New Delhi: BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy on Tuesday said that compulsory Aadhaar is a threat to the country’s security and expressed hope that the Supreme Court will strike it down when its larger Constitution bench takes up the matter.
The firebrand BJP leader took to Twitter and tweeted that he will soon write a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi detailing how compulsory Aadhaar poses a big threat to the country’s security.
Swamy said this a day after the Supreme Court referred a batch of petitions challenging the Centre’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing benefits of various services and social welfare schemes to a five-judge Constitution bench.
The order was passed by the Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud while responding to a batch of petitions challenging the validity of the Aadhaar law on charges of being intrusive and violating the right to privacy.
The top court also pulled up the West Bengal government for directly approaching it against the central government’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing benefits under social welfare schemes.
The bench said that hearing on the petitions challenging the government’s move would take place in the last week of November.
The court said this after Attorney General KKVenugopal told the bench that the government had filed a detailed affidavit refuting all the allegations on expanding the area under Aadhaar linkage.
Asking the court not to issue any further interim orders, Venugopal said the government was ready to argue and the court, if deemed fit, could set up a Constitution bench to decide on the various Aadhaar petitions.
He said the government had already issued more than 100 orders and notifications to address the glitches in the implementation of Aadhaar.
The government counsel also told the court that fake reports were being spread about Aadhaar linking, including how the unique ID was being made compulsory for CBSE students to appear in Class 10 and 12 exams.
As court said that the challenge to Aadhaar law would be heard by the five-judge Constitution bench, the issue of extending the deadline for linking Aadhaar with bank accounts, PAN, mobile numbers and other schemes for those who don’t have the unique identification number is now on the backburner.
The issue is not there, as the court is hearing the matter in the last week of November, the Attorney General said.
The existing deadline is up to December 31.
In the last hearing of the matter on October 25, the Centre had indicated that the deadline for linking Aadhaar with bank accounts, PAN, mobile numbers and other schemes for those who don’t have the unique identification number and are willing to go for it may be extended till March 31.
The validity of Aadhaar law that has been challenged by a number of people, including former Karnataka High Court Judge KS Puttaswamy, first Chairperson of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and Magsaysay awardee Shanta Sinha and researcher Kalyani Sen Menon.
Aadhaar is being challenged in the court amid apprehensions that it violated right to privacy – which a nine-judge bench had already declared as a fundamental right – with the use of biometric details like fingerprints and iris scans.