SC verdict in Aadhaar case today

September 26, 2018 12:00 am | Updated 04:59 am IST

The five-judge Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and Justices A.K. Sikri, A.M. Khanwilkar, D.Y. Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan had reserved its judgment in May, a culmination of over seven years of various challenges against Aadhaar. It will give three opinions by Justices Sikri, Chandrachud and Bhushan.

In fact, the challenge against Aadhaar had begun even before the Aadhaar law came into existence in 2016.

In hearings spanning four months, the government and the Unique Identity Authority of India (UIDAI) time and again stressed before the Constitution Bench that Aadhaar had covered 99% of the population and was voluntarily accepted as a unique identifier by the people.

An Aadhaar card gave the poor the dignity of an identity, the government argued.

On the other hand, 27 different petitions submitted that it was an electronic leash which led the gullible citizen towards a totalitarian state. The aggregation of personal data of citizens in a central base was prone to leakage. The record of personal data of every citizen would enable the state in future to profile citizens, track their movements, assess their habits and silently influence their behaviour.

Over time, the profiling would enable the State to stifle dissent and influence political decision-making, senior advocate Shyam Divan argued for the petitioners.

The historic judgement of August 2017, which upheld privacy as a fundamental right, was an off-shoot of the Aadhaar litigation. Whether the nine-judge Bench judgement would rub off on the Aadhaar verdict on Wednesday is to be seen.

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