The five-judge Constitutional bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, comprising Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan on Thursday resumed hearing in the Aadhaar case.
ASG: only plenary law is considered with respect to “procedure established by law” is wrong. The rules can also be considered.
Freezing of bank account is not a penalty but just a consequence.
J. Sikri: It is a penalty. You’re depriving someone of their property.
ASG says the point of such a consequence ( freezing of bank accounts) is so that money launderers render their account non operational.
CJI: Our only question is whether the consequence is mandated under law or is it an overreach.
J. Chandrachud:Is the penal consequence authorized by the Act or rules itself?The Act only talks about verification of bank accounts.
Asg: The rules are part of the Act.Penal consequence is just an ancillary provision and can be provided by the rules.J. Chandrachud does not agree
Sikri J and DYC J roar at TM when he says this is only a consequence of non compliance and not penal.
Sikri J says when someone cannot withdraw his property, it is a 300A deprivation.
Sikri j earlier also asked about what about a pensioner who has been known to be a pensioner..
…who is known to be a pensioner for so many years…what is the need to trouble him and harrass him by not allowing him to withdraw on just the ground of no aadhaar.
TM says that is the very mischief sought to be remedied.
DYC J says the overall purpose is clear but that we are into the nitty gritty legalities.
Sikri J raises a question about “Designated Business” under the definition of Reporting Entity under PMLA.
TM says may be there are no notifications.
Shyam Divan points out that it is defined under 2 (sa).
TM now defends that (!) saying these are about prize schemes etc.
RD says that he has never felt that he is under surveillance.
RD says that nobody has been forced to get an Aadhaar. In no city or village or any part of India has anyone been forced. He says that we all have voluntarily gone and gotten an Aadhaar card.
RD says that we have all gotten an Aadhaar card because we think it’s a useful thing.
RD says that if the government wants to surveil me, it has ample means. It doesn’t need Aadhaar. For example, it can monitor bank accounts for unusual activity under a master circular.
RD says that we don’t have learning algorithms. He says that the petitioners have been trying to confuse the Court. He says that S 32 prohibits the UIDAI from knowing the purpose of a transaction.
Chandrachud J says that that’s only a prohibition on sharing.
RD says that it is for the petitioners to show that the Act allows such powers.
Chandrachud J says that the Act doesn’t preclude you from acquiring those powers.
RD says that if the Court finds there is such power, it can strike it down.
RD: The authentication request will show from where the authentication request came (for example from Apollo hospital) but there’s no way to know the location from where it came. Also the identity of the person who requested authentication is not revealed.
J. Chandrachud: the requesting entity can store the data, considering there is not even a robust data protection law. Commercial information about an individual is also a gold mine. Surveillance doesn’t have to be interpreted in the traditional sense.
RD: Millions like me do not care about privacy.
J. Chandrachud: Giving fingerprints for a limited particular purpose is okay. Under Aadhaar, fingerprints are means for storing data in a central database for the purpose of authentication. Thats a problem.
RD says the biometrics are encrypted. Also the data is not shared with anyone. Even EU data protection law does not have the kind of protection that Aadhaar act has.
There is no reasonable expectation of privacy wrt demographic information
RD says that in any case you can never share core biometric information under Section 29(1).
Chandrachud J says that this Act is not just about Section 7 or the UIDAI, but goes much beyond, and must be interpreted very carefully.
RD says that the Court can interpret the Act to make it reasonable. The court should not be a crusader, but a medical man.
April 19, 2018 at 10:42 pm
The arguments favouring Aadhar project are becoming illogical by the day. The defence is becoming weak and absurd