Experts hail SC verdict on Aadhaar as a great relief to citizens

Falure of biometric identification doesn't disqualify for covt. services

New Delhi.

Former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee and senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan on Wednesday welcomed the Supreme Court verdict on Aadhaar, calling it "a good judgement" in providing relief to citizens and said Justice D.Y. Chanrachud’s dissent was very important.

"I think on the whole it is a good judgement. Though personally, I am happy with Justice Chandrachud’s judgement striking it down on the ground that it bothers the right to privacy," Sorabjee said.

In his reaction, Bhushan said: "Today, the Supreme Court has passed another historic judgement … They have held several parts of the Aadhaar Act to be unconstitutional."

In particular, Bhushan said, the five-judge Supreme Court bench had said that "no private company whether it is a telecom company, bank, school or airline can ask for Aadhaar Act as a condition for providing any services".

"The judges have also said if biometric identification of a person fails then he cannot be denied the benefit of any government scheme merely because his biometric identification has failed if he can establish his identity otherwise.

"So, this is a very major relief that citizens have got. There is some dispute between the judges about whether this Aadhaar Act could have been passed as a money bill."

Referring to Justice Chandrachud, Bhushan said: "He delivered a very strong judgement saying that passing this act as a money bill was a fraud on the Constitution because you have bypassed the Rajya Sabha in the process of passing this act as a money bill.

He has also said that all the data that has been collected by way of the Aadhaar card needs to be destroyed."

Bhushan said Justice Chandrachud’s "dissent is very important".

"Though the majority may not have agreed with him, the majority also said that … just a Lok Sabha Speaker’s decision on that is not decisive (and) can be challenged in a court of law and the court will decide whether the act has any relationship to the consolidated fund of India or not.

Therefore, the dissent will have serious and strong resonance on issues of privacy and liberty.

"And in any case, even the majority judgement is a very important and strong judgement, giving major relief to people who had been complaining about using Aadhaar for anything and everything, collecting all your information about everything through Aadhaar thereby violating your privacy," he added.

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