The Supreme Court today upheld the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar Act. The Bench comprising Chief Justice of India Deepak Misra and Justices AK Sikri, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan had reserved the verdict on the matter in May after a marathon 38-day-long hearing on a bunch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the law.
Today, all judges except Justice Chandrachud gave a concurring judgement.
We caught up with one of the petitioners in the case and Supreme Court (SC) lawyer Prashant Bhushan who told us that the judgement is in favour of the common masses.
Speaking to Newslaundry, he said, “In this judgement, they have struck down the provisions of the Aadhaar Act which allowed the government to permit private companies to make Aadhaar mandatory.” He further added that the judgement says no one can be “denied their entitlement in any government schemes just because the biometric identification fails.”
Bhushan told Newslaundry that even the majority judgement has derailed the government’s attempt to bring a surveillance state through the Aadhaar Act. “In my view, the attempt through this Aadhaar Act to bring a surveillance state has been derailed,” he said.
He adds that one should not have any privacy and safety concerns when it comes to Aadhaar being used for government schemes. Instead, he proposed that the names of those using government services should be published and made available to the public.
Meanwhile, legal expert Usha Ramanathan told us why the judgement has brought “deep disappointment”. She says: “Justice Chandrachud’s judgement is extremely important not just because he encapsulated what the petitioners have been saying, but also because he got what that relationship is that the technology is introducing between the state and the people.”