On day 28 of the final Aadhaar hearing, Additional Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta resumed his submission on the defence of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and the Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules. He contended that the new rule that mandates furnishing of Aadhaar number to open a bank account is not ultra vires the Aadhaar Act. Also, there is no challenge with respect to the PMLA rules being ultra vires the PMLA.
On Day 26 of the final Aadhaar hearing, Attorney General, Mr. K.K Venugopal resumed his submissions for the State. He began by explaining retrospective saving of Acts/statutes and cited cases to show that past actions can be validated by a subsequent Act. He stated that Section 59 of the Aadhaar Act provided retrospective application of the Act.
On day 25 of the final Aadhaar hearing, Attorney General, Mr. Venugopal continued reading from a note on biometrics (Thom v. New York Stock Exchange). The full note is available here. Justice Chandrachud expressed doubt on whether Aadhaar meets the test of proportionality as Section 2(g) of the Aadhaar Act is open ended and the administrative authority has the power to define “biological attributes.” While reading the note, Mr.
On Day 24 of the final Aadhaar hearing, Attorney General, Mr. K.K Venugopal resumed his arguments from the previous day. He reiterated that in the digital era, Aadhaar is the best way to prevent money laundering, curb black money and deliver subsidies and benefits to the targeted beneficiaries. He highlighted that Aadhaar is approved by the United Nations and World Bank and its technology and security will be updated as and when required.
On Day 23 of the final Aadhaar hearing, the Attorney General answered questions put forth by the petitioners on the basis of the presentation made by Dr. Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
The complete list of questions along with UIDAI’s answers is available here.
On Day 22 of the final Aadhaar hearing, the CEO of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) resumed his PowerPoint presentation on Aadhaar. Speaking on the issue of privacy and data protection during the enrolment process, he claimed that operators check individual packets of data and verify biometric information before storing it in the Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR).
On day 20 of the final Aadhaar hearing, Attorney General K.K Venugopal began his arguments on behalf of the respondents. He stated that various expert committees examined Aadhaar, and considered other alternatives like smart cards, before the current framework was decided upon. Mr. Venugopal cited World Bank’s ‘Identification for Development’ report, and said that the Aadhaar project is approved by the same.
Day 19 of the final hearing began with Senior Advocate Meenakshi Arora submitting her written submissions to the court. Explaining the chilling effect on fundamental rights that is caused by a general and indiscriminate retention of personal data, she cited the decision in ECHR Szabo case which held data retention for long periods to be violative of right to privacy. She further referred to the EU case of Tele2 wherein metadata relating to communications retained for a period of six months was held to be contrary to the fundamental freedoms guaranteed under EU Charter.