
    • We are recognizing the interim order passed in the Lokniti Foundation case, and hence making Aadhaar optional for the time being.
    • No core biometrics data is shared under the Aadhaar Act.
    • The State takes offense to the fact that words such as “electronic leash” and “concentration camps” were used.

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  • Senior Advocate Shyam Divan (Rejoinder): 
    • First time in a democracy, something like CIDR has been implemented. SC is at the vanguard of balancing human rights and new technologies.
    • Cannot have a surveillance state in this democracy. Identity of the person, date and time, and location are the three elements of surveillance.
    • On March 9, 2018, state filed an affidavit appending an expert report by Manindra Agarwal of IIT kanpur who is also a member of technology and architecture review board of Aadhaar along with the security review board.
    • UIDAI’s presentation report says that biometrics database is accessible by third party vendors like Morpho, Accenture, identity solutions and one more. Breach of verification log leaks location of places where an individual did authentication.
    • The report admits that tracking of location of a person is possible. Prof. Agarwal has admitted that last five years location data can be accessed with the verification log. Even without the verification log, current location can be tracked. UIDAI knows the location of an individual. Third parties can access the approximate location if the verification log is breached.
    • Experts on both sides now agree that surveillance is possible. It’s not just a privacy issue, it’s a limited government issue. How far does the coercive power of the state extend? Cannot extend to creating an infrastructure that is capable of tracking people.
    • Can we have a law or system that sets up an authority that does not comport with our democracy? I’m speaking about a rudimentary level of surveillance. I’m not even talking about commercial surveillance.
    • State has created a structure of not just CIDR but AUAs and KUAs where all information is being tracked including location. In terms of power and control, the existence of a body like UIDAI is beyond my wildest imagination.
    • The Maninder Agarwal affidavit is a tipping point in this case. He’s careful and says that there are laws to protect us. SC cannot permit something so deeply flawed to function in our country.
    • Is this a case of the emperor who had no clothes? On the point of balancing, I would submit that this is an impairment of Part III of the Constitution. This is a moment in time to take a firm stance.
  • Chandrachud, J: There’s an inexorable march of technology. What are the kind of safeguards that we should take while balancing these rights is something we have to consider. Not like there’s quantitative lack of food in our country. The problem is that people can’t access that food. It is the duty of the State to look into this aspect also.
  • Shyam Divan:
    • Choice and option is important in a democracy. (Jokingly says that Mr. Zoheb Hossain also does not have an Aadhaar.)
    • UIDAI in their answer have said that they do not take responsibility for correct/incorrect identification. They only provide a matching system. It’s a self certification/ declaration system. Please consider this in the context of opening and operating bank account.
    • UIDAI takes no responsibility for correct name, address, date of birth Please consider if this meets minimum standard of rationality. UIDAI hasn’t answered how many authentication rejections have taken place. If you’re successful of performing five authentications in a year, it’s considered hundred percent successful.
    • UIDAI was asked if they verify if illegal immigrants are given Aadhaar. As a 2013 SC order said that illegal immigrants should not get Aadhaar.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

To read the highlights from the submissions of Advocate Zoheb Hossain, click here.

To read the highlights from the submissions of Advocate Gopal Sankarnarayanan and Senior Advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, click here.

To read the highlights from the submissions of Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, click here , here , here , here and here.

To read the highlights from the submissions by ASG Tushar Mehta, click here and here.

To read the highlights from the submissions by the Attorney General, click here, here , here and here.

To read the highlights from the PowerPoint Presentation made by the CEO of UIDAI, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates Meenakshi Arora, Sajan Poovayya, CU Singh, Sanjay Hegde and Counsel Jayna Kothari, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates KV Viswanathan and Anand Grover, click here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Arvind Datar’s submissions, click here, here and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium’s submissions, click herehere and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal’s arguments, click here, here and here.

Looking for the detailed submissions of Senior Advocate Shyam Divan? Read the highlights from Day 1Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 , Day 5, Day 6 and Day 7 of the hearing.

Source: twitter.com/SFLCin

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On Day 35 of the Aadhaar Hearing, Advocate Zoheb Hossain, appearing for the State of Maharashtra and UIDAI, resumed his submissions before the 5-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and Dr. AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, Dr. DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, JJ. Attorney General KK Venugopal made submissions on Aadhaar Act, 2016 being passed as a Money Bill.

Below are the highlights from the arguments advanced on Day 35 of the Aadhaar Hearing:

  • Advocate Zoheb Hossain:
    •  Data protection law is a positive obligation of the State. All rights give rise to a variety of duties. Aadhaar is a project to ensure socio economic rights of the people.
    • All human rights are equally important, indivisible and are interconnected. Socio economic rights are as important as civil and political rights.
    • a UN General assembly resolution says that ideal of freedom can only be achieved if conditions are created so that everyone can enjoy socio economic and civil political rights.
    • To judge proportionality, reasonableness of the measure/restrictions have to be shown from the point of view of the general public and not from the PoV of one affected party.
    • Right to privacy is an individual right which can be highly subjective or objective and the state cant be held to be vicariously liable for it. No petitioner has claimed infringement of right to privacy.questions the fact that right to Privacy violation is being heard as a PIL.
    • A person may use her aadhaar for obtaining SIM, opening bank account and getting PDS. Her telecom company will not have details of the bank/PDS. Similarly, her bank will not have info on her telecom and PDS. UIDAI won’t have any of the three details.
    • Aadhaar act provides adequate safety to identity and authentication records.
    • A party cannot expect strict adherance to the principles of natural justice during times of emergency.
    • Section 47 has been of challenge for not providing a right to complain. Purpose is discernible under the scheme of the act. A complaint can be filed to UIDAI therefore a person is not left remedy-less.
    • Aadhaar is technical and it’s best if UIDAI is given the power to complain as they best understand the matters. Similar provision in Industrial Disputes Act was upheld. UIDAI may authorize a person to make a complaint if they feel it’s genuine.
    • There are provisions under the IT act for offences such as Identity theft, violation of privacy etc.
    • The purpose of Aadhaar including section 139aa is to promote redistributive justice and ensure substantial equality along with furthering the dignity of the individual.  Aadhaar act and Income tax act are standalone acts and it cannot be said that parliament in it’s wisdom cannot make Aadhaar mandatory by way of an amendment.
    • This argument has already been examined and decided in binoy viswam. If the objects of the two statutes are different then they are said to run parallelly and not intersect. There’s no conflict.
    • Having Aadhaar for individuals also cures the evil vis-a-vis companies. Companies and individuals are treated differently in the income tax Act. That cannot be called unreasonable classification.
    • Section 165 of companies Act allows a person to be the director of twenty companies. If Aadhaar is linked with PAN, it can be checked whether a genuine person is the director of more than one company. The genuineness of the company can also be verified.
    • Problem of dummy directors and fake companies will be solved by linking Aadhaar with PAN.

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  • Attorney General KK Venugopal on the issue of Money Bill:
    • The term “targeted delivery of subsidies” contemplates expenditure of funds. The expenditure has to go into thousands of crores from the consolidated fund of India. This itself brings it into the ambit of money bill under Article 110 of the Constitution.
    • Even though the law has ancillary provisions, the main objective of the Act is delivery of services and benefits.
    • Sections 7, 24 and 25 along with the preamble of the Act brings it totally within the ambit of Article 110. Not a single provision in the act is unnecessary or unrelated to the main purpose/pith and substance of the act which is giving subsidies.
  • Chandrachud, J: Section 57 snaps the link with consolidated fund of India.
  • AG: When the contract is placed before your Lordships, then it has to be examined. We may not know today what color or aspect the contract under Section 57 would take.
  • Sikri, J: There’s no distribution of benefits and subsidies under section 57.
  • AG: Section 57 will be saved by Article 110(1)(g).
  • Chandrachud, J: You may be rewriting the Constitution!

