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Aadhaar case: No consent taken for biometrics, advocate Shyam Divan informs Supreme Court

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Counsel challenges Aadhaar Act.

The Supreme Court was on Wednesday informed by senior advocate Shyam Divan, who is representing a bunch of petitions challenging the constitutionality of the Aadhaar Act, that no counselling or written consent was taken before taking biometrics during Aadhaar enrolment.

The senior advocate, who concluded his arguments, said the absence of “express written authority in the notification dated January 28, 2009 to collect and store biometrics [fingerprints and iris scan] renders all collections prior to the Act illegal and incurable.”

Mr. Divan said the architecture and design of the programme enable tracking and profiling of individuals, apart from “full traceability.”

“The effect of being compelled to part with personal biometrics and demographic information and storing it in a central repository through which the State logs every authentication amounts to overreach of the coercive power of the State,” he submitted.

“The combined legislative scheme makes it impossible to live in India without Aadhaar,” said Mr. Divan as he concluded his submission urging the top court to test the Aadhaar Act based on the first five words of the Constitution, “We the people of India.”

Senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, who is representing some of the petitioners, questioned the logic behind linking Aadhaar with non–essential services.

A five judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra is hearing a clutch of petitions challenging Aadhaar and its enabling 2016 law. The other members of the Bench include Justices A.K. Sikri, A.M. Khanwilkar, D.Y. Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 4:58:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/aadhaar-case-no-consent-taken-for-biometrics-advocate-shyam-divan-informs-supreme-court/article23828269.ece

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