Petitioners complete pre-act chronology: Day 1 of arguments over; hearing will resume tomorrow
Petitioners complete pre-act chronology: Day 1 of arguments over; hearing will resume tomorrow
SD: the UK abandoned its identity system beacause it was "unsafe, untested.... and could be a threat to personal rights." (still quoting the Standing Committee)— Gautam Bhatia (@gautambhatia88) January 17, 2018
United Kingdom revoked it biometric database, petitioner tells SC
SD points to the Committee's observation that the United Kingdom revoked its national biometric database.— Gautam Bhatia (@gautambhatia88) January 17, 2018
Justices AK Sikri and DY Chandrachud seek to know how is the Aadhaar biometrics system different from the biometrics for US Visa?
Ensuring Aadhaar data is not misused not enough to grant it legality, petitioners argue in case
Justice Chandrachud asked that if the government ensures that Aadhaar data is used only for the purpose it is collected, will it address the concerns raised by the petitioners. To this the petitioner's lawyer replied that the design in itself is bad as it allows State domination. Shyam Divan further argued that the problem is not that whether the State is actually tracking its citizens or not but the fact that the Aadhaar makes it possible.
Aadhaar alters the relationship between the citizen and the State
Senior Advocate Shyam Divan today submitted in court that Aadhaar seems too alter the relationship between the citizen and the State, while diminishing the status of the citizen. All rights, a citizen could earlier freely assert have now been made part of a “compulsory barter”, averring, “The barter compels the citizen to give up his biometrics ‘voluntarily’, unless the number is seeded in databases of the service provider, the citizen is denied access to these most essential facilities. "Inalienable and natural rights are dependent on a compulsory exaction.”
'People's Constitution is being sought to be converted into a State's Constitution'
#Aadhaar case: Senior Supreme Court lawyer, Shyam Divan, appearing for petitioners, told the five-judge Constitution bench that '#Aadhaar may cause death of citizens' civil rights. A people's Constitution is being sought to be converted into a State's Constitution.'— ANI (@ANI) January 17, 2018
Aadhaar act cannot be used to deny basic amenities, rights or benefits, says petitioner's lawyer Shyam Divan
Collection of crucial biometric data for 7 years illegal, passing Aadhaar act doesn't cure illegality, petitioner tells court
SD: When you are picking up sensitive data for seven years, there must be some standard of governance.— Gautam Bhatia (@gautambhatia88) January 17, 2018
SD says that biometric collection was patently illegal, and that illegality was not cured by the passing of the Aadhaar Act.— Gautam Bhatia (@gautambhatia88) January 17, 2018
Aadhaar a giant electronic leash, says petitioner in court
#Aadhaar: Sr adv Shyam Divan, for petitioners, argues:— News18 Courtroom (@News18Courtroom) January 17, 2018
* Aadhaar may cause death of civil rights of citizens
* State will dominate citizens
* A people's Constitution is being sought to be converted into a State's Constitution
#Aadhaar: Divan adds:— News18 Courtroom (@News18Courtroom) January 17, 2018
* People's rights can't be tethered to a switch
* Aadhaar is a giant electronic leash
* Aadhaar was an advent of all intrusive State which recognises numbers and not people
Arguments to resume at 2.30 PM
Hearing resumes, final arguments in Aadhaar case begins
The final arguments in Aadhaar case begin before the Constitution Bench of Supreme Court. At the start of the arguments, Attorney General sought time bound arguments. A-G reminded the Bench that Ramjanmabhoomi land title dispute case is also scheduled to be taken up from 8 February.
Retired High Court judge and accused IM Quddusi moves CBI court against leak of phone records
#MCI scam: Retd HC judge and accused IM Quddusi moves CBI court against leak of phone records.— News18 Courtroom (@News18Courtroom) January 17, 2018
He seeks probe against those behind the leak, questioning whether CBI leaked records.CBI court to hear case on Jan 22. A website and NGO CJAR have release the transcripts.
Since Supreme Court's 2013 verdict on homosexuality, at least 10 countries have legalised homosexuality
A total of five countries — Uruguay, New Zealand, France, Brazil, and England and Wales — legalised gay sex in 2013. Here is the full report on how the world has changed its views on homosexuality since 2013.
What two recent SC judgments tell us about court's altered view on sexuality and privacy in India
Ajay Kumar writing for Firstpost details that two judgments, one regarding rights of transgender people and the other about the Right to Privacy show that the court's view has changed considerably on sexuality and privacy.
Judges meeting for lunch
India Today reported that the CJI is meeting the judges for lunch. Three of the dissenting judges are present at the meeting. Justice Chelameswar is absent. Justice Bobde and Justice Goel are not present as well.
