Reactions to Aadhaar verdict | Original Aadhaar petitioner Justice Puttaswamy welcomes parts of judgement

Karnataka High Court judge K.S. Puttaswamy in Bengaluru on August 24, 2017.

Karnataka High Court judge K.S. Puttaswamy in Bengaluru on August 24, 2017.   | Photo Credit: THE HINDU

As the Constitution Bench of Supreme Court gave a 4-1 verdict upholding the validity of Aadhaar, but with conditions, prominent political parties gave their comments.

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‘Sometimes minority judgment may be correct, but majority opinion will prevail’

Retired High Court judge K.S. Puttaswamy, the original petitioner whose plea on Aadhaar led to the setting up of the Constitution bench in the Supreme Court, has welcomed parts of the verdict, particularly those related to protecting data from private firms and the striking down of its requirement for school and college admissions.

“I have not read the majority or minority judgment fully... But, it is correct that they have removed sections where private companies could use our details. Why should we give it to them? The State can use it to an extent,” said the 92-year-old from his home.

He had approached the apex court in 2013 claiming that Aadhaar violates a person’s right to privacy.

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Aadhaar critical to meeting the development goals: Nilekani

 

Nandan Nilekani, the architect of Aadhaar, says the government’s flagship project was critical to meeting the development goals.

He also insisted that the scheme was inclusive and not exclusive.

“Aadhaar is a unique identity project that is critical to the developmental goals of the nation,” Mr. Nilekani, former chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India, tasked with the job of issuing Aadhaar cards, tweets. “This is a landmark judgement in favour of #Aadhaar Aadhaar includes, it doesn’t exclude.”

Mr. Nilekani, says the court has “unequivocally validated” the founding principles of Aadhaar.

He says the resident was once again recognised as being at the heart of the project, and they have gained new rights that help them assert their ownership over their data.

Mr. Nilekani says the scheme has undergone the “ultimate scrutiny” in the highest court, and a lot of recommendations have been incorporated.

Through the democratic process of discussion and debate, the nation has created a “better and stronger” Aadhaar together, he says.

 

 

 

Supreme Court has retrieved UPA’s original idea of Aadhaar: Chidambaram

Senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram says the Supreme Court has retrieved the UPA’s original idea of Aadhaar after the NDA government tried to convert it into a “monster“.

Mr. Chidambaram says the Aadhaar remains work in progress and a future government will surely bring in amendments. “For now, we can be satisfied that a rampaging government has been restrained and the reach of Aadhaar has been contained to benefits, subsidies and services paid out of the Consolidated Fund of India,” he says.

In a series of tweets, the former Union Minister says Aadhaar was meant to be a benign instrument to deliver benefits, subsidies and services to the poor and the majority judgment in the Aadhaar case has retrieved the UPA government’s original idea of Aadhaar. “The NDA tried to convert Aadhaar into a monster that will rule every aspect of a person’s life. And the NDA had been firmly rebuffed... Glad that the UPA’s policy has been vindicated.”

He says several provisions of the Act and the regulations have been struck down as unconstitutional and it was a humbling lesson for the Union Ministry of Law.

“The Act came perilously close to being struck down on the ground it was passed as a Money Bill when it was not. The Act was saved by judicial forbearance.

“The dissenting judgment of Justice Chandrachud has many valuable lessons for all governments, especially the imperious NDA government. They would do well to heed those lessons,” he says.

 

 

Activists, petitioners welcome SC verdict

Petitioners and activists Wednesday welcomed the Supreme Court’s verdict declaring the Aadhaar scheme as constitutionally valid.

Tehseen Poonawalla, one of the petitioners in the case, expressed happiness at the apex court stating it was not necessary to link it to bank accounts and that telecom service providers couldn’t seek linking of Aadhaar.

“Oh jeez, Sekhri just said #AadhaarVerdict does NOT have to be linked to mobiles and banks!!! Amazing. He struck down section 57 of the #Aadhaar act!!,” he tweeted.

