Aadhaar: What exactly happened in the Supreme Court on Monday?
Contrary to media reports that the Supreme Court allowed usage of Aadhaar number for non-benefit schemes, nothing really happened. In fact, all previous orders passed by the apex court on Aadhaar remain unchanged. 
 
According to one of the lawyers present in the Court, on Monday, the Aadhaar matters and the intervention application for stay on the Act were mentioned before the Bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul. Senior Counsel Shyam Divan informed the Bench about earlier orders passed in this matter. 
 
"Given the Chief Justice Khehar or any of the judges in the Bench had never heard the case before, they had some questions on whether Para 5 of the 15 October 2015 order making it purely voluntary was for benefit schemes as well as non-benefit schemes. Therefore Chief Justice Khehar suggested that it could be used for other non-benefit schemes such as Income Tax filings. Sr Counsel Divan clarified on that point," the lawyer says.
 
Chief Justice Khehar expressed his opinion about perhaps setting up a Seven Judge Bench for hearing the main petition on Aadhaar. However, Sr Counsel Divan informed the Bench that the matter is before Justice Jasti Chelameswar, who had already indicated the order in which the Constitution Bench matters would be taken up for hearing. Aadhaar is one of the three such matters. Upon hearing this, the Chief Justice declined to intervene.
 
"In short, nothing changed today and there was no order passed by the Court," the lawyer concluded.
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    COMMENTS

    BR

    3 years ago

    Supreme Court must clarify whether Aadhaar is a must fo LPG,PDS,NEET, Driving Licence,etc. Even though its order that it is not compulsory is valid, Govt Depts are forcing it on us. UIDAI says that it only gives Aadhaar to whoever wants it but does not force it on us. Petroleum Ministry says that UIDAI gave a list of services for which Aadhaar is needed. Aadhaar Act did not & cannot remove the court order. TheGovt must clarify.

    BR

    3 years ago

    Supreme Court must clarify whether Aadhaar is a must fo LPG,PDS,NEET, Driving Licence,etc. Even though its order that it is not compulsory is valid, Govt Depts are forcing it on us. UIDAI says that it only gives Aadhaar to whoever wants it but does not force it on us. Petroleum Ministry says that UIDAI gave a list of services for which Aadhaar is needed. Aadhaar Act did not & cannot remove the court order. TheGovt must clarify.

    LALIT SHAH

    3 years ago

    Most of highly learned and connected with politics and judiciary was opposing Aadhaar .Now forcing to give Aadhaar every where.How Aadhaar is secured with Government just example all telcome compony have whole biomatric data like JIO ,AIRTEL pay tm and this data is freely awailable with there 4-5 class staff.............................jay ho achhe din aa gaye

    Freddie Movdawala

    3 years ago

    How Do We apply for Aadhar Card of a person who is bed ridden and who is 85 years of age and is not mobile

    MOHAN SIROYA

    3 years ago

    Good Omen! So far so good.
    But the Government cares two hoots for such Apex Court orders and violates with impunity by linking all benefits ,transactions or any other act of the Indian citizen to an Aadhaar number. Now from April all railway reservations done online will compulsorily require Aadhaar number. All those who have not yet made Aadhaar, thus are advised to RUSH without waiting for any remedial order from the
    Supreme Court .

    POS industry wary of Aadhaar-enablement over cost, security issues
    The demand for point of sale (POS) devices -- which saw a spurt after demonetisation as people and merchants opted for cashless transactions -- could be dented by the mandate to make them Aadhaar-enabled as this will push up costs and increase security risks, industry players said.
     
    "One of the biggest challenges in making the POS machines Aadhaar-enabled is the high cost of adoption as well verifying its reliability. Tampering and skimming threats for merchants and processors of card data are on the rise," Ravi Goyal, Chairman and Managing Director, India Transact Services, told IANS.
     
    India Transact imports POS machines -- also known as payment or credit card machines -- from Europe and supplies them to Syndicate Bank, Bank of India, Reliance Retail and PVR Cinemas, among others.
     