Hearing to resume at 2.30 pm
Bench rises for lunch. To resume at 2 30. Cheers.— Gautam Bhatia (@gautambhatia88) January 17, 2018
Shyam Divan explains the different aspects of the project
....is causing widespread exclusion all across the country where people are unable to access basic services. And how authentication failures report are unacceptably high.— Prasanna S (@prasanna_s) January 17, 2018
Meanwhile companies are unable to stop themselves from sending informative messages
This is not the way we have you to feel about us. We want to inform you that, we are unable to stop calls and message of Aadhaar linking as it is an informative message.— Idea Customercare (@idea_cares) January 17, 2018
Shyam Divan takes Court through work of the petitioners to counter the State's claims that there are only elitist concerns against Aadhaar
The petitioners include ex-servicemen, social workers, Magsaysay award winners among others.
SD takes the Court through the work and the qualifications of the petitioners, such as Sudhir Vombatkere (35 years in uniform), Bezwada Wilson (founder of Safai Karmachari Angolan)...— Gautam Bhatia (@gautambhatia88) January 17, 2018
Shyam Divan for the petitioners: Aadhaar a system of exclusion
SD: The petitioners before you are people who work in the field. They work in rural India and study rural India. They have found that Aadhaar is operating as a system of exclusion.— Gautam Bhatia (@gautambhatia88) January 17, 2018
Shyam Divan for the petitioners: You cannot live as a citizen of India without an Aadhaar
SD: Effectively today, you cannot live as a citizen of India without an Aadhaar.— Gautam Bhatia (@gautambhatia88) January 17, 2018
Shyam Divan is taking the court through the history of the case
SD: In 2012, many citizens filed PILs against the Aadhaar scheme. In 2013, a two judge bench referred the matter for final hearing, and made it clear that nobody should suffer from lack of an Aadhaar card.— Gautam Bhatia (@gautambhatia88) January 17, 2018
The petitioners' alternative argument
SD: If the Aadhaar Act is upheld, then in the alternative, no citizen should be deprived of any right or benefit for the lack of an Aadhaar card.— Gautam Bhatia (@gautambhatia88) January 17, 2018
Petitioners: The State is empowered with a ‘switch’ by which it can cause the civil death of an individual
SD:The State is empowered with a ‘switch’ by which it can cause the— Prasanna S (@prasanna_s) January 17, 2018
civil death of an individual. Where every basic facility is linked to
Aadhaar and one cannot live in society without an Aadhaar
number, the switching off of Aadhaar completely destroys the
Shyam Divan lays out the scope of the constitutional challenge
Shyam Divan lays out the scope of the constitutional challenge.— Gautam Bhatia (@gautambhatia88) January 17, 2018
Petitioners: The case at hand is unique. There are few judicial precedents to guide us
SD: The case at hand is unique. In part, this is because the programme— Prasanna S (@prasanna_s) January 17, 2018
challenged here is itself without precedent. No democratic society
has adopted a programme that is similar in its command and sweep.
There are few judicial precedents to guide us.
Petitioners argue that if the Aadhaar programme is allowed to continue unimpeded, it will hollow out the Constitution
SD: Through a succession of marketing strategies and smoke and mirrors, the government had rolled out a program designed to tether every citizen to an electronic leash.— Gautam Bhatia (@gautambhatia88) January 17, 2018
Attorney-General KK Venugopal asks for time allotment for arguments
Before Shyam Divan can begin, A-G submits that this is a matter where there are many counsel on both sides and that there should be a time allotment.— Prasanna S (@prasanna_s) January 17, 2018
The Aadhaar bench has assembled in Courtroom 1
Aadhaar bench assembles.— Gautam Bhatia (@gautambhatia88) January 17, 2018
"Tuesday was a sunny day at the Supreme Court after days of clouds over its cohesiveness and probity"
"A new day seems to be in order in the Supreme Court after clouds over its cohesiveness and probity. The CJI should now show the light and redeem the institution's glory by getting all his brother and sister judges along, to end this crisis and convert it into a chance to bring about all necessary institutional reforms," writes Utkarsh Anand on News18.
Main arguments before the court
Livelaw reported that the petitioners argue that details for Aadhaar are collected by private contractors and NGOs hired by UIDAI without any safeguard. This makes them prone to misuse. They claimed that empirical research shows that the biometric identification denoted for UID, namely the the iris scan and fingerprint identification, is faulty and is could be abused.
Five-judge bench led by CJI Dipak Misra will start hearing the Aadhaar case at 11.30 am
A 5-judge bench,led by #CJI,will start hearing #Aadhaar case at 11.30 AM.— News18 Courtroom (@News18Courtroom) January 17, 2018
It will be interesting to see if the #AttorneyGeneral again argues there's no urgency to decide on validity of #Aadhaar now that data protection law is being mulled & a new facial technique is being brought
#AadharMythBuster being used on Twitter to promote Aadhaar
Some policy experts are not impressed with those efforts.
