The apex court was hearing the pleas challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar scheme.
A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and comprising A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan, was hearing the submission in the matter of Aadhaar Card. The bench observed that the idea behind the Aadhaar scheme could be the reason that people should have one ID card.
It was submitted that the primary status of a person is that of a citizen and not an Aadhaar card holder. It was submitted before the court that a woman entitled for widow pension and said it was her status which enabled her to get the benefit and not the identity and so state cannot insist that the identity has to be proved through Aadhaar Card only.
Counsel submitted before the court that Aadhaar does not establish my status but the biggest identity is the identity as the citizens. After hearing the submission on the issue that some people having multiple passports and ration cards but there were laws to deal with law breakers. It does not mean that the state will make a statute having unconstitutional provisions to deal with law abiding citizens. It was submitted before the court that what the court will decide relate to ‘me, my children, my grand children and their unborn children.’
It was submitted that after referring to various provisions of the Aadhaar Act that architecture of the law was “unconstitutional” and submitted that the nine-judge bench’s privacy judgement had laid down that “the identity of a person cannot be made a public identity and the identity details cannot be centralized.
It was submitted before the court that Aadhaar law presumed a person to be criminal until he is proved innocent and our fundamental identity is that we are the citizen of India. It was further submitted before the court that the state cannot make a benefit or privilege conditional upon an individual giving up his or her other rights, including fundamental ones.
It was submitted that Aadhaar scheme infringed dignity, freedom and equality and turns a person into a digital entity.
The Supreme Court on December 15 last year had extended till March 31 the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with various services and welfare schemes of all ministries and departments of the Centre, states and Union Territories.