    According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) mandate, all POS machines acquired after January 1 this year had to be enabled for Aadhaar-based biometric authentication. The date was was later extended to June 30 because the rate of deployment slowed down due to a drop in the supply of such Aadhaar-enabled devices. 
     
    "Fingerprint authentication per se is not secure. It is about the levels and forms of encryption that companies implementing the solution follow. It is important that fingerprint data is encrypted at the source of the scanning device and remains encrypted all the way through till it reaches the card-issuing authorities," ePaisa Co-founder Siddharth Arora told IANS.
     
    ePaisa will start manufacturing POS devices this year and plans to reach a million merchants by 2018.
     
    "If somebody is able to capture the biometric data, which is easily done, they can very easily impersonate me," Manish Patel, Founder, Mswipe Technologies, which supplies POS terminals to 165,000 merchants, told IANS.
     
    Apart from the increased security vulnerability to the person's biometrics, another deterrent to the digital mode would be the increased costs of the additional hardware.
     
    "The costs of POS machines will go up. Currently, each terminal costs Rs 6,000. With the additional hardware, it will mean Rs 3,000-3,500 extra per terminal, which is 50 per cent increase in costs," Patel said.
     
    "This is not technically a difficult task but rather a very expensive one. We need to attach a biometric reader to the currently available POS machines and simultaneously make changes in application," Goyal said.
     
    They feared that ultimately the merchants will have to bear the cost and they may pass this on to the customer.
     
    The demand for POS machines saw a steep rise just after demonetisation. At the peak of demonetisation, the government had floated a tender through Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) to acquire one million POS machines, but so far has been unable to procure any. 
     
    Mswipe alleged that the tender was floated but the government failed to buy any POS terminals because of the cost factor. 
     
    Corporation Bank said it placed an order for 10,000 devices immediately after demonetisation was announced November 8.
     
    "We have approximately 30,000 POS machines. An order for about 10,000 additional POS machines was placed after demonetisation for immediate use," Eknath Baliga, Manger, KYC-Antimoney Laundering Cell, Corporation Bank, Mangalore, told IANS.
     
    "Our sales shot up by 300 per cent in November and December compared with the previous year," India Transact Services said.
     
    The total value of financial transactions done by the debit and credit cards issued by at POS terminals was at Rs 51,883.68 crore while the number of transactions stood at approximately 23 lakh in October 2016.
     
    About 15 lakh POS terminals were deployed by the banks in October. 
     
    But as cash returns to the system again, the demand for POS machines is tapering and these additional directives can prove a further deterrent to POS machines, the industry said, adding that there was no clarity on the revenue model in the Aadhaar-enabled payment system (AEPS).
     
    "There is no revenue model defined for AEPS payments against the card-based payment system where MDR (Merchant Discount Rate) is a source of revenue. The reliability of AEPS infrastructure for mass payment is yet to be proven," Goyal said.
     
    A typical transaction uses a payment instrument like a card, which is secured by a PIN (personal identification number). When a PIN gets captured on a terminal, there are payment card industry standards for the security of transactions. 
     
    While RBI is calling for biometric enablement, it is not clear if the transaction is going to be carried out by a PIN and biometrics would be the second level of authentication, or if the biometric credentials are going to be used to identify the person with no second factor of authentication. 
     
    "If the thumb impression alone will authorise a transaction, it will be a disaster. It has to be backed by a PIN. There are proven technologies to copy your fingerprint, like cloning," Patel said.
     
    "A second factor of authentication is must. Else anyone can do a transaction in my name and I will not be able to dispute it," he said.
     
    If by adopting these new measures, security against data theft can be ensured only then would both merchants and customers be assured that their hard-earned money is safe, he added.
     
