The Aadhaar card is set to face its biggest challenge yet on Wednesday. A five-judge constitution bench headed by the Chief Justice Dipak Misra will commence the much-awaited hearing on the constitutional validity of Aadhaar cards on Wednesday.
In August, a nine judge bench of the Supreme Court ruled that Indians enjoy a fundamental right to privacy, that it is intrinsic to life and liberty and thus comes under Article 21 of the Indian constitution. Now the Constitution bench of the Supreme Court will look at whether or not Aadhaar violates an individual’s right to privacy.
While the bench had extended the deadline for Aadhaar linkage to other services to March 31, 2018, including to bank accounts and mobile numbers, the government has been implementing manadatory linkages for additional services.
The nine-judge bench had not dealt with the validity of aadhaar cards and had left it to another five judge bench. It had merely directed the government set up a fool-proof data protection regime.
The 12-digit unique identification number backed by biometric data is being opposed by many petitioners led by Karnataka High Court judge K Puttaswamy, and social activist Aruna Roy on grounds of privacy and security violation.
They argue that details for Aadhaar are collected by private contractors and NGOs hired by UIDAI without any safeguard makes them prone to misuse.
They claimed empirical research to show that the biometric identification denoted for UID, namely the iris scan and finger print identification, is faulty and is also capable of being abused.
The mandatory order to link Aadhaar number with mobile number and bank accounts which were subsequently issued are also under challenge