Aadhaar Judgement: 5th Review Petition Filed in the Supreme Court
Imtiyaz Ali Palsaniya became the fifth petitioner to file a review petition in the Supreme Court against the 26 September 2018 judgement of the constitution bench. In his review petition, Mr Palsaniya has challenged the controversial Section 139AA of the Income-tax Act, which made mandatory linking of Aadhaar with permanent account number (PAN).
 
Earlier four petitioners, Jairam Ramesh, Beghar Foundation, MG Devasahayam and Bengaluru-based Col (Retd) Mathew Thomas of Citizens' Action Forum, have filed review petitions against the Supreme Court judgement on Aadhaar. 
 
On 26 September 2018, the Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AK Sikri, Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Ashok Bhushan delivered their judgement on the much awaited issue of Aadhaar.
 
Upholding Section 139AA of Income-Tax Act, the Bench said, it is mandatory quoting of Aadhaar or enrolment ID of Aadhaar application form, for filing of I-T returns and for making an application for allotment of a PAN number. (Read: Supreme Court Upholds Aadhaar; Says Private Entities, Including Banks, Mobile Operators Cannot Demand Aadhaar https://www.moneylife.in/article/supreme-court-upholds-aadhaar-says-private-entities-including-banks-mobile-operators-cannot-demand-aadhaar/55398.html
 
In his review petition made available by TheLeafLet,in, Mr Palsaniya had contended that various grounds urged in interim petitions for directions were not considered by the bench while passing the judgement. 
 
"The judgment 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 judgment. The test laid down was that the thing for which Aadhaar sought by the State had to necessarily fall within the meaning of either a 'benefit', 'subsidy' or 'service'. Thus, anything for which Aadhaar had to be required, had to first pass the muster of qualifying within the meaning of a 'benefit', 'subsidy' or 'service'. Filing of income tax returns (ITR) under Section 139AA of the Income-tax Act, 1961 does not fall within either of the three descriptions, since filing of income tax is a statutory mandate, the violation of which could result in serious penalty. It is neither a benefit, subsidy or service," he stated.
 
The review petition also talks about lack of explicit directions from the apex court for deletion of Aadhaar data by private and other entities that are not allowed to use the UID.
 
It says, "The judgment prayed to be reviewed has not considered another consequential direction, which ought to have been issued pursuant to reading down of Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act, 2016. If private entities were prohibited from storing or collecting or otherwise using sensitive personal data, then a necessary sequitur would have to be a consequential direction for the deletion of every such Aadhaar data, which already is in possession of the private companies, entities, schools, colleges, work places, banks, post offices, telecommunication service providers etc. The impugned judgment has not given any such direction to these various private players or corporate bodies to delete such a data. A consequence of this omission is that all these private players continue to retain the sensitive personal data of the citizens of this country."
 
Mr Palsaniya also contended that in the judgement the apex court has not considered the crucial distinction between a 'citizen' and a 'resident' since UIDAI enrols any resident for Aadhaar. After enactment of the Aadhaar Act, UIDAI had admitted that 1 billion individuals enrolled in the Aadhaar  programme. 
 
"There is no way to identify the citizens from residents who are not citizens, as Aadhaar has been the singular tool to dilute the said distinction. Needless to say, all the benefits, subsidies or services that are solely the rights of the citizen, are being given away to residents, who are not citizens. The impugned judgement only dismisses this pertinent claim by holding that this may arise in some probable future, and appropriate steps may be taken by UIDAI as and when the situation arises.
 
"However, there is clear and convincing evidence to suggest to the contrary that as on 26 March 2016, 1 billion individuals had already been enrolled into the Aadhaar  programme and there is no way to ascertain how many of these individuals are citizens, and how many are residents," he contended.
 
According to Mr Palsaniya, the apex court's 26th September judgement has not considered that the objective and purpose of the Aadhaar programme is not to provide benefits, subsidy or services, but to 'create one national identity for every resident', which makes the grant of benefits, subsidies or services, contingent upon this unique identity. He says, "The judgment under review does not carve out a distinction between these two conflicting objectives, rather accords primacy to only the former."   
 
Earlier, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh had filed a writ petition challenging Aadhaar Bill as a money Bill. He had said, "It is important because declaring the Aadhaar bill as money bill violates Article 110 of the Constitution and has grave implications for the future of the Rajya Sabha itself."
 
However, the five-judge Bench of Supreme Court, in a majority decision, upheld the passing of Aadhaar Bill as money Bill.  
 
 
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    COMMENTS

    P M Ravindran

    8 months ago

    Please read my article 'Courting controversies' at http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=4828

    Delhi releases pensions pending for want of Aadhaar linking
    All pensions, which were not released earlier as the beneficiaries' Aadhaar cards were not linked to the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) portal, have been "increased and released", Delhi Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam said on Monday.
     
    He said this in a meeting with Secretary (Social Welfare Department) and other senior officials to discuss pension-related issues and pendency of the work.
     
    The Social Welfare Department of the Delhi government had, in July, approved a proposal which did away with the mandatory linking of Aadhaar cards with bank accounts to avail the pension scheme. Earlier, those who did not have their Aadhaar cards linked to the NPCI portal were not receiving the increased pension.
     
