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5 judge Constitution Bench of SC to hear Aadhaar related matters

13 July 2017

They contended that the collection of biometric data and iris scan violated the fundamental right to privacy as personal data was not protected, and was vulnerable to exposure and misuse.

The five-judge would begin the hearing from July 18.

A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court will sit next week to examine a plethora of issues arising out of the Aadhaar identification system, including whether the unique identity number invades the right to privacy.

SC was hearing three separate petitions challenging Centre's notification to make Aadhaar mandatory for social schemes. Former Karnataka High Court judge Justice K S Puttaswamy and others had challenged the legal validity of Aadhaar in 2012.

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Fundamental right of identity and various e-governance initiatives of the government to provide food security, livelihood, jobs and health to the teeming masses can not be sacrificed at the altar of right to privacy of an elite few who have neither applied for nor want Aadhaar, it had contended. In 1954 and 1964, Supreme Court benches ruled that there was no fundamental right to privacy.

It had also asked the Centre and those opposing Aadhaar to approach the CJI for setting up of a Constitution Bench. An eight-judge Bench of the court decided the Sharma case, while a six-judge bench, delivered the judgment of Kharak Singh.

The apex court has chose to constitute a five-judge bench to hear whether there is a right to privacy or not.

The fundamental right of identity and various e-governance initiatives of the government to provide food security, livelihood, jobs and health to the "teeming masses" can not be sacrificed at the altar of right to privacy of an "elite" few who have neither applied for nor want Aadhaar, said the Centre. Sinha is the former NCPCR chairperson and Magsaysay victor.

5 judge Constitution Bench of SC to hear Aadhaar related matters