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

To read the highlights from the submissions of Advocate Gopal Sankarnarayanan and Senior Advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul, click here.

To read the highlights from the submissions of Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, click here , here , here , here and here.

To read the highlights from the submissions by ASG Tushar Mehta, click here and here.

To read the highlights from the submissions by the Attorney General, click here, here , here and here.

To read the highlights from the PowerPoint Presentation made by the CEO of UIDAI, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates Meenakshi Arora, Sajan Poovayya, CU Singh, Sanjay Hegde and Counsel Jayna Kothari, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates KV Viswanathan and Anand Grover, click here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Arvind Datar’s submissions, click here, here and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium’s submissions, click herehere and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal’s arguments, click here, here and here.

Looking for the detailed submissions of Senior Advocate Shyam Divan? Read the highlights from Day 1Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 , Day 5, Day 6 and Day 7 of the hearing.

Source: twitter.com/SFLCin

Hot Off The PressNews

Advocate Gopal Sankarnarayanan, who had begun his submissions on Day 33 of the Aadhaar hearing, continued with his submissions before he 5-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and Dr. AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, Dr. DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, JJ on day 34 of the Aadhaar Hearing.

Below are the highlights from Day 34 of the Aadhaar Hearing:

  • Chandrachud, J: Aadhaar section 7 seeks to identity the beneficiaries that require subsidies. It doesn’t take away other forms of identity.
  • Sankarnarayanan:
    • Aadhaar is a number which helps identify people who need subsidies. Many don’t need that identity.
    • I support Aadhaar for the control, security and safeguards it provides but Section 139aa of the Income Tax Act takes away those. “Individual Income tax pan holders (non corporates)” are targeted by the State via Aadhaar. With respect to financial scams, the problem was dummy companies, not individuals. Yet companies are not targeted.
    • For the purposes of Income tax, Aadhaar is mandatory, there’s no informed consent, and it is not related to Consolidated fund of India. Therefore proportionality test fails.
    • If the aim was curbing black money and preventing money laundering, then linking pan with individual Aadhaar holders doesn’t achieve that purpose. Therefore there’s no proportionality.
    • Indian law journal: users guide to privacy says Obfuscation is a technique by which privacy can be kept intact. It gives up on trust between individual and states though. Petitioners have a valid ground of lack of trust
    • “Identification of targeted beneficiaries” is key. Aadhaar is voluntary. It can be used as “proof of identity” for someone who doesn’t need subsidies.
    • Section 5 enjoins UIDAI to take special measures for vulnerable groups. It proves there is an element of discharge of obligation by the State.
    • The constitution lays down that any penny from the CFI has to go to the person for whom it was earmarked. It is an onerous obligation on the state. Aadhaar attempts to ensure, with the use of biometric authentication, that this obligation is dispersed.
    • If Aadhaar becomes the universal identity card replacing all other identity documents which were initially required to get an Aadhaar, then it is a concern.
    • Aadhaar identification is as secure and foolproof as one of the eighteen proof of identities taken at the time of enrollment because of the voluntary nature of section 7, there is balance in Aadhaar act, unlike Section 139aa wherein there’s no balance.
  • Chandrachud, J: Section 7 is not voluntary. Someone who wants subsidies will have to have Aadhaar.
  • Sankarnarayanan:
    • Aadhaar Act subserves articles 253 and 266(3) of the Constitution along with fundamental rights.
    • We don’t need the least restrictive test to show proportionality. Trust CIDR with my data.
    • Safeguards, balances and limitations provided under the Aadhaar Act makes it proportional.
    • National informatics centre runs both Supreme court website and UIDAI. SC website was hacked a few days ago.
    • UIDAI needs to plug the holes in the Aadhaar system before rushing with it. Aadhaar is not being able to keep up with technology.
    • Aadhaar has protection under the Aadhaar act and Section 43A of the IT Act, along with SPDI rules.

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  • Senior Advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul:
    • If Aadhaar is a reliable, speedy tool for identification and authentication, then there’s no reason to hold it invalid.
    • Aadhaar authentication has made life easier for women in villages, migrants, etc.
    • Microfinance institutions will have a larger reach by virtue of Aadhaar and predatory financing will reduce.
    • Private players are also governed by the Act. Give private players the choice to use Aadhaar if they want since section 57 is an enabling provision under the Aadhaar Act.
  • Chandrachud, J: The need for verification should not be decided by private players.
  • Kaul:
    • The bench can make Privacy and data security regulations as stringent as possible. But as long as the private player and customer have consensus on using Aadhaar, it shouldn’t be disallowed as Aadhaar is the most effective and powerful tool for verification.
    • Aadhaar is based on matching algorithms, not learning ones like Google and Facebook.
    • I request the bench to not exclude AUAs and KUAs from using Aadhaar for their businesses. Merely because there’s a scope of misuse, a statute cannot be struck down.
    • Location of AUA and KUA is not revealed, so there’s no question of surveillance.

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  • Advocate Zoheb Hossain:
    • Socio economic rights are justiciable rights, the SC has held in the past. Article 56 of UN charter talks about inter-relation between socio economic and civil political rights. Positive obligations of the State like food, shelter etc are embedded in Article 21.
    • In this case, the bench is balancing interference with the right to Privacy which is the numerator and denominator is the socio economic rights of the people. It is not just a case where part IV requirements are being read.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

To read the highlights from the submissions of Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, click here , here , here , here and here.

To read the highlights from the submissions by ASG Tushar Mehta, click here and here.

To read the highlights from the submissions by the Attorney General, click here, here , here and here.

To read the highlights from the PowerPoint Presentation made by the CEO of UIDAI, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates Meenakshi Arora, Sajan Poovayya, CU Singh, Sanjay Hegde and Counsel Jayna Kothari, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates KV Viswanathan and Anand Grover, click here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Arvind Datar’s submissions, click here, here and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium’s submissions, click herehere and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal’s arguments, click here, here and here.

Looking for the detailed submissions of Senior Advocate Shyam Divan? Read the highlights from Day 1Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 , Day 5, Day 6 and Day 7 of the hearing.

Source: twitter.com/SFLCin

Hot Off The PressNews

On Day 33 of the Aadhaar Hearing that has been going on since January 17, 2018, Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi concluded his submissions and made way for other counsels to present their arguments before the 5-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and Dr. AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, Dr. DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, JJ.

