January 23, 2018
The hearing on the contentious Aadhaar case by the Constitution Bench resumed today. Senior Advocate Shyam Diwan continued with his arguments challenging the constitutionality of the Aadhaar Act. The main contentions submitted by the Senior Advocate today related to observations of the Bench in the right to privacy judgment i.e. Justice K.S. Puttaswamy v. Union of India & Ors. to signify the essential and inseparable right to privacy which is a derivative under Article 21 of the Constitution.
While referring to the judgment, Senior Advocate also made reference to the concept of informational privacy which the judgment states is a facet of the right to privacy.
During the second session of hearing in the Aadhaar case today, Senior Advocate vehemently argued challenging the provisions of Aadhaar (Targeted Deliveries of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and services) Act, 2016. He stated that the object of the Act i.e. correct identification of targeted beneficiaries for delivery of various subsidies, benefits, services and schemes which are funded through the Consolidated Fund of India has become a challenge for the Government of India as there is no credible system to authenticate the identity of beneficiaries.
The Senior Counsel in the case also raised argument against Section 9 of the Act which states that Aadhaar card shall not be used as a proof of domicile, however for securing Passport, Aadhaar card is demanded as a proof of address.
The Counsel also deliberated on the powers of the UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) and substantiated that the Authority has been conferred excess powers under the Act.
Today during the hearing Senior Counsel Kapil Sibbal also pitched in the arguments and questioned as to what extent can the State seek information from me under one umbrella? Should the mandate of Aadhaar extend beyond the subsidies and other Social Schemes.
The hearing in the case will continue tomorrow.