SC issues notice on PIL against Aadhaar ordinance

Last Updated: Fri, Jul 05, 2019 13:22 hrs
Aadhaar Card (PTI Image)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre and Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on a PIL challenging the validity of the Aadhaar Ordinance 2019.

Interestingly, the hearing on the matter ended in half-a-minute, and the bench comprising Justices S.A. Bobde and B.R. Gavai issued notice on the matter. The petitioners were represented by senior advocate Shyam Divan.

The PIL has been filed by retired Indian Army officer S.G. Vombatkare and human eights activist Bezwada Wilson.

The petitioners contended that the Aadhaar ordinance apparently creates a back channel for private parties to gain access in the ecosystem, which would allow state and private entities to carry out surveillance on people.

Therefore, personal data of people, collected by the state, would be exposed for commercial purposes.

A petition was filed challenging the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 [Aadhaar Ordinance] and the Aadhaar (Pricing of Aadhaar Authentication Services) Regulations, 2019.

The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill 2019 was passed by the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

The petitioners cite the apex court 2017 judgement wherein the court ruled that the Aadhaar project did not enable mass surveillance.

However, it struck down certain provisions of the Aadhaar Act, 2016 including Section 57 which allows private parties to use Aadhaar for authentication.

In March, the Cabinet had promulgated the Aadhaar Ordinance, 2019 after the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018 failed to get passed during the Budget Session.

The Centre issued the Ordinance after the last session of the Lok Sabha ended on February 13.

The petitioners contend that the Ordinance and Regulations is an attempt to re-legislate the Aadhaar Act, 2016, which allows commercial exploitation of personal information.