Below are the highlights from Day 33 of the Aadhaar Hearing:

  • Dwivedi: UIDAI’s control over RE is a fair and reasonable safeguard under Article 21. Data under REs is segregated. There’s no way to aggregate that data as there are over 300 REs.
  • Sikri, J: What about an individual RE collecting data?
  • Dwivedi:
    • Lets take the example of Vodafone. what will vodafone do with the authentication data? They can’t track any individual. Vodafone can do targeted advertising using the data which is already happening without Aadhaar. Vodafone has far more demographic data about an individual than UIDAI has. In the case of UIDAI, there are so many regulations and penal consequences that don’t apply to Vodafone.
    • Nobody is questioning what banks and telecoms are collecting. The single target is Aadhaar. (shows a credit card statement to the bench to show that banks have a record of all transactions made by an individual including the place of transaction.)
    • It’s not difficult to collect data about someone from Google. How much senior advocates charged for particular cases is also available online. We need to have big data, processing power and statistical know how to do big data analysis as Google is doing. Google and Facebook process tremendous data on a daily basis. UIDAI does not have that kind of algorithms.
    • It is doubtful that an RE that collects data and transfers that data without any other data has any value. Also RE s do not have authentication records. We are still conscious about providing as much security as possible because we want to gain the trust of the people.
    • Explaining the control of RE:
      • RE buys fingerprint device from a vendor. We control the vendor with respect to the hardware and software of the device.
      • We also put a key in the device so that the data is encrypted and sent to CIDR. Machine is then taken to STQC and that Dept looks into the device to see whether it meets all the requirements. Device preparation and certification happens without the knowledge of RE.
      • Information systems operator then conducts an audit of the RE and the report is submitted to UIDAI. If it is approved then the RE gets a license from UIDAI in order to operate as an RE.
      • Meta data is important for validation that the data is coming from a particular RE with which uidai has an agreement. Meta data is required for fraud management and verification.
      • REs have a data vault as well. It is controlled by trusted people. Apart from this there are two more audits conducted: annual audit and random audits by UIDAI. Even ASAs are audited likewise. Relevant regulations are 19(1)(g) and 21.
      • Nature of information is such that it is not of any commercial value. All REs are already possessed of this information and much more. UIDAI has device control which happens before the device is purchased. There are double pairs of keys.Encryption is immediate and time stamped.
      • Transmission requires digital signature with a private let. There’s a data vault. There’s complete prohibition of storing PID block. Even demographic info is prohibited from transfer. Three level auditing by information system auditor.
      • There are penal consequences if any provision of the Aadhaar Act or regulation is violated.
      • Central government has no access to UIDAI’s data as UIDAI is an autonomous body. Hence, no surveillance is possible.
    • While examining the problem of smart cards, even the EU has said that having a centralized database is important. Decentralization leads to fakes and duplicates.
    • Aadhaar SIM linking helps in ensuring that Sim card is given to the person who’s applying for it. This is a legitimate state interest. he measure to verify your SIM card one time is not excessive at all. Therefore it’s proportional to the object sought to be achieved.
  • Chandrachud, J: SC never directed in LokNiti foundation order to carry out e-KYC of mobile nos. using Aadhaar. The DoT notification says that Aadhaar SIM linking is being done on the direction of the SC while the SC had not issued any such direction.
  • Dwivedi:
    • No, it was done on the recommendation of TRAI before the Lok Niti order had even come out. My submission is that the government had a legal basis to link Aadhaar with SIM by virtue of section 4 of the telegraph act. Also, the measure is reasonable in the interest of national security.
    • There’s no possibility of surveillance via CIDR. CIDR is absolutely necessary to avoid fakes. The entire architecture is such that there’s no aggregation of data and therefore no surveillance. That’s why there’s a mix of public and private players.
    • The system stands the test of article 21 on its own and there’s no infringement of right to privacy. This project has the support of two governments because Congress had started this and Mr. Sibal was part of the cabinet that time.

_______________________

  • ASG Tushar Mehta: Does Aadhaar pass the muster of Article 300A? “Authority of law” phrase in 300A gives the power to the legislature to link Aadhaar with bank account under PMLA. The PMLA rules have the backing of the PMLA. A statutory rule is akin to law under Article 300A of the Constitution. The parliament cannot every time amend the law (PMLA) for example in respect of money laundering. Therefore a wide statutory network is provided and power is given to the rule making authority.

_______________________

  • Senior Advocate VV Giri: I want to appear on behalf of State of Kerala in order to argue on legislative competence.
  • Bench: States cannot challenge a central govt statute. You can submit bullet points on what you want to argue and then the bench will decide if you can be allowed.

_______________________

  • Senior Advocate Jayant Bhushan:
    • RBI has issued the master circular by virtue of its power under banking regulation act.PMLA Rule 9(4) provides that Aadhaar has to be submitted to reporting entity.
    • Under Rule 9(14) provides that the regulator (RBI in this case) shall provide guidelines incorporating the requirements of sub-rules (1) to (13) above and may prescribe enhanced or simplified measures to verify identity.
    • Requirements under Rule 9(1)-(13) is made mandatory by Rule 9(14). The master circular is now in conformity with PMLA rules. RBI has no option but to amend the master circular.

_______________________

  • Advocate Gopal Sankarnarayanan:
    • Aadhaar Act is valid subject to three specific provsions that have to be read down or struck down.
    • Right to identity is an absolute fundamental right. Aadhaar provides one kind of proof for identification. It arises from recognition of an individual.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

To read the highlights from the submissions of Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, click here , here , here , here and here.

To read the highlights from the submissions by ASG Tushar Mehta, click here and here.

To read the highlights from the submissions by the Attorney General, click here, here , here and here.

To read the highlights from the PowerPoint Presentation made by the CEO of UIDAI, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates Meenakshi Arora, Sajan Poovayya, CU Singh, Sanjay Hegde and Counsel Jayna Kothari, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates KV Viswanathan and Anand Grover, click here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Arvind Datar’s submissions, click here, here and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium’s submissions, click herehere and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal’s arguments, click here, here and here.

Looking for the detailed submissions of Senior Advocate Shyam Divan? Read the highlights from Day 1Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 , Day 5, Day 6 and Day 7 of the hearing.

Source: twitter.com/SFLCin

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On Day 32 of the Aadhaar Hearing, Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi continued his submissions before the 5-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and Dr. AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, Dr. DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, JJ on the issue of reasonable expectations of privacy.

Below are the highlights from Day 32 of the Aadhaar Hearing:

  • Dwivedi:
    • Privacy is strongest in the inner sanctum of the mind, but shrinks as you move outside into the world. It has to be considered whether private life is protected outside your home, because people frequently give up their privacy in these conditions. the US and UK Supreme Court treat reasonable expectation of privacy as very significant, and that the Indian position is closer to this.
    • Tthe only question is whether the restriction on the right to privacy is proportionate to the government purpose. Nothing else can be taken into account. Petitioners have applied the wrong standard in arguing that the restriction on rights should be least intrusive.
    • In the public sphere, the right to privacy is diluted. The entire Aadhaar activity is in the relational and public sphere. He says that demographic information and facial photograph don’t have any privacy concerns. There is no reasonable expectation of privacy. At the requesting entity point, it’s all dispersed and decentralised, and so it doesn’t deserve the level of protection that the CIDR is given.
  • Chandrachud, J: The point seems to be that core biometric information has higher privacy concerns. That does not mean that there is no privacy concern elsewhere.
  • Dwivedi:
    • I agree but  the reasonable expectation of privacy varies according to context. Petitioners have cited no judgments involving identity cards. 120 countries use biometric passports and nineteen European countries use biometric ID cards. The CJEU or the ECHR have never expressed any concerns with biometric ID cards.
    • In the privacy judgment, it has been said that if you willingly put up your personal information on Facebook, then you may not have a right to privacy in that information.
    • Safeguards can be read into Article 21. Degrees of safeguards will vary – for nuclear plants it will be one, and for CIDR is another.
    • The standard must be “adequate safeguards”. The risk can never be zero.
    • There must be constant vigilance. We are always improving and upgrading our safety, and after the Srikrishma Report, we will upgrade more.
    • We have provided a complete bar on sharing, and what is available with the REs is totally dispersed. The extent of privacy is much more diluted. And there is consent and a bar on using for anything other than authentication. If there are breaches, then point them out to us. But petitioners don’t want to improve it, they just want to knock it off.
    • The data protection draft law will be out by May.
  • Chandrachud, J: One area that requires consideration is remedies for breaches.
  • Dwivedi:
    • The IT Act provides for penalties, and penalties have been imposed on Airtel etc.
    • The Court and the government should work in coordination as the two great wings of State, and not in opposition. The sword should be unsheathed only in the last resort. The Court should be like a doctor and save the patient.
    • Member States have been left free to make laws.
  • Chandrachud, J: That is subject to the test of proportionality
  • Dwivedi:
    • I am not disputing that.
    • EU is now contemplating a biometric ID card.
  • Chandrachud, J (Jokes): Are they planning to seed it with Aadhaar?
  • Dwivedi: UIDAI collects only limited technical metadata.
  • Chandrachud, J: Is it necessary to retain metadata? Why do you have to retain it?
  • Dwivedi: It’s important to exercise control over the RE. There is no data about location or purpose of transaction, but only about the system, and that’s required for audits.
  • Sikri, J:  So you’re not collecting metadata about the person but only about the machine?
  • Dwivedi: Yes. We don’t know location or purpose, just device ID.
  • Chandrachud, J: Your argument might be supported By Regulation 26 proviso, which bars storing the purpose of a transaction.
  • Dwivedi: Yes, in any case the Aadhaar Act bars storing of purpose.
  • Chandrachud, J: What is the meaning of “authentication transaction data”, which can be stored under Regulation 26?
  • Dwivedi: It’s the data pertaining to a specific transaction, and there is a bar on storing purpose.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

