SC hears PIL challenging Aadhaar data access to corporations not affiliated to govt
New Delhi: A plea challenging the sharing of data collected with body corporations/persons not affiliated to the state under the Aadhaar Act was heard by the apex court on Thursday.
The public interest litigation (PIL), brought by advocate Yugansh Mittal, was heard by a bench comprising judges A.K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan who allowed the petitioner to file an intervention application in the pending Aadhaar case before the apex court. Accordingly, the PIL was disposed of.
The plea challenged the constitutional validity of Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act, 2016 in so far as it allows access to Aadhaar data to be given to body corporates other than the state and such access was likely to lead to inevitable leaks of private data and compromise privacy of the citizens.
Such access was claimed to be in violation of Article 14 (equality before law), Article 19 (freedom of speech and expression), 21 (right to life) of the Constitution of India.
A constitution bench comprising five judges—Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, justices D.Y. Chandrachud, A.K. Sikri, A.M. Khanwilkar and Ashok Bhushan was constituted on 30 October to address the question of the legal validity of Aadhaar and various issues surrounding it.
The batch of cases against Aadhaar challenge several aspects, including the use of data collected under the unique identification programme.
Two new pleas challenging Aadhaar—one by the West Bengal government on the mandatory linking of Aadhaar to various schemes and another challenging its mandatory linking with mobile numbers—have also been brought to court.
On 24 August, in a path breaking ruling, the apex court held that privacy is a fundamental right. In the process, it set the stage for the introduction of a privacy law; the government has appointed an expert group under former Supreme Court judge B.N. Srikrishna to make recommendations.
All Aadhaar related cases will be heard next on 17 January.
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