Justice J Chelameswar is not in the Supreme Court today
At a time when who comes to court at what time, who sits late and when there are 'chai or charcha' in the morning: Justice J Chelameswar is not in SC today. And so aren't Court no.7 and 11.— Utkarsh Anand (@utkarsh_aanand) January 17, 2018
Why the Chief Justice's power must be kept in check
The Chief Justice is largely sheltered from public view while exercising his administrative powers, according to Business Standard. The authors write, "This creates an administrative authority, free of many of the constraints imposed on other agencies. The administrative powers of the Chief Justice have grown with time. However, the Court has failed to devise a parallel mechanism to keep a check on these powers... A slew of corrective measures are now required."
Court to take up 29 pleas against Aadhaar
The court will take up 29 pleas against Aadhaar. The final hearing on the pleas challenging Aadhaar comes five years since the first was filed.
Group of private companies bat for use of Aadhaar for eKYC and background verification process
According to an Economic Times report, a petition has been filed by the Digital Lenders Association of India (DLAI) which comprises startups such as CapitalFloat, LendingKart, ZestMoney, IndiaLends as well as early-stage investment firms and companies which provide authentication services and background verifications. These companies are particularly appealing to ensure advantages such as eKYC offered by Aadhaar help a lot in real-time verification of customers.
Legally speaking, the petition is being termed as an 'intervention application' which has yet to be accepted by the SC. There is no clarity on when it will be heard according to legal experts who have spoken to ET.
Number of people issued Aadhaar numbers has increased manifold since SC started hearing Aadhaar petitions
In the five years that the Supreme Court has been hearing the Aadhaar petitions, the number of people issued Aadhaar numbers have gone up from 20-25 crore in 2012 to 119 crore, reports NDTV.
'Aadhaar: Enabling a form of supersurveillance', argues Suhrith Parthasarathy
Suhrith Parthasarathy argues in The Hindu that the government will, no doubt, argue that Aadhaar can bring about many benefits. However any policy, howsoever poorly framed, will likely bring about certain gains. The question is ultimately one of proportionality and justice. Arguing that the government's aim is to create a seamless police state, which will chill our freedom and give the State rampant power he asks whether the Supreme Court will dare to stop this.
Policy expert Alok Prasanna Kumar weighs in on the possible change of bench in the Loya case
A recusal usually is a clear thing "not before [me]" or "a bench not having [either one of the two judges]" or some such thing. This is putting the ball back in the CJI's court over allocation of cases. A mysterious move since no one asked for it. Something's afoot.— Alok ಪ್ರಸನ್ನ कुमार (@alokpi) January 16, 2018
'Aadhaar is an evolving endeavour and UIDAI responsive to public concerns', argues Nandan Nilekani
In an article in the Hindustan Times, Nandan Nilekani argues that the concern about the ‘linking’ of Aadhaar to various services are over-hyped and baseless.
He goes on to insist that we should "applaud the UIDAI for being responsive to the concerns of the public. We need to recognise that providing a unique, secure identification, with instant authentication anywhere, to 1.3 billion Indians is an evolving endeavour."
Major untoward incidents that have happened with Aadhaar
Despite the number of reports over the last couple of years, UIDAI has constantly maintained that the server and the data itself, especially biometric data is safe.
However there are numerous instances where incidents have come up where Aadhaar's secureness has been questioned. These include app-based flaws, disclosures on government websites, third party leaks, sale of data etc. Click here for report on all of these incidents.
Bench hearing Loya case might be changed
The SC order in #JudgeLoya death case is nonetheless 'mysterious'.— Utkarsh Anand (@utkarsh_aanand) January 16, 2018
Has Justice Arun Mishra/MM Shanatanagoudar decided to recuse? Or since no next date of hearing is given, the matter is likely to come up before a different bench in natural course after months? pic.twitter.com/6dxn5WQe7J
Developments in Bofors case could affect Loya case
The Supreme Court made certain observations in the Bofors case regarding who can file a case in criminal matters, reported The Times of India. This could have an effect on the Loya case as all the PILs in the case have been filed by advocate associations or individuals who had no connection with the judge.
RECAP: Judge Loya died due to 'heart attack', no cause for suspicion, says Nagpur Police
The Nagpur Police on Tuesday said that there was no cause for suspicion regarding the death of judge Loya and that he had indeed died of a heart attack.
"Nagpur Police undertook a thorough investigation in this case and his death was due to a heart attack", Shivaji Bodkhe, Joint Commissioner of Police, Nagpur told reporters. "The postmortem, as well as the forensic reports too, confirm the same. There was nothing unusual in the report," he said.