To read the highlights from the submissions of Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, click here , here , here and here.

To read the highlights from the submissions by ASG Tushar Mehta, click here and here.

To read the highlights from the submissions by the Attorney General, click here, here , here and here.

To read the highlights from the PowerPoint Presentation made by the CEO of UIDAI, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates Meenakshi Arora, Sajan Poovayya, CU Singh, Sanjay Hegde and Counsel Jayna Kothari, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates KV Viswanathan and Anand Grover, click here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Arvind Datar’s submissions, click here, here and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium’s submissions, click herehere and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal’s arguments, click here, here and here.

Looking for the detailed submissions of Senior Advocate Shyam Divan? Read the highlights from Day 1Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 , Day 5, Day 6 and Day 7 of the hearing.

Source: twitter.com/gautambhatia88

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“Development requires the removal of major sources of unfreedom: poverty as well as tyranny, poor economic opportunities as well as systemic social deprivation, neglect of public facilities as well as intolerance or overactivity of repressive states.” – Amartya Sen

On Day 31 of the Aadhaar Hearing, the discussion between Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi and the 5-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and Dr. AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, Dr. DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, JJ began with the former quoting the abovementioned lines.

Below are the highlights from Day 31 of the Aadhaar Hearing:

  • CJI: Liberating people from un-freedom (poverty) is at one end of the spectrum and right to privacy is on the other.
  • Chandrachud, J: Aadhaar is a means for identification according to you. The only caveat to that is that there should be no exclusion.
  • Dwivedi: The point of Aadhaar is to bring the provider of benefit face to face with the beneficiary.
  • Chandrachud, J: I’m not sure if that’s the best model. The individual should not be a supplicant. The State should go to him and give him benefits.
  • Dwivedi:
    • Various judgments of the Supreme Court on economic and social welfare culminated into the Parliament framing the Aadhaar Act.
    • What is being done under section 7 of the Aadhaar Act covers human rights of a lot of people of our country. This court should act as a sentinel to ensure that right to privacy is balanced with all the other rights under Article 21 that Aadhaar covers.
    • Privacy is a small price to pay for ensuring life itself and also the rights under Article 21 of the Constitution.
    • Aadhaar Act draws distinction between demographic info, optional demographic info (mobile no.), core biometric information, and biometric information like photograph. Idea of reasonable expectation of privacy varies from one set of data to another.
    • Reasonable expectation of privacy in case of demographic info and photo will be very low as such information is publicly available. We are concerned only about real and general apprehension or fear of the public with respect to Aadhaar. Fear is subjective.
  • CJI: Some fears are misconceived.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

To read the highlights from the submissions of Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, click here , here and here.

To read the highlights from the submissions by ASG Tushar Mehta, click here and here.

To read the highlights from the submissions by the Attorney General, click here, here , here and here.

To read the highlights from the PowerPoint Presentation made by the CEO of UIDAI, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates Meenakshi Arora, Sajan Poovayya, CU Singh, Sanjay Hegde and Counsel Jayna Kothari, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates KV Viswanathan and Anand Grover, click here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Arvind Datar’s submissions, click here, here and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium’s submissions, click herehere and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal’s arguments, click here, here and here.

Looking for the detailed submissions of Senior Advocate Shyam Divan? Read the highlights from Day 1Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 , Day 5, Day 6 and Day 7 of the hearing.

Source:  twitter.com/SFLCin

Hot Off The PressNews

On day 30 of the Aadhaar Hearing, Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi continued with his argument probabilistic method that he had begun on Day 29 of the hearing before the 5-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and Dr. AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, Dr. DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, JJ.

Below are the highlights from Day 30 of the Aadhaar Hearing:

  • Dwivedi: The algorithms which are probabilistic are not all identical. Parliament was conscious of the exclusion that could happen. It was also aware of the digital divide. Hence, provided three alternatives under section 7 of the Aadhaar Act. 2016. There can’t be denial of service. Option to furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number under section 7 if authentication can’t be done.
  • Chandrachud, J: Does proviso to section 7 apply to third alternative?
  • Dwivedi:
    • Yes, it is applicable in case an individual has applied but has not been assigned Aadhaar number.
    • There is no question of denial. Denial is something that should not happen, ought not to happen. Though some more actions would be required to ensure this.
    • For limited purpose, ration cards are also included. If for some reason, one member of the family is unable to authenticate, any other member of family can come for authentication.
  • Chandrachud, J: Is there is any isolated pocket in country where Aadhaar services have not been able to reach?
  • Dwivedi:
    • In such a case, alternative methods will apply.
    • As of now-pending the judgment, even if someone has not enrolled for Aadhaar, there’s no compulsion under section 7. There’s still time. The third alternative under S. 7 can apply only if the enrolment process has begun.
    • In case of PDS scheme, the central govt. is competent to replace the identification card with which benefit is to be obtained if it thinks that the latter is more reliable. Thus, it can replace the ration card with Aadhaar card.
    • Every institution will have some kind of identification procedures and we will have to follow them. These are regulatory processes.
    • When you identify, it is a matter of dignity. Because you are recognised. We all strive to get recognised. It is a matter of pride.
    • No right is absolute. Regulations are permissible.
  • Chandrachud, J: There should be a choice of identity. If the choice is not there, it is not proportional.
  • Dwivedi: If you have to get benefits from an institution,you should comply with the requirements prescribed by it. Aadhaar is unique and universally applicable. No language barrier like other ID cards.
  • Chandrachud, J: If my biometric are attached to every transaction I undertake, it ceases to be just an identification mark.
  • Dwivedi: Only one finger or one iris is used for authentication. It discloses no information.
  • Chandrachud, J: Fingerprint by itself doesn’t disclose any info. But, when it attaches with all the other information, it forms a wealth of information. There comes the need of data protection.
  • Dwivedi: Data is disaggregated between different REs.
  • Chandrachud, J: In such a case, aggregation of data is all the more possible.
  • Dwivedi: In most cases, authentication is done only once. Eg. PAN. It is for lifetime. For sim cards, it is done only at the time of obtaining it. So, where is this multiplication of authentication from morning to evening coming from? Realistically speaking, there’s no trail of authentication from morning to evening. No real time tracking is done.
  • Shyam Divan interjects: The demo of withdrawing Rs 100 using a thumbprint was shown in the court. That’s tracking.
  • Dwivedi: Where is it provided in law that you need to give thumbprint every time you transact? You only have to link it with your bank account.
  • Shyam Divan: I am asked for my thumb impressions everytime I need to open a Fixed Deposit.
  • Dwivedi: Not everybody is capable of opening FD everyday. It is done only once or twice in a year generally.
  • Dwivedi (On dignity): There are two parts of preamble.
    • “To secure to all its citizens…” and
    • “to promote among them all…”
    • Securing justice is a part of the basic feature of the Constitution. Minimum requirements to enable a man to survive to live is a position duty of the State. And it is for these minimum requirements that the Acts like NFSA, etc. are there.
  • Chandrachud, J: Constitution protects dignity in all its forms.
  • Sikri, J: Food is a part of dignity and so is privacy. When there’s a conflict between the two, it has to be considered which should prevail. But, why can’t we say that there’s no conflict. Both are to be ensured.
  • CJI: The point is when you take fingerprints for Aadhaar, it gets stored in Aadhaar. This is an invasion of right to privacy.
  • Dwivedi: Any system which involves biometrics will require storage of biometrics- either at single point or multiple.
  • CJI: Minimal intrusion with legitimate interests have to be ensured.
  • Dwivedi: Providing services and benefits is to ensure dignity and liberty of individuals. Which is a legitimate interest.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

