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What’s wrong with one identity, asks SC

Aadhaar becomes the sole record by which a person can establish his identity, or he runs the risk of a “civil death.” “So what is wrong in one identity for one nation? We are all Indians,” Justice Bhushan asked. “Yes, we are all passionately Indian. But we are much more than our Aadhaars. You [government] cannot reduce me to just one identity [Aadhaar],” Mr. Sibal replied to Justice Bhushan. Justice Bhushan said he did not want to go into the point any further. However, Mr. Sibal said he wanted to argue on the point. “I am not going to make a political argument. I am going to make legal arguments against this one-nation-one-identity move,” Mr. Sibal said.

Justice A.K. Sikri, also on the five-judge Bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, intervened to put matters in perspective. He summed up that what Mr. Sibal meant was that a person’s identity as an Indian should not be dependent on whether he has got Aadhaar or not. Justice Bhushan then referred to Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act to justify the use of Aadhaar. “Aadhaar can be used for other purposes. The Aadhaar Act does not confine the use of Aadhaar to it alone. It [Aadhaar] can be used to establish a person’s identity under any other Act,” Justice Bhushan interpreted the provision. But Mr. Sibal said such an interpretation of Section 57 would give the state “blanket power” as regards the use of Aadhaar.

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