Dipak Misra's olive branch to ‘rebel’ Supreme Court judges may not contain trust deficit in judiciary
Sreemoy Talukdar argued in Firstpost that the nature of the gambit is such that the dissenting judges must take their dissent to its logical conclusion. Any attempts at papering over the crisis or shutting the eyelids closely and hoping the dust storm will subside won't work.
The Bar Council of India chairman Manan Mishra has said that the issues raised by the four dissenting top judges of the Supreme Court have been resolved. "We did not want any political party to take advantage of the situation," said Mishra. There seems to be some headway in the Supreme Court crisis. All the judges of the top court, including the four dissenting judges, met over tea at 10.15 am on Monday.
Sources said there was a consensus that issues need to be solved institutionally.
Meanwhile, not just the Attorney-General of India KK Venugopal but sources close to Live Law too have confirmed that the four 'rebel' judges of the Supreme Court have buried their differences with Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. The latest development took place after the judges met Misra in full court room this morning.
Earlier, Attorney-General said that "everything has been settled after the judges had an informal meeting on Monday morning. Speaking before Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Senior Advocate RP Luthra urged him to resolve the issue. He claimed that there is a conspiracy to destroy the judiciary.
All four judges who rebelled against Chief Justice Dipak Misra resumed their work on Monday. Meanwhile a News18 report claimed that SA Bobde was emerging as the peacekeeper between the Chief Justice of India and the four rebel judges.
The Bar Council of India is likely to hold a press conference on Monday. Meanwhile, a report in The Times of India stated that there has been a precedence of the Chief Justice of India delegating 'super sensitive' cases to junior judges.
Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on Sunday assured a Bar Council of India delegation that the crisis in the Supreme Court resulting from a virtual revolt against him by four colleagues will be sorted out soon, the council chief said.
Also on Sunday, the son of special CBI judge BH Loya said in Mumbai that his father died of natural causes and not in suspicious circumstances. Loya's death, while he was hearing the politically sensitive Shohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case, is the subject of a PIL in the Supreme Court that was one of the triggers for the revolt against Misra.
The Indian judiciary was thrown into a turmoil on Friday when four senior Supreme Court judges — J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, MB Lokur and Kurian Joseph – convened an unprecedented press conference to complain about "selective" case allocation by Misra and passing of certain judicial order. Misra had assigned the Loya death PIL to Justice Arun Mishra, a relatively junior judge.
In their press conference, the four justices said India’s democracy is at risk unless the wrongs in the Supreme Court are set right.
Capping a weekend flurry of activity by jurists, lawyers and politicians, a delegation of the Bar Council of India, the highest body of lawyers in the nation, today met Misra at his residence for 50 minutes.
"We met CJI in a congenial atmosphere and he said everything will be sorted out soon," BCI chairman Manan Kumar Mishra, who led the delegation, told reporters.
He said that before meeting the CJI, the panel also discussed the crisis plaguing the apex judiciary with other judges including the three out of the four judges who have made the allegations against Misra.
Mishra said the panel met justices Chelameshwar, Lokur, and Joseph, who also gave an assurance that the crisis will be resolved.
He did not mention whether the panel had a meeting with Gogoi, who is out of town. Gogoi is next in line to succeed Misra as the chief justice.
The BCI will hold a press conference on Monday.
Earlier, Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Vikas Singh met the CJI and handed over a resolution in which the association has asked for a full court discussion to defuse the present crisis.
"I met the CJI and handed over a copy of the resolution. He said that he would look into it and ensure there was congeniality in the Supreme Court at the earliest," Singh told PTI after his 15-minute meeting with the CJI.
In another major development today, Anuj Loya, the son of the deceased CBI judge, held a press conference in Mumbai to say his family was "pained" by the recent developments surrounding his father's death. He claimed NGOs and politicians should stop "harassing" his family members over the issue.
"My father died of natural causes. Our family is convinced that it was a natural death," the 21-year-old Anuj told reporters, adding that although he and his family had earlier been suspicious about his father's sudden death three years ago, they no longer harboured doubts.
"I had an emotional turmoil, hence I had suspicions about his death. But now we don't have any doubts about the way he died," Anuj said.
"Earlier, my grandfather and aunt had some doubts about his death, which they shared. But now neither of them has any doubts," he said.
The deceased judge's father and Anuj's aunt had alleged foul play in his death.
Judge Loya, who was hearing the sensitive Sohrabuddin Sheikh "fake encounter" case, had allegedly died of a cardiac arrest in Nagpur on December 1, 2014, when he had gone to attend the wedding of a colleague's daughter.
BJP chief Amit Shah was an accused in the case but has been discharged.
With inputs from PTI
Published Date: Jan 15, 2018 13:50 PM | Updated Date: Jan 17, 2018 16:07 PM
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