January 06, 2017

SC Observed That Aadhar Data Collection By Private Agencies Is Not A Good Idea

Aadhar Cases

The hearing on Aadhar cases has refused by Supreme Court, challenging the constitutional validity of the scheme, but observed that data collection by private agencies is not a good idea.

A plea has been filed by Senior Advocate Shyam Divan in the Supreme Court on citing privacy concern.

The bench comprising Justices NV Ramana and DY Chandrachud said that “We are not inclined to give immediate hearing as there are limited resources but biometric data collection by private agencies is not a great idea.”

Senior Advocate Shyam Divan said that “these matters need urgent hearing as there is individual's privacy concern as biometric datas are being collected by private agencies.”

On October 15, 2016, the Supreme Court had lifted its earlier restrictions and permitted voluntary use of Aadhar cards in welfare schemes that also included MGNREGA, all pension schemes and provident fund, besides ambitious flagship programmes like 'Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna' of the NDA government.

The social welfare schemes aimed at reaching the door steps of the poorest of the poor were in addition to LPG and PDS schemes in which the apex court had allowed the voluntary use of Aadhar cards.

A five-judge constitution bench had put a caveat in its interim order for the Centre and said that Aadhar card scheme is purely voluntary and not mandatory till the matter is finally decided by this court, this way or the other way.

It had said that a larger bench was required to be set up for final disposal of the petitions that also include the question as to whether the right to privacy is fundamental right.

On August 11, 2015, a three-judge bench had referred a batch of petitions, challenging the Aadhar card scheme, to a larger bench for an authoritative view on the question as to whether the right to privacy is fundamental right or not and had also restricted the use of Aadhar to PDS and LPG scheme only.

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