The Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud, A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan, hearing clubbed petitions against Aadhaar linkages, on Wednesday (May 9), heard submissions by senior advocate Shyam Divan.
He said while a person succeeds on the fifth attempt the data will show that fingerprint was successful on the first attempt. He said that people have been facing a lot of difficulties in authenticating.
He said no counselling was done before the enrolment, no consent was taken before taking the biometrics. He said that according to Dr Goyal’s audit, they were storing biometrics via the buffering technology. He said: “If you’re going to ask to plant an individual’s fingerprint everywhere, look at the amount of danger it poses. Aadhaar in reality is mandatory. At the airports it is being installed, even the Indian Railways has started to install Aadhaar.”
He enumerated the daily activities and occasional activities where Aadhaar is linked. He referred to the ID4D report. He said it was a 2015 report. Accenture were development partners. He submitted a press release of 2010. He showed that the foreign company has all the data under the scheme.
Then he referred to section 59 of the Act. If it is ultra vires of the 2009 notification, it cannot be saved.
He suggests that Aadhaar should not be applicable on students, competitive exams, people availing health benefits under the government scheme. He questions if something says voluntarily but you’re going under compulsion, how is Aadhaar voluntary?
He mentions a letter written to the UIDAI wherein a 94-year-old is in coma and her account is being threatened to be ceased if it is not linked with Aadhaar.
Mid-day meals scheme notification was referred to, wherein Aadhaar authentication or proof of Aadhaar was made mandatory to avail the benefits under the Act.
He further submits the scheme issued for the Parsi people and in order to achieve that, Aadhaar is mandatory.
A lot of people genuinely do not wish to give their numbers or addresses for any reason whatsoever, don’t distribute the demographic information. Let it stay protected. Divan questions whether the Aadhaar Act or the scheme itself justifies the first five words of our preamble “we the people of India…”
Senior counsel Gopal Subramaniam then began his submissions. He said that the functionaries of the state have certain duties to perform. All the information can be traced on the basis of the authentication. The number becomes your identity along with a photograph.
Admission in schools are being made mandatory on the basis of Aadhaar; this is compulsive and not voluntary. If the education is mandatory on the basis of Aadhaar, what is the use of article 21A? For article 20, law in force is accepted, for 21 as well law in force must exist.
Gopal Subramaniam will continue his submissions tomorrow.
—India Legal Bureau