Much awaited hearing on the constitutional validity of Aadhaar cards resumes on 17th January 2018. A five – judge constitution bench which is headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Mishra and four other judges Justice A.M Khanwilkar, Adarsh Kumar Sikri, D.Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan was scheduled to hear eight important cases, including constitutional validity of Aadhaar card, which is allegated that it violates an individual’s fundamental right to privacy.
From the petitioners’ side, Senior Supreme court lawyer, Shyam Divan appeared and argued in front of the five – judge bench that Aadhaar may cause death of citizens’ civil rights.
Divan said in the apex court that
In August 2017, a nine-judge bench of the apex court passed the historic judgement that Right to Privacy is a fundamental right as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
“Right to privacy is an integral part of Right to Life and Personal Liberty Guaranteed in Article 21 of the Constitution”.
Several Petitioners challenging the validity of Aadhaar had also claimed it violated privacy rights.
Aadhaar card has threatened the privacy of the citizens time and again since the establishment of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) number. Recently UIDAI had to put a hold on Bharti Airtel and Airtel Payment Banks as a result of allegations against the organization for using the e – KYC (Know Your Customer) based SIM verification process in order to open payments bank accounts of its subscribers without their approbation.
To know more about it you can also read – UIDAI had Put an Interim Stay on Bharti Airtel from Conducting e – KYC
The apex court has also received several other petitions regarding the linkage of 12 – digit number with mobile phones, bank accounts and with other services, the last date for which was extended to March 31st,2018
To know more you can also read – Government extends deadlines of Aadhaar linking
This mandatory linkage of all these services and schemes has also been opposed by some of the petitioners in the top court and termed as “illegal and unconstitutional”.
To secure the fraudulent and protect the usage of 12 digit unique identification numbers, UIDAI introduced a new concept of ‘Virtual ID’ which Aadhaar card holders can generate from its website and give for various purposes which include SIM verification, instead of sharing the actual 12 – digit biometric ID.