Activist Tehseen Poonawalla. File

Activist Tehseen Poonawalla. File   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

 

Section 57 allows not only the State but also any “body corporate or person” or private entity to demand Aadhaar.

Cyber security expert Pavan Duggal welcomed the ruling.

“I welcome the Supreme Court verdict in the sense that Aadhaar is now ground reality, but loopholes that exist in Aadhaar should be tackled in a proactive basis. The issues of cyber security are among those the government should effectively work upon,” Mr. Duggal said.

 

Rahul Gandhi thanks SC for supporting ‘Congress’s vision’ on Aadhaar

Congress president Rahul Gandhi thanked the Supreme Court for its verdict on the Aadhaar Act, saying it was an instrument of empowerment for his party.

"For Congress, Aadhaar was an instrument of empowerment. For the BJP, Aadhaar is a tool of oppression and surveillance. Thank you Supreme Court for supporting the Congress vision and protecting India," Mr. Gandhi  wrote on Twitter.

 

Historic decision by SC: Arun Jaitley

The Supreme Court's decision is a historic one. The fact that the concept and legislation of a unique identity number has been accepted after a judicial review is extremely welcome. The Supreme Court has also upheld the fact that this was a money bill. He said it has helped the government in saving ₹90,000 crore every year with targeted delivery of government schemes.

 

Four of the judges upheld Aadhaar: Ravi Shankar Prasad

It was a 4:1 judgement upholding Aadhaar. This is very important, that four of the judges upheld Aadhaar.The judgement empowers democracy, good governance, and the delivery of services to the poorer sections of society.

 

Money Bill issue should have been referred to a larger bench: Sibal

Welcoming the Supreme Court verdict senior advocate and Congress leader Kapil Sibal said the issue of Aadhaar Bill  as a Money Bill may need another look. "It should be referred to a bigger bench, a 7 judge Bench," he said.

"We are also happy about the fact the Court has made it clear that Govt cannot obtain without permission from the court," Mr. Sibal said.

Mr. Sibal also pointed out grey areas. "Like a lot of people who work with their hands, when they go for finger print identification don't register. What happens to their right," he asked.

On asked if it is a setback, since the majority of judges ruling that Aadhaar is a money Bill, Mr. Sibal said: "No, it is not setback as striking down the Act would have deprived the marginalized sections. But we agree with Justice Chandrachud that it is a fraud on the Constitution."

 

Victory for government: BJP

We see Supreme Court order on Aadhaar as big victory of Modi government, said the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said the court has ruled that Aadhaar is safe. The verdict has also exposed the Congress, he claimed.

“We see it as a big victory of the Modi government, the pro-poor Modi government. The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutional validity of Aadhaar and has also said that it does not violate privacy,” Mr. Patra said.

 

Verdict a slap on BJP's face: Congress

The Congress has  welcomed the Supreme Court decision to strike down Section 57 of the Aadhaar act, which allowed private entities to access Aadhaar data, and termed it a “slap on the face of BJP“.

“We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act. Private entities are no longer allowed to use Aadhaar for verification purposes,” the Congress said on Twitter minutes after the verdict.

“Slap on the face of BJP. Justice Sikri judgement strikes down Section 57 of Aadhaar Act, 2016, which says private body corporates can seek Aadhaar data. Says it’s unconstitutional. All plans to monetise biometric data now fail,” Congress national spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi tweeted.

 

'Trinamool and Mamata fought for this'

The Trinamool Congress hailed the Supreme Court judgement which struck down Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act which allowed corporate entities to access its data.

“SC strikes down section 57 of Aadhaar Act, 2016. So you don’t need to give your Aadhaar to private bodies like banks, schools, mobile companies. Trinamool and @mamataofficial fought hard for this,” the party said in a tweet.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 10:07:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/reactions-to-aadhaar-verdict/article25046282.ece

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