To read the highlights from the submissions of Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, click here and here.

To read the highlights from the submissions by ASG Tushar Mehta, click here and here.

To read the highlights from the submissions by the Attorney General, click here, here , here and here.

To read the highlights from the PowerPoint Presentation made by the CEO of UIDAI, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates Meenakshi Arora, Sajan Poovayya, CU Singh, Sanjay Hegde and Counsel Jayna Kothari, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates KV Viswanathan and Anand Grover, click here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Arvind Datar’s submissions, click here, here and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium’s submissions, click herehere and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal’s arguments, click here, here and here.

Looking for the detailed submissions of Senior Advocate Shyam Divan? Read the highlights from Day 1Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 , Day 5, Day 6 and Day 7 of the hearing.

Source:  twitter.com/SFLCin

Hot Off The PressNews

Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi continued with his arguments before the 5-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and Dr. AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, Dr. DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, JJ on Day 29 of the Aadhaar Hearing.

Below are the highlights from Day 29 of the Aadhaar Hearing:

  • Dwivedi: It’s better to tighten the nuts and bolts of Aadhaar rather than demolishing it completely. Information is strictly confined to the purpose of authentication. Interplay of section 8 and 29 pf the Aadhaar Act, 2016 say that core biometrics are not shared. Data shared under section 29 is non biometric data.
  • Chandrachud, J: Section 8(3) combined with section 29(3) means that the requesting entity will know the purpose of the authentication.
  • Dwivedi: If the bench is unsure whether requesting agencies collect information that they are not supposed to then the bench should read down sections 8(3) and 29(3) to make sure that REs do not know the purpose of the authentication or collect any information.
  • Chandrachud, J: A hospital may have data on an individual based on the number of times the individual has requested authentication. This can be helpful information for pharmaceutical or insurance companies.
  • Dwivedi: GDPR provides no curative measures. Aadhaar Act provides enough data protection to citizens. No data protection law can provide hundred percent protection. The test should be ” reasonable, fair and just” protection. Aggregation, analysis or transfer of data is not allowed by the Aadhaar Act.
  • Chandrachud, J: : What use the REs are making of the data, we don’t know right now.
  • Dwivedi: We can only tackle real apprehensions.
  • Chandrachud, J: Real apprehension is that elections are swayed using data analytics. These problems are symptomatic of the world we live in.
  • Dwivedi: Can’t compare this to Cambridge analytica. We don’t have algorithms that Google has.
  • Chandrachud, J: We can’t have a blinkered view of reality.
  • Dwivedi: UIDAI does not have learning algorithms. Aadhaar Act does not authorize it. We have simple matching algorithms. The Bench should not give in to the hyper phobia that the petitioners have created. We have a powerful media and competitive interests to check any misuse of data.
  • Chandrachud, J: Interface of Aadhaar with the world outside is the area of concern.
  • Dwivedi: Examine the design of the Act. We don’t want any scare mongering. We want people of India to trust us. Section 28 of the Act also provides protection of information. The information will be in the control of UIDAI and will be kept secure in CIDR. Section 57 does not allow just anyone to become a requesting entity. It’s a limited exercise. UIDAI will not approve anyone to become an RE unless it is satisfied that the particular entity needs to use the facility of authentication.
  • Chandrachud, J: Why are words “body corporate or any person” used in section 57? That breaks the nexus of the Act with the consolidated fund of India. What is the point of involving private parties in the Aadhaar infrastructure?
  • Dwivedi: Private players are not exempt from constitutional norms. And the divide between public and private sector is narrowing.
  • Chandrachud, J: Section 3 says Aadhaar is an entitlement. How did it become mandatory?
  • Dwivedi: It was made mandatory by other Acts. Aadhaar Act has nothing to do with other linkages of Aadhaar except Section 7. UIDAI is mandate-neutral. The government is making it mandatory under other Acts. The bench can look at these Acts separately. Under the Aadhaar act, obtaining Aadhaar is voluntary.
  • Chandrachud, J: Aadhaar can be made mandatory under a law or through a contract under section 57.
  • Dwivedi: Object of section 57 is not to expand but to limit. Backing of contract is needed. Any paanwalla or chaiwalla cannot become a requesting entity. It has to be pursuant to a contract. UIDAI may still refuse an entity from becoming a requesting entity.
  • Chandrachud, J: How is need for authentication decided? For e.g a taxi service or software app.
  • Dwivedi: There has to be a prior contract and then uidai is approached for request.
  • Sikri, J: Where is the guideline for what will be considered a “need” for authentication and what won’t be.
  • Khanwilkar, J: Prior contract comes before permission from UIDAI is taken. Schedule A of the Act that outlines who call can be REs is very wide.
  • Dwivedi:
    • The rules of IT Act 2000 and the punitive provisions of the Act are also applicable to Aadhaar data under Section 30 of the Aadhaar Act. This is further security. Anyone who attempts to gain unauthorized access to CIDR will be imprisoned for ten years. CIDR comes under critical information infrastructure.
    • Aadhaar is not just an exercise to provide benefits and weed out fakes but also to bring the service providers face to face with the beneficiaries. That’s the revolutionary aspect of Aadhaar.
    • None of the other identification cards are universally held in the country. These cards are only for initial identity and address proof. Nobody will give their wrong name or address when biometrics are involved.
    • Aadhaar is not the panacea for all evils but the problems that were occurring on account of fake identity documents will be solved.
    • Petitioners were arguing that there’s no legal mandate to store information in CIDR. RD quotes section 10 in this regard.
    • Petitioners argued that we have hired foreign suppliers. Only software is used by UIDAI as licensee. The hard disks and servers belong to UIDAI. Even technicians are given access to CIDR only when there’s a problem in the process of UIDAI officials.
    • Another argument that was raised was that Aadhaar is probabilistic. It is not probabilistic, but deterministic.
  • Sikri, J: You have to give a proper response to that. Argument was from the exclusion angle.
  • Dwivedi: Probability governs us everywhere. Nothing is certain. Just because it is probabilistic, it cannot be discarded.
  • Chandrachud, J: If the probability leads to deprivation of fundamental rights, then there should be safeguards in place to ensure that this deprivation doesn’t happen. There should be an administrative machinery in place to ensure no genuine beneficiary is deprived.
  • Dwivedi: I agree that nobody should be denied benefits due to authentication failure. Our submission is inclusion. Section 7 itself provides a fall back mechanism if authentication failure happens. We have to look at effective implementation.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

To read the highlights from the submissions of Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, click here

To read the highlights from the submissions by ASG Tushar Mehta, click here and here.

