New Delhi : The Supreme Court will hear applications by the Gujarat government, the RBI, the SEBI and the UIDAI seeking modification of its order restricting the government – both at the central and in state level – not to insist on Aadhaar card except for the disbursal of food grains under PDS, and cooking fuel including kerosene and cooking gas.
A bench of Justice J.Chelameswar, Justice S.A. Bobde and Justice C. Nagappan directed the listing of the applications for hearing on October 6 as senior counsel Shyam Divan appearing for the main petitioner opposing Aadhaar scheme said that the applications were not served on them and they knew nothing about their contents. Divan appeared for Karnataka High Court’s former judge K.S. Puttaswamy, who has contended that biometric data that was being collected for the issuance of Aadhaar card violated the fundamental right to privacy of the citizens as personal data was not protected and was vulnerable to misuse.
Appearing for Gujarat government, senior counsel Harish Salve told the court that in 2015, it could not be anyone’s case that privacy was not a right of a citizen.
He urged the court that August 11 order may be relaxed to permit the use of Aadhaar number for various socio-economic welfare schemes of the central and the Gujarat government on voluntary basis so that they reach the targeted people without delay.
Referring to the six central schemes covered under different statutory regimes, the Gujarat government, in its plea, said that the court’s earlier order permitting state agencies to link Aadhaar card for accessing food grains under PDS, cooking fuel, and kerosene recognised the right to food under the constitution’s article 21 guaranteeing right to life and personal liberty.