Sunday, 22 September, 2019


Centre to Supreme Court

Attorney general of India K.K. Venugopal Attorney general of India K.K. Venugopal
Bennie Garza | 22 March, 2018, 02:50

The mandatory Aadhaar linking deadline stands extended until the judgment is pronounced in the matter, a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said.

On petitioners' concerns of data security, he said the government has taken every effort to ensure it and that the Aadhaar was not a "fly-by-night scheme, but a serious effort to insulate deserving beneficiaries from the effects of corruption".

Venugopal also sought the court's permission to allow the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), Ajay Bhushan Pandey to respond to the technical/security aspects of Aadhaar through a power point presentation. A pensioner could be 80 years old or suffering from a disease, making it impossible for him to authenticate his or her Aadhaar number. or a pensioner may be staying overseas and does not have Aadhaar.

Two screens will be set up in the Apex Court that would let the bench and the petitioners to track the pointers.

A five-judge Constitution bench, which is hearing petitions challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar, took note of the petition moved by John Abraham.

"The CEO of UIDAI can explain details in one hour through PowerPoint presentation, which can be argued for hours by lawyers", said Venugopal to the Supreme Court Bench.

He added that a four-minute video demonstrating the infrastructure can be played with the consent of the Court to allay fears of data security. Mr. Venugopal quoted former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi saying how only ₹17 of ₹100 spent on anti-poverty projects actually reaches the poor.

Referring to the judgements, he said it has been held that right to life does not mean "mere animal" existence, but rather, it is a right to live with dignity.

During the day-long arguments, senior advocate C U Singh raised the issue of child rights and said that the children are legally unable to give free consent, they can not enter into a contract and yet they are asked to go for Aadhaar. The core aim of Aadhaar is to protect the money allocated for the deprived sections from leakages, he said.

Attorney General K K Venugopal said change is an ongoing process and the law may be suitably changed to iron out such "glitches" and issues.

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