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The Supreme Court Constitution Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan resumed hearing on the batch of petitions challenging the validity of Aadhaar Act and Aadhaar linkages on Thursday (April 19) with senior counsel Rakesh Dwivedi, speaking for the government.

Justice Sikri said: “If there would be no conflict, there would be no courts.”

Dwivedi said: “Parallely we witnessed we had slaves and in India too, we’re wrapped in the casteism. There are humans who were criminals and who were not. Those who were untouchables, were suffering double apartheid.”

He also quoted Nobel Laureate economist Amartya Sen, saying: “Development requires the removal of major sources of un-freedom, poverty as well as tyranny.”

Referring to the ration card, Dwivedi submits: “I can directly go under the food act and switch from ration card to Aadhaar card. Adhaar card brings an individual face to face with the service provider. I think this is a very powerful advancement.”

justice Chandrachud said: “I don’t think this is the best model of governance. An individual should not be a mode for benefits. Better alternatives are present.”

Section 2(d) and 2(f) of the protection of human rights Act mentioned. He refers to the Asha Ranjan vs State of Bihar. He said the basic minimum requirement for human rights must be taken care of by the legislature. Various judgments of the Supreme Court on economic and social welfare culminated into the Parliament framing the Aadhaar Act.

Next he quotes Subramanian Swamy judgment on balancing of fundamental rights wherein A.19(1)(a) was balanced against right to reputation. Balancing of fundamental rights is a very important aspect. He refers to a 2017 judgment- the choice to have this or that is very important. This case pertains to the abortion of an HIV positive woman wherein the MCI did not grant the permission to abort the child.

This is a much more important right involved under article 21.  The Act draws an important distinction between demographic information, optional demographic information and biometrics photographs. Biometrics cannot be shared, as per the status under the Act. Giving your information is a normal routine. No reasonable expectation can be achieved as far as demographic information is concerned. He said Aadhaar does not include caste religion etc., so that these things can be used against the user.

—India Legal Bureau

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