Aadhaar Card is one of the upcoming and considered to be one of the most important Government identification proof, that has been issued to all the Indian citizens by UIDAI, irrespective of the age limit. However, many people are concerned about the security of their information, including their biometric details. When this concern was brought before the court, this case was defended by General Attorney K K Venugopal. He mentioned that the data is safe in ‘Central Identities Data Repository’, which is protected by a 10 metre high and 4 metre wide walls. He also added that, this Aadhaar card is not a ‘fly-by-night’ effort and this has been brought in, so that the corruption can be ended effectively.
However, Justice A K Sikri, who was a part of the five-judge constitutional bench mentioned that, this Aadhaar scheme is providing financial exclusion and also drew allegations on Aadhaar being a tool of mass surveillance. This point was clearly denied by K K Venugopal and he stated that this is purely for identification purpose and he has also seeked court’s permission, so that the CEO of UIDAI can put out a slide show on ‘How Aadhaar card works and what are the benefits of the same?’. The decision on this reques will be soon taken by the bench.
Justice D Y Chandrachud stated that ‘It will be good if the Government can come upfront and explain that there is financial exclusion and this is not to castigate anyone, but how this works in order to maintain balance in 300 million people in India, including the poor’. Adding to this Justice Ashok Bhushan also said that privacy rights of one section should not be violated, in order to protect the rights of the other.
Justice A K Sikri also mentioned about the Employee Pension Scheme and how can that be related to Aadhaar. He also added that ‘If a pensioner who is 89 years old, who have Alzheimer’s Dementia and forgets his information, such people will not able to justify their information. You have to ensure that such people are deprived of their entitlements’.
Justice Chandrachud also said that the ‘Action of Cabinet Secretariat was an indicator that the government was concerned’. Cabinet Secretariat said in a note about Handling situations of authentication failure, whilst extending benefits to the beneficiaries.
However, Venugopal mentioned that this is an ongoing process and soon the corruption and diversion of funds will be avoided, within 2 – 3 years time. Any glitches will be taken care of from time to time. Including this, he also drew attention to methods issued by UIDAI, by the nodal agency, in case of any authentication failure.