    "All beneficiaries are advised to get enrolled on NPCI portal (for subsidy), so that they would not face any problem in the continuity of their pensions in future," the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader said.
     
    The NPCI is an umbrella organisation for all retail payments in India. It was set up under the guidance and support of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Indian Banks Association (IBA).
     
    He also instructed that all grievances be minimised with immediate effect at district level and district officers should ensure that no one has to come twice to get his problem resolved.
     
    Officials, on their part, informed the Minister that all cases received during mega camps for transferring of MCD pensions have also been cleared and beneficiaries will now get their pensions soon from the department.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

     

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    Sumit Singh

    8 months ago

    This is very precious information on this article. Why is nobody else talking about it? Why is media silent over this? Having a unique ID for each citizen is the key point or minimum requirement in making a distinct entry in the database. If this whole system wasn't designed to make each entry as unique entry then the whole point of Adhaar as any type of Identity is nothing but pure fraud. If I was a Judge in Supreme Court, I would have immediately sentenced every single person working for stupid UIDAI who is responsible in creating this kind of flawed logic of so called Adhaar card to at least 30 years. These officials in UIDAI and supporting companies are basically raping every citizen in India.

    Aadhaar: PVC Cards Issued in a Camp under IDFC Banner. Bank Says It Did Not Organise the Camp!
    Day by day, the nuisances of Aadhaar are becoming more and more bizarre. There was a camp organised by IDFC Bank in Bengaluru for providing plastic cards of Aadhaar. There were banners displaying the name of IDFC Bank. However, IDFC Bank denied organising any such camp. In addition, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) itself had barred the use of plastic or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) Aadhaar cards. But more about it later.
     
    Bengaluru-based Prem Balakrishnan, in a series of tweets has asked IDFC Bank whether it has the necessary permission to print Aadhaar data on a PVC card. He also asked UIDAI if private banks like IDFC Bank are allowed to collect Aadhaar data under pretext of printing an Aadhaar card on plastic or PVC.
     
     
    Officials from IDFC Bank contacted Prem and told him that the said camp, where Aadhaar cards were being printed on plastic or PVC, was not organised by the Bank. The same was also confirmed by the bank in an email to Prem.
     
     
    The main question here is, if IDFC Bank has not organised the camp, then who organised it? How did the lender allow someone to use its name and logo on the banners displayed at the camp at Prestige Technology Park at Kadubeesanahalli in Bengaluru?
     
    According to UIDAI collecting Aadhaar information for printing a plastic or PVC card or unauthorised printing of Aadhaar card or aiding such persons in any manner amounts to a criminal offence punishable with imprisonment under the Indian Penal Code and Aadhaar Act 2016. 
     
    UIDAI had also advised people to be watchful for the protection of their privacy and recommended not to share their Aadhaar number or personal details to unauthorised agencies for getting it laminated, or printed on plastic card.
     
    Earlier in September 2018, the Supreme Court has barred banks, telecom companies and other private entities from using Aadhaar for identification. With the apex court declaring Section 57 of the Aadhaar Act as unconstitutional, bank account-holders, e-wallet or mobile wallet users and mobile subscribers are no longer required to use their Aadhaar number.
     
    The Supreme Court has given a time limit to all private entities for deletion of all such e-know-your-customer (eKYC) data from their records. In a circular issued on 26 October 2018, the department of telecommunication (DoT) directed all unified license holders to discontinue the use of Aadhaar eKYC for issuing new SIM and re-verification of existing subscribers before 5 November 2018.
     
    "...the use of Aadhaar authentication is not permissible for eKYC for verification of telecom subscribers, nor for issuing new mobile connections. In compliance with o the judgement of the Supreme Court, all licensees are to discontinue the use of Aadhaar eKYC service of UIDAI both for verification as well as for issuing new mobile connections. All TSPs shall ensure its implementation across the country in a time bound manner and compliance in this regard be submitted by 5 November 2018," the telecom department said in the circular.
     
    However, till today, there is no such action. In fact, TRAI and UIDAI are insisting that subscribers can use physical copy of their Aadhaar number for KYC. UIDAI had said, service providers can use offline verification tools like eAadhaar and QR code that leverage the unique ID without authentication, any access to biometrics, or revealing the 12-digit number. But there is no word on deletion of subscriber data from their servers as mandated by the apex court. 
     
     The same IDFC Bank, which has denied having organised any camp for the plastic Aadhaar card, however continues to use the unique ID for opening a bank account through microATM. On its portal, IDFC Bank says, "Bringing paperless account opening to the under banked and unbanked areas, customers can open an account just by linking their Aadhaar Number and biometric authentication".
     
    Earlier in February this year, UIDAI had issued a clarification saying plastic or PVC Aadhaar smart cards are often not usable as the QR code commonly becomes dysfunctional during such unauthorised printing at some vendor or shop. Also, there could be a possibility of sharing Aadhaar details like personal sensitive demographic information without informed consent with some devious elements.
     
    “The so-called Aadhaar Smart card is totally unnecessary and a waste as during such printing its QR code often becomes dysfunctional. The Aadhaar card or the downloaded Aadhaar card printed on ordinary paper or mAadhaar is perfectly valid for all kind of uses,” Ajay Bhushan Pandey, chief executive (CEO) of UIDAI, had said in a statement.
     

     

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