    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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    COMMENTS

    Ramesh Bajaj

    3 years ago

    It is highly risky . I have myself tried and it took multiple tries to get my finger print authenticated, and I am still not sure how it was done. They kept on pressing my finger down on the instrument , a number of times

    Aadhaar not valid proof of citizenship or domicile says Calcutta HC
    The Calcutta High Court has upheld that Aadhaar or the unique identification (UID) number issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is not a valid proof of citizenship or domicile. While rejecting a claim of citizenship of the accused, who was issued an Aadhaar number in view of his long residence India, the HC said, “Aadhaar card by itself shall not confer any right of or be proof of citizenship or domicile in respect of the holder thereto”.
     
    The High Court was hearing a bail application by a person who was booked under Section 14F of the Indian Foreigners Act and was claiming to be an Indian citizen on the basic of Aadhaar issued to him. Referring to the new Aadhaar Act, 2016, Justice Joymalya Bagchi held that Aadhaar itself is neither a proof of citizenship nor domicile for the petitioner. 
     
    Earlier on several occasions, various courts, including the Supreme Court have restricted use of unique identification (UID) number or Aadhaar. The Supreme Court has repeatedly emphasised that the UID number where permitted “is purely voluntary and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by the Court one way or the other”. 
     
    Last year on 16th March, a Bench of Justices J Chelameswar, SA Bobde and C Nagappan directed the central and state governments not to insist on possessing Aadhaar for availing benefits under the various social security schemes as it reiterated an order it passed in September 2013.
     
    Later on 16 October 2015, while reiterating that Aadhaar scheme is purely voluntary, the SC extended its usage for Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), National Social Assistance Programme (Old Age Pensions, Widow Pensions, Disability Pensions) Prime Minister's Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). Earlier the apex court had allowed usage of Aadhaar to public distribution scheme (PDS), for the distribution of foodgrains, cooking fuel, such as kerosene and LPG.
     
    The order says, "We impress upon the Union of India that it shall strictly follow all the earlier orders passed by this Court commencing from 23 September 2013. We will also make it clear that the Aadhaar card Scheme is purely voluntary and it cannot be made mandatory till the matter is finally decided by this Court one way or the other."
     
  • User

    COMMENTS

    BR

    3 years ago

    Pl give the details of court case no., year & Judges names who ordered Aadhaar no. to be used for LPG, PDS, Kerosene,etc., even when the court order that Aadhaar is not compulsory, is still valid.The IndianOilCorpn & Ministry if Petroleum & Natural Gases have not said that there is such an order of a court allowing it.They say that it is their decision.It is without forcing them to do so.

    Ralph Rau

    3 years ago

    Adhaar MUST remain voluntary and optional for those who wish to avail government subsidy whether of food, kerosene, schooling or health.

    When it becomes mandatory India would correctly be categorised as a Police State.

    Simple Indian

    3 years ago

    With lakhs of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants having procured Aadhar Cards it's best that the Govt bars those with Aadhar from availing any Govt welfare schemes without additional identification and residence proof documents as well. Of course, corruption is so all-pervasive in Govt offices across India, that 'resourceful' immigrants will find a way to procure ANY document required to establish their ID to avail govt schemes meant for Indian citizens only. In fact, recently Ministry of External Affairs has made it easier for such resourceful illegal immigrants to also procure Indian passports by making Aadhar a valid document for application of a new passport. All ye illegal Bangladeshis, welcome aboard - thanks to porous borders in Assam and WB, and generosity of Govt of India !!!

    Gurudutt Mundkur

    3 years ago

    The AADHAR card lost most of its sanctity when MPs and MLAs were allowed to recommend issuance of the card even without their knowing the person they were recommending.

    Gurudutt Mundkur

    3 years ago

    The Calcutta High court is right. The AADHAR card is a proof of identity and not a proof of citizenship nor of domicile. This is a well known fact. It is for this reason that only the Passport is considered a proof of identity, citizenship and of date of birth.

    Ramesh B Mhadlekar

    3 years ago

    It means that non citizen are enjoying the subsides out of taxpayers money meant for citizens of India.

    SRINIVAS SHENOY

    3 years ago

    The citizens should be made fully aware that the Aadhaar card