“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.
- 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 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.