To read the highlights from the submissions by the Attorney General, click here, here , here and here.

To read the highlights from the PowerPoint Presentation made by the CEO of UIDAI, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates Meenakshi Arora, Sajan Poovayya, CU Singh, Sanjay Hegde and Counsel Jayna Kothari, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates KV Viswanathan and Anand Grover, click here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Arvind Datar’s submissions, click here, here and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium’s submissions, click herehere and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal’s arguments, click here, here and here.

Looking for the detailed submissions of Senior Advocate Shyam Divan? Read the highlights from Day 1Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 , Day 5, Day 6 and Day 7 of the hearing.

Source:  twitter.com/SFLCin

Hot Off The PressNews

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta concluded his arguments before the 5-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and Dr. AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, Dr. DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, JJ on Day 28 of the Aadhaar Hearing. He was then followed by Senior Advocate Rakesh Dwivedi.

Below are the highlights from Day 28 of the Aadhaar Hearing:

  • ASG: Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) amendment was made considering the larger public interest. The PMLA Rules are not ultra vires the Aadhaar act or RBI circular. There’s no challenge with respect to the PMLA rules being ultra vires the PMLA.
  • Sikri, J: 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: It is to prevent impersonation.
  • Chandrachud, J: What about Arvind Datar’s submission that 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.
  • Sikri, J: 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.
  • CJI & Bhushan, J: How is blocking accounts if Aadhaar is not provided not in violation of Article 300A of the Constitution?
  • ASG: It’s a reasonable restriction.
  • Chandrachud, J: 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. (Chandrachud, J doesn’t agree) 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.
  • Sikri, J: It is a penalty. You’re depriving someone of their property.
  • ASG: 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.
  • 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.
    • 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.  Public interest and “perceived Privacy” should be weighed before taking a decision.
  • Rakesh Dwivedi: People have voluntarily signed up for Aadhaar. GOI has ample means to surveil. No need of Aadhaar.
  • Chandrachud, J: Technology is a very powerful enabler of mass surveillance. Elections of countries are being swayed with the use of data and technology.
  • Dwivedi: We can’t compare Google and Facebook’s algorithms with UIDAI’s technology.
  • Chandrachud, J: The Act does not preclude UIDAI to acquire that kind of tech.
  • Dwivedi: It’s an offence under section 33. The only purpose of Aadhaar is authentication and nothing else. There is no power provided under the Act to analyze data.  Meta data is also limited. The meta data is of authentication records and it does not reveal anything about an individual.  Meta data consists of authentication request, result of authentication and the time of authentication only.
  • Sikri, J: That is enough to reveal a lot about an individual.
  • Dwivedi: 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.
  • Chandrachud, J: 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.
  • Dwivedi: Millions like me do not care about privacy.
  • Chandrachud, J: 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.
  • Dwivedi: 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. I understand  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.
  • Chandrachud, J: Section 29(b) allows sharing of data with third parties by requesting entities.
  • Dwivedi: Section 29(1) bars sharing of core biometrics completely. Section 29(b) has to be read in the context of section 29(1).
  • Chandrachud, J:  This Act has gone beyond section 7 benefits and that is our major concern. Section 29(3) uses the word “identity information” which seems to suggest biometrics can also be transferred.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

To read the highlights from the submissions by ASG Tushar Mehta, click here and here.

To read the highlights from the submissions by the Attorney General, click here, here , here and here.

To read the highlights from the PowerPoint Presentation made by the CEO of UIDAI, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates Meenakshi Arora, Sajan Poovayya, CU Singh, Sanjay Hegde and Counsel Jayna Kothari, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates KV Viswanathan and Anand Grover, click here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Arvind Datar’s submissions, click here, here and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium’s submissions, click herehere and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal’s arguments, click here, here and here.

Looking for the detailed submissions of Senior Advocate Shyam Divan? Read the highlights from Day 1Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 , Day 5, Day 6 and Day 7 of the hearing.

Source:  twitter.com/SFLCin

Hot Off The PressNews

On Day 27 of the Aadhaar hearing, ASG Tushar Mehta continued with his submissions before the 5-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and Dr. AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, Dr. DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, JJ.

Below are the highlights from Day 27 of the Aadhaar Hearing:

  • ASG:
    • The argument that the Aadhaar act was made in violation of interim orders of the SC has already been refuted in the case Binoy Viswam (Aadhaar PAN linking judgment). Only the challenge to article 21 is open with respect to Aadhaar. All the other aspects have already been dealt with in Binoy Viswam. It has already been proved that Aadhaar linking with PAN will help curb money laundering and black money, and prevent tax evasion. This question is not open to challenge anymore as it has already been decided by this court.
    • Biometrics will help curb the growth of shell companies. This is again a facet of reasonableness and proportionality.
    • Balancing of interests is also a facet of proportionality, which was propounded in the judgement of modern dental college.
    • Aadhaar will help law enforcement curb terrorism.
    • There’s no random scrutiny of people in the name of Aadhaar. The exercise of linking Aadhaar with bank, phone etc is only done to weed out fake or duplicates.
    • IT Dept uses third party information to identity cases of defaulters. Rule 114b requires quoting of PAN to file returns. A person can easily say that they don’t have PAN and then evade taxes. Pan Aadhaar linkage will prevent this kind of tax evasion.
    • A statutory measure should not be excessive with respect to the object it seeks to achieve and the court will not look into the legislature’s wisdom till it’s shockingly disproportionate.
    • If there’s a competition between right to privacy and the right to information of a citizen, the former has to be subordinated with the latter for the sake of larger public interest. The fair needs of the society and the nature of social control has to be kept in mind when enforcing reasonable restrictions.
    • Legitimate state interest is enough. No need to prove compelling state interest. The word ‘necessary’ is not synonymous with ‘indispensable’. It only has to be proved that it’s necessary for larger public interest. If there’s an overwhelming public interest then there’s no need to apply the “least intrusive” test.
    • Menace of hawala transactions and money laundering is a global concern.
  • Sikri, J: There’s no doubt that money laundering is a problem. The only question that needs to be answered is how Aadhaar will prevent money laundering.
  • ASG:  Prevention of Money Laundering Act not a toothless law anymore. The formation of rules flows from section 12(c) of the Act.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

To read the highlights from the submissions by ASG Tushar Mehta, click here.

To read the highlights from the submissions by the Attorney General, click here, here , here and here.

To read the highlights from the PowerPoint Presentation made by the CEO of UIDAI, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates Meenakshi Arora, Sajan Poovayya, CU Singh, Sanjay Hegde and Counsel Jayna Kothari, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates KV Viswanathan and Anand Grover, click here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Arvind Datar’s submissions, click here, here and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium’s submissions, click herehere and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal’s arguments, click here, here and here.

Looking for the detailed submissions of Senior Advocate Shyam Divan? Read the highlights from Day 1Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 , Day 5, Day 6 and Day 7 of the hearing.

