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:
- 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 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.