• Aadhaar Project Wholly Unconstitutional-Landmark Dissent By Justice Chandrachud.

    Live Law News Network

    September 26, 2018

     

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    “Constitutional guarantees cannot be compromised by vicissitudes of technology”, he observed.

    In an emphatic dissent from the majority, Justice Chandrachud has held the entire Aadhar project to be unconstitutional.

    The very act of passing the Aadhaar Act 2016 as a money bill was held to be unconstitutional by Justice Chandrachud, dissenting from the majority view expressed through Justice Sikri’s judgment that there was no impropriety in introducing it as  money bill.

    “The passing Aadhaar Act as money bill is a fraud on the constitution”, Justice Chandrachud observed. The decision of Speaker to classify a bill as money bill is amenable to judicial review. The judgment also highlighted the importance of Rajya Sabha in passing laws.

    “If a constitution has to survive political aggrandizement, notions of power and authority must give compliance to rule of law.”, he observed in his dissenting judgment.

    Violates informational privacy, data protection; There is potential for surveillance.

    The Aadhaar project was held to be violative of informational privacy, data protection.

    “Constitutional guarantees cannot be compromised by vicissitudes of technology”, he observed.

    Section 57 of the Act was held to be violating Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution. Allowing private enterprise to use Aadhaar numbers will lead to exploitation of data.

    Holding that Aadhaar had potential for surveillance, it was stated that the architecture posed risk on potential violation of leakage of database. Source code is of foreign corporation. “The data must all the time vest with the individual”, said the judgment. It was held that many provisions of Aadhaar Act provide for invasive collection of biometric data.

    It was held that entire Aadhar project which commenced from 2009 suffered from constitutional invalidity.  It was also noted that the government repeatedly violated the interim orders of the Supreme Court, which had prohibited making Aadhar mandatory for availing benefits.

    Based on the premise of unconstitutionality of Aadhar, Seciton 139AA of the Income Tax Act which mandated linking of PAN with Aaadhar, was struck down. It may be noted that the majority decision has upheld Section 139AA.

    Mobile and bank accounts cannot be forcefully linked with Aadhar. The telecom companies were directed to delete Aadhar numbers forthwith.It was also directed that entire Aadhar data shall be destroyed.


     

    First published in Live Law.

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