Source:  twitter.com/SFLCin

Hot Off The PressNews

On Day 26 of the Aadhaar Hearing, Attorney General KK Venugopal completed his submissions before the 5-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and Dr. AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, Dr. DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, JJ. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta began his arguments before the Bench.

Below are the highlights from Day 26 of the Aadhaar Hearing:

  • AG: Section 59 of the Aadhaar Act, 2016 provides retrospective effect. (Cites cases to show that a particular action can be validated by a subsequent Act, as it happened in the case of Aadhaar. Reads out the third version of the Aadhaar enrollment form. Reads out the content and says it’s free and voluntary and has provisions for taking informed consent.)
  • Chandrachud, J: The first two forms did not have any reference to biometrics. It was only inserted in the third form.
  • AG: The CBI had gone to Bombay high court to obtain biometrics in connection of a rape, since UIDAI had refused to provide them as biometric data cannot be shared without the individual’s consent. The state has no interest in collection of biometrics except for the benefit of the individual himself. Emphasizes that invasion is privacy. When there was no right to privacy, the government acted in a bonafide manner when they enacted Aadhaar. Therefore that action cannot be said to be void by retrospective action.
  • Chandrachud, J: the question of privacy was irrelevant in MP Sharma. Only the first part of Kharak Singh affirmed that there’s a right to privacy. The subsequent judgments that affirmed privacy relied on the first part of Kharak Singh.
  • AG completes his submissions.
  • ASG Tushar Mehta:
    • The challenge to section 139aa was examined by this court. Apart from right to privacy, all other aspects were considered.
    • In Privacy Judgment, all nine judges have affirmed that right to privacy is not absolute.
    • J. Chandrachud laid down the three tests under which privacy can be invaded in particular cases. Five out of nine judges have upheld the principles of legitimate state interests and proportionality.
    • A legislation has to pass all four tests to be valid. Three laid down in Privacy Judgment and also the test of manifest arbitrariness.
    • All these tests were examined in Binoy Viswam although in the context of Article 19.
    • Another test will be the test of larger public interest.
    • All the demographic information that is required under Aadhaar was already being taken since 1989 under section 139a of the income tax (for obtaining PAN).
    • Left hand thumb impression was also taken for people who can’t sign. Bench says there’s no collection of biometrics and there’s no authentication taking place.
    • Those who have already taken PAN do not have any legitimate interest in withholding information that they have already provided for obtaining PAN.
    • 1.3 lakh cases of duplicate PAN were found. Says that PAN can be misused for the purpose of tax evasion, black money , setting up shell companies etc. Aadhaar will ensure that one person has one PAN by interconnecting the PAN-aadhaar database.
    • Even companies need pan cards. And the documents used for obtaining PAN can be easily forged. Therefore, Aadhaar with the use of Biometrics will prevent that.
    • Fake PAN cards are used to create shell companies abroad and Aadhaar can make sure that this does not happen.
    • Uniqueness of pan is important. Deduplication test needs to be conducted. Demographic way of verifying de duplication is not fool proof. Hundred percent verification is possible with Aadhaar as biometrics and Iris scans will be used.
    • There’s a huge gap between the no.of PAN holders and the entire tax base.
    • Finance minister has described financial frauds in his Feb speech. Also our tax collection is very low in our GDP ratio. We are a largely tax non compliant country and the burden of people who evade taxes falls on honest tax paying citizens.
    • 17.4 cr out of 36 cr tax payers have already linked their Aadhaar with PAN. Even transgenders are included without having to disclose their gender.
  • Bhushan, J:  You’ll have to prove there’s no violation of privacy. In substance Puttaswamy and Shaira bano retrospectively ratifies what was held in Binoy Viswam.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

To read the highlights from the other submissions by the Attorney General, click here, here , here and here.

To read the highlights from the PowerPoint Presentation made by the CEO of UIDAI, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates Meenakshi Arora, Sajan Poovayya, CU Singh, Sanjay Hegde and Counsel Jayna Kothari, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates KV Viswanathan and Anand Grover, click here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Arvind Datar’s submissions, click here, here and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium’s submissions, click herehere and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal’s arguments, click here, here and here.

Looking for the detailed submissions of Senior Advocate Shyam Divan? Read the highlights from Day 1Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 , Day 5, Day 6 and Day 7 of the hearing.

Source:  twitter.com/SFLCin

Hot Off The PressNews

On Day 25 of the Aadhaar Hearing, Attorney General KK Venugopal continued arguing before the 5-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and Dr. AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, Dr. DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, JJ on the safety aspect of biometrics.

Below are the highlights from Day 25 of the Aadhaar Hearing:

  • AG:  Finger imaging technology is 99.9% accurate. Biometrics is a very safe and accurate technology and can solve problems such as money laundering, bank frauds, income tax evasion etc.
  • Sikri, J: Bank frauds weren’t caused because of multiple identities.
  • Chandrachud, J: Aadhaar will not prevent an individual from operating layers of commercial transactions. It won’t prevent bank frauds either. Can only help in providing benefits under section 7 of Aadhaar Act, 2016 at most. Mere legitimate state interest does not ensure proportionality. Your submission lacks this nuance.
  • AG: Aadhaar will help in income disparity and eliminating poverty.
  • Sikri, J: The gap is widening. More than 70% wealth is in the hands of 1%.
  • Chandrachud, J: Proportionality is key. How far can the state cast the net of Aadhaar. Only section 7 seems to be understandable.
  • Sikri, J: You cannot assume that the entire population consists of defaulters and violaters. What is the logic in linking all sim cards to aadhaar.
  • AG: Terrorism will be curbed by doing this.
  • Chandrachud, J: Do terrorists apply for sim cards? It’s a problem that you’re asking the entire population to link their mobile phones with Aadhaar.
  • AG:
    • We are asking for minimal information via Aadhaar. Most information is already available in public domain. The question is to what extent has Aadhaar invaded privacy? It’s as minimum as possible.
    • Aadhaar is required only for section 7 benefits, banks, income tax and mobile nos. Apart from that it’s purely voluntary.
    • Court needs to balance two competing rights. Maintains that right to food, right to employment, right to medical care, etc trump right to privacy. Can right to privacy be invoked to deprive other sections of the society?
    • The invasion to privacy is so minimal that it can’t even be considered an invasion. In X v. Hospital Z right to privacy was balanced against right to information. The appellant ( a man) had HIV and had the right to non disclosure. However, the court had held that his fiance had the right to know of his disease.
  • Sikri, J: This is the case of balancing the rights of two person. In the case of Aadhaar, you’re giving a person food in exchange of their privacy.
  • AG: The bare minimal requirements for identification for an individual is alone taken and to the extent that the technology permitted. Should people have basic right to life under article 21? Can it ever be challenged on the ground that we have a right to privacy?
  • Bhushan, J: Minimal invasion is subjective. What maybe minimal for one might not be minimal for you.
  • AG: Please look at the information that is taken and look at it from objective standards. We have to look at the larger interest of the country.
  • Chandrachud, J: We have to look at three things: informed consent, purpose limitation, and enough security.
  • AG: The CIDR is completely safe.
  • Chandrachud, J: We have to look at what proportionality means. Proportionality hasn’t been defined in the Privacy judgement.
  • AG: Without the minimal information that is collected, the entire architecture of Aadhaar couldn’t have been framed. Sections 29 a and b contain purpose limitation. Aadhaar was voluntary when it was rolled out, therefore there’s no question of violation of any right.
  • Sikri, J: Is it permissible to say that I’ll give you food, shelter, etc but you’ll be my slave?
  • AG: Slavery is not permissible.
  • Chandrachud, J: Your argument to save the validity of the act does not take into account what happened before the act was passed. There was no protection for the citizens that time. There’s no retrospective effect also. What about collection of data by state Governments?
  • AG: State Governments act as the agent of the Central Government.
  • Khanwilkar, J: Is biometrics locking option available for people who don’t want to use Aadhaar?
  • Shyam Divan intervenes: There’s no way to opt out of the Aadhaar system.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

To read the highlights from the other submissions by the Attorney General, click here, here and here.

