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Constitutional Validity of Aadhaar, Day 13: “Liberty cannot be measured in coffee-spoons”

This is a record of the proceedings in the Supreme Court bench hearings on the Constitutional validity of Aadhaar, which began on Feb 13, 2018. You may read the previous days' proceedings here: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day 12. Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium resumed his arguments. He referred to article 243G(b) of Constitution and said that some level of implementation is clear in the provision. He said that Puttaswamy judgment talks about identifying eligible recipients, but the present act does not identify eligible recipients, instead, it provides proof of identity. Mr. Subramanium argued that without criminality or any offence being committed, people cannot be asked to give their biometrics. He said that biometric authentication was considered only in the case of commission of crime. He pointed out the Selvi & Ors vs State of Karnataka & Anr case which deemed the taking of fingerprints as an invasion. Mr. Subramanium moving to Indian case laws, pointed to NERPAP programme of Election Commission. Where P stands for "Purification" of electoral rolls - by liking it with Aadhaar. He said that a 3 Judge Bench of the same court had issued a note, post which the programme was suspended. Justice Chandrachud asked about an interpretation of Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act. Mr. Subramanium talked about how the sections matter little with the project. He gave the example of the surreptitious way in which Union did telephone linking - purportedly under an SC order dismissing a PIL…

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Vidyut is a commentator on socio-political issues with a keen interest in behavioral sciences, digital rights and security and manages to engage her various proficiencies to bring an unusual perspective to issues related with the intersection of tech and people.

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