The Aadhaar Case

Posted by Vipul Kharbanda at Sep 05, 2014 08:55 AM |
In 2012 a writ petition was filed by Justice K.S. Puttaswamy in the Supreme Court of India challenging the policy of the government in making an Aadhaar card for every person in India and its later plans to link various government benefit schemes to the same.

Over time a number of other cases have been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the Aadhaar mechanism and/or its procedure most of which have now been linked to the main petition filed by Justice Puttaswamy.[1] This means that the Supreme Court now hears all these cases together (i.e. at the same time) since they throw up similar questions and involve the same or similar issues. The court while hearing the case made an interim order on September 23, 2013 whereby it ordered that no person should suffer on account of not having an Aadhaar card and that Aadhaar cards should not be issued to any illegal immigrants. The relevant extract from the Order of the court is reproduced below:

"No person should suffer for not getting the Aadhaar card in spite of the fact that some authority had issued a circular making it mandatory and when any person applies to get the Aadhaar card voluntarily, it may be checked whether that person is entitled for it under the law and it should not be given to any illegal immigrant."[2]

It must be noted that the above order was only an interim measure taken by the Supreme Court till the time it finally decided all the issues involved in the case, which is still pending in the Supreme Court.

In November 2013 during one of the hearings of the matter, the Supreme Court came to the conclusion that it was an important enough matter for all the states and union territories to be impleaded as parties to the case and passed an order to this effect.[3] This was probably because the Aadhaar cards will be issued in the entire country and this is a national issue and therefore it is possible that the court thought that if any of the states have any concerns regarding the issue they should have the opportunity to present their case.

In another petition filed by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the Supreme Court on March 24, 2014 reiterated its earlier order and held that no person shall be deprived of any service just because such person lacked an aadhaar number if he/she was otherwise eligible for the service. A direction was issued to all government authorities and departments to modify their forms/circulars, etc., so as to not compulsorily require an aadhaar number. In the same order the Supreme Court also restrained the UIDAI from transferring any biometric data to any agency without the consent of the person in writing as an interim measure.[4] After passing these orders the Supreme Court linked this case as well to the petition filed by Justice Puttaswamy on which final arguments were being heard in February 2014 which so far do not seem to have concluded.

Note : Please note that the case is still being heard by the Supreme Court and the orders given so far and explained in this blog are all interim measures till the case is finally disposed off. The status of the cases can be seen on the following link:

http://courtnic.nic.in/supremecourt/casestatus_new/caseno_new_alt.asp

The names and number of the cases that have been covered in this blog are given below:

  • W.P(C) No. 439 of 2012 titled S. Raju v. Govt. of India and Others pending before the D.B. of the High Court of Judicature at Madras.
  • PIL No. 10 of 2012 titled Vickram Crishna and Others v. UIDAI and Others pending before the High Court of Judicature at Bombay.
  • W.P. No. 833 of 2013 titled Aruna Roy & Anr v. Union of India & Ors.
  • W.P. No. 829 of 2013 titled S.G. Vombatkere & Anr v. Union of India & Ors.
  • Petition(s) for Special Leave to Appeal (Crl) No(s).2524/2014 titled Unique Identification Authority of India & another v. Central Bureau of Investigation.

All the above cases have now been linked with the ongoing Supreme Court case of K. Puttaswamy v. Union of India.


[1] W.P(C) No. 439 of 2012 titled S. Raju v. Govt. of India and Others pending before the D.B. of the High Court of Judicature at Madras and PIL No. 10 of 2012 titled Vickram Crishna and Others v. UIDAI and Others pending before the High Court of Judicature at Bombay were transferred to the Supreme Court vide Order dated September 23, 2013. Also W.P. No. 833 of 2013 titled Aruna Roy & Anr Vs Union of India & Ors, W.P. No. 829 of 2013 titled S G Vombatkere & Anr Vs Union of India & Ors and Petition(s) for Special Leave to Appeal (Crl) No(s).2524/2014 titled Unique Identification Authority of India & another v. Central Bureau of Investigation.

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