To read the highlights from the PowerPoint Presentation made by the CEO of UIDAI, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates Meenakshi Arora, Sajan Poovayya, CU Singh, Sanjay Hegde and Counsel Jayna Kothari, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates KV Viswanathan and Anand Grover, click here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Arvind Datar’s submissions, click here, here and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium’s submissions, click herehere and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal’s arguments, click here, here and here.

Looking for the detailed submissions of Senior Advocate Shyam Divan? Read the highlights from Day 1Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 , Day 5, Day 6 and Day 7 of the hearing.

Source:  twitter.com/SFLCin

Hot Off The PressNews

On Day 24 of the Aadhaar hearing, the 5-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and Dr. AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, Dr. DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, JJ continued hearing the arguments of Attorney General KK Venugopal.

Below are the highlights from Day 24 of the Aadhaar Hearing:

  • AG:
    • We live in a digital era and Aadhaar is the best way to prevent money laundering and deliver subsidies and benefits. A lot of Government fund has gone into this project.
    • 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.
    • Policy decisions of the government approved by experts are not subject to judicial review. Three organs of the State should have mutual respect for each other in a democracy.
    • 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
  • Sikri, J: Petitioners are arguing on the basis of proportionaliy. You say there’s minimal invasion of privacy. Petitioners are challenging that argument.
  • AG: State has a legitimate state interest in rolling out Aadhaar. Aadhaar is in line with the Privacy judgement.
  • Bhushan, J: We are not concerned with policy decision. We are looking at the Act and regulations.
  • AG: Courts cannot question the wisdom of experts. 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. The sixteen digit virtual ID is an excellent safety measure.
  • Chandrachud, J: Is the onus on the individual to generate a virtual ID?
  • AG: Yes, it’s on the individual.
  • Chandrachud, J:  Can 20 Crore people do it?
  • AG: It’s an additional measure.
  • Chandrachud, J: Maybe this measure should be applicable to every Aadhaar number without the individual having to generate it. Perhaps Aadhaar passes the test of legitimate state interest, but proportionality is in question.
  • AG: It stands the test of proportionality because all alternative measures were considered before adopting Aadhaar. 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.
  • Chandrachud, J: “Biological attributes” is open ended.
  • AG: 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. Parliament will be an oversight body.
  • Chandrachud, J:  The power of UIDAI to decide what is ‘biological attributes” and the method of collecting it has to meet the test of proportionality. The regulations don’t 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.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

To read the highlights from the other submissions by the Attorney General, click here and here

To read the highlights from the PowerPoint Presentation made by the CEO of UIDAI, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates Meenakshi Arora, Sajan Poovayya, CU SIngh, Sanjay Hegde and Counsel Jayna Kothari, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates KV Viswanathan and Anand Grover, click here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Arvind Datar’s submissions, click here, here and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium’s submissions, click herehere and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal’s arguments, click here, here and here.

Looking for the detailed submissions of Senior Advocate Shyam Divan? Read the highlights from Day 1Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 , Day 5, Day 6 and Day 7 of the hearing.

Source:  twitter.com/SFLCin

Hot Off The PressNews

The University Grants Commission (UGC) vide its letter dated 21-03-2017 has requested all the Universities to introduce identification mechanisms like photograph and Unique ID/Aadhaar number in students’ certificates. Such features are useful for the purposes of verification and curbing duplication. At the same time, they help in introducing uniformity and transparency within and across the system of higher education in the Country. UGC has also requested all the Universities to inscribe the name of institution in which a student is enrolled for a program of study as well as the mode of delivery (regular, part-time or distance).

[Press Release no. 1527337]

Ministry of Human Resource Development

Hot Off The PressNews

After Ajay Bhushan Pandey, the CEO of UIDAI, made a PowerPoint presentation before the 5-judge bench of Dipak Misra, CJ and Dr. AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, Dr. DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, JJ on the technical and security aspects of Aadhaar in the last 2 days of the hearing, the petitioners submitted a list of questions based on the presentation. On Day 23 of the Aadhaar hearing, the Bench called upon Attorney General KK Venugopal to answer the said questions.

Below are the questions answered by the AG and the highlights of the Courtroom exchange on Day 23 of the Aadhaar hearing:

  • Q: What are the statistics of authentication failures?
  • AG: We cannot give a number because we don’t track this kind of information.
  • Q: What about the biometrics exception?
  • AG: There are other methods of authentication available like through mobile number. The QR code on Aadhaar card can also be scanned to get a person’s details, therefore, biometrics authentication is not the only way. Requesting entities have to provide exception handling measures. This is given in the Aadhaar Act, 2016 itself.
  • Chandrachud and Sikri, JJ:  We don’t know if the measures are being implemented on ground. Government will have to answer that at some point since UIDAI is only responsible for the architecture of Aadhaar. They cannot guarantee that there has been no denial of service.
  • AG:
    • There is no opt out option for Aadhaar, even for children.  Aadhaar was adopted to ensure that there are no fake identities. Aadhaar has strong de duplication detection system. 6.7 crores rejections have happened till now due to de duplication.
    • Aadhaar is an evolving technology. And all other alternatives were considered for a period of ten years. The Act can always be amended and rectified. The Aadhaar project is one of a kind and has been praised all over the world.
    • Aadhaar is a policy decision taken at the highest level of the Government, therefore, Courts should not interfere to determine its validity.
    • The judges have, Privacy Judgment, agreed that privacy is not absolute. Privacy judgment lays down the three conditions under which privacy can be invaded and Aadhaar satisfies all three. These conditions are:
      • There should be a legislation.
      • Legitimate state aim.
      • Proportionality.
    • Aadhaar invades privacy as little as possible. We couldn’t have formulated a law so that there could be a lesser invasion of privacy. This is the least encroachment of privacy.
    • Data protection expert Committee i.e. SriKrishna committee will submit it’s report by May 15.
    • The State can always enforce reasonable restrictions to protect legitimate state interests.
    • Privacy is nowhere described except in the dictionary. The court has to look at each individual case.
    • Curbing black money, providing subsidies, benefits and services are legitimate state interests of the State.
    • Right to live a life of dignity trumps right to privacy. Aadhaar in it’s initially stages was voluntary, therefore no one was coerced to enroll.
    • Before the Privacy judgement, there was no way for the Government or the people to know there was a right to privacy.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

To read the highlights from the PowerPoint Presentation made by the CEO of UIDAI, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates Meenakshi Arora, Sajan Poovayya, CU SIngh, Sanjay Hegde and Counsel Jayna Kothari, click here.

To read the highlights from submissions of Senior Advocates KV Viswanathan and Anand Grover, click here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Arvind Datar’s submissions, click here, here and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium’s submissions, click herehere and here.

To read the highlights from Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal’s arguments, click here, here and here.

Looking for the detailed submissions of Senior Advocate Shyam Divan? Read the highlights from Day 1Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 , Day 5, Day 6 and Day 7 of the hearing.

Source:  twitter.com/SFLCin