Aadhaar data: SC seeks govt. reply to plea

A Bench of Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde and B.R. Gavai of the Supreme Court on Friday asked the Union government and the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to respond to a petition alleging that recent amendments to the Aadhaar law opened the back door to private players to access citizens’ personal data. The petition was filed jointly by former Army officer S.G. Vombatkere and activist Bezwada Wilson.

It questioned the legality of Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Act, 2019 and the Aadhaar (Pricing of Aadhaar Authentication Services) Regulations, 2019.

The court has tagged the case with an earlier petition filed by the same petitioners raising identical grounds against the Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 and Aadhaar (Pricing of Aadhaar Authentication Services) Regulations, 2019.

The petition, filed by advocate Vipin Nair and represented by senior advocate Shyam Divan, said the law and regulations violated the fundamental rights as guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution. “The impugned Act creates a backdoor to permit private parties to access the Aadhaar eco-system, thus enabling State and private surveillance of citizens, and the impugned Regulations permit the commercial exploitation of personal and sensitive information ,” it said.

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