Aadhar case: Ready Reckoner

By Shrutanjaya Bhardwaj

Date Summary Links
23 September 2013

The Supreme Court issued an interim order saying that Aadhaar card is not mandatory. It observed that:

“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.”

Outlook India,

Zee News


8 October 2013 The Court rejected the Centre’s plea to revise its earlier order and make Aadhaar cards mandatory for social welfare schemes heavily subsidized by the government. NDTV
26 November 2013 The Court passed an order impleading all states and UTs in the case. Order
24 March 2014

The Supreme Court reiterated the above:

“If there are any instructions that Aadhaar is mandatory, it should be withdrawn immediately.”

The Court also restrained the UIDAI from transferring any biometric data to any agency without the consent of the person. In doing so, it reversed the order of the P&H High Court.

[Different case: The High Court order was aimed at helping investigations into a 14-month-old rape case in Goa.]

Dailymail, Hindu, Indian Express, Livemint
3 February 2015

The Court asked the Narendra Modi government to clear its stand on whether it intends to continue with the UPA government’s plan to allow Aadhar as proof of identity for direct transfer of cash for social welfare schemes. The bench, headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu, sought the clarification from Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar:

“We have read it in the newspapers that there is some rethinking on the scheme. You have to tell us by Friday next,” the bench said.

Financial Express
13 February 2015 Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar cleared the Government’s stand, saying that the Government will go ahead with the UID project. Deccan Herald
13 February 2015 RBI was impleaded as a party, since the petitioner had claimed that the central bank was asking for the Aadhaar number to open bank accounts and know-your-customer documents. Livemint
16 March 2015

The Solicitor General admitted and the Court took note of the fact that the Aadhaar number was being asked for by governmental agencies for anyone to be able to avail their services. Relevant extracts from Order:

“In the meanwhile, it is brought to our notice that in certain quarters, Aadhar identification is being insisted upon by the various authorities, we do not propose to go into the specific instances. Since Union of India is represented by learned Solicitor General and all the States are represented through their respective counsel, we expect that both the Union of India and States and all their functionaries should adhere to the Order passed by this Court on 23rd September, 2013.”

Hindu, DNA,

Business Standard

16 July 2015 The Centre urged the Court to vacate its two-year old stay on mandatory Aadhaar cards, citing the “tremendous success” of the Aadhaar project. Telegraph India
21 July 2015 Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi told the Court that the matter needed to be transferred to a Constitution Bench, since important questions were being raised. Livemint
22 July 2015 Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi told the Court that there is no fundamental right to privacy in India, as per an eight-judge bench decision of 1954. Indian Express
22 July 2015 The Court said it was inclined to refer the matter to a higher bench. Newsgram
22 July 2015 Matter part heard in Court – Mukul Rohtagi, K.K. Venugopal finished submissions and Shyam Divan started – listed for 23 July.
23 July 2015 Matter part heard in Court – Shyam Divan argued for the first half of the day, and Gopal Subramaniam argued for the second half – listed for 28 July.  
28 July 2015 Matter part heard in Court, listed for 29 July  
29 July 2015 Matter part heard in Court, listed for 30 July  
30 July 2015 Centre opposed plea seeking initiation of contempt proceedings in Court Zee News
30 July 2015 Matter part heard in Court, listed for 4 August  
6 August 2015 Order reserved – on whether the matter must be referred to a higher, Constitution bench or not – to be given out on Tuesday, 11 August Indian Express, Economic Times

(Shrutanjaya is an intern at CCG & a fourth year student at National Law University, Delhi)

One thought on “Aadhar case: Ready Reckoner

  1. Pingback: Aadhar: the Past and the Future | Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University, Delhi

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