Review petition filed in SC seeking re-examination of its Aadhaar verdict

The petition challenges the verdict that Aadhaar Act does not violate the right to privacy.

A review petition was filed in the Supreme Court on Monday seeking re-examination of its verdict by which the Centre's flagship Aadhaar scheme was held as constitutionally valid.

Senior advocate Indira Jaising said the review petition has been filed against the September 26 verdict of the five-judge constitution bench which had said there was nothing in the Aadhaar Act that violated right to privacy of an individual.

The bench headed by the then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra had also upheld the passage of the Aadhaar Bill as a Money Bill by the Lok Sabha.

The review petition has been filed by one Imtiyaz Ali Palsaniya, who had also filed interim applications when the apex court was examining the validity of the Aadhaar scheme.

The petition has also sought an open court hearing in the matter.

Review petition filed in SC seeking re-examination of its Aadhaar verdict

Representational image.

In the 56-page petition, the petitioner has said it has been preferred in a "narrow compass" seeking to challenge only those aspects of the Aadhaar program as well as the Aadhaar Act, 2016 which were held to be constitutionally valid by the constitution bench.

While declaring the scheme as constitutionally valid, the apex court had struck down some of its provisions including its linking with bank accounts, mobile phones and school admissions.

The constitution bench had held that Aadhaar would remain mandatory for filing of Income Tax returns and allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN).

"The judgement sought to be reviewed has also not considered a crucial aspect of PAN–Aadhaar linkage, since it fails to satisfy the test laid down by the same court in the very same judgement," the review plea said.

It claimed that the Aadhaar program, which had been in existence prior to the enactment of the Aadhaar Act, 2016, had itself become an "instrument of transfer of sensitive personal data" belonging to citizens to foreign entities acting as biometric service providers at a time when the UIDAI in 2010 had no cyber or technical infrastructure to store such information.

This, the petition claimed, poses a massive national security risk, more so when, according to a Press Information Bureau notification, 100 crore enrolments had already taken place before April 4, 2016.

In its verdict, the apex court had said that Aadhaar would not be mandatory for school admissions, as also for the examinations conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Examination, National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for medical entrance and the University Grants Commission.

The bench had also struck down the national security exception under the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016.

Represenational Image

Represenational Image

The constitution bench had held that Aadhaar would remain mandatory for filing of Income Tax returns and allotment of Permanent Account Number (PAN).

"The judgement sought to be reviewed has also not considered a crucial aspect of PAN–Aadhaar linkage, since it fails to satisfy the test laid down by the same court in the very same judgement," the review plea said.

It claimed that the Aadhaar program, which had been in existence prior to the enactment of the Aadhaar Act, 2016, had itself become an "instrument of transfer of sensitive personal data" belonging to citizens to foreign entities acting as biometric service providers at a time when the UIDAI in 2010 had no cyber or technical infrastructure to store such information.

This, the petition claimed, poses a massive national security risk, more so when, according to a Press Information Bureau notification, 100 crore enrolments had already taken place before April 4, 2016.

In its verdict, the apex court had said that Aadhaar would not be mandatory for school admissions, as also for the examinations conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Examination, National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for medical entrance and the University Grants Commission.

The bench had also struck down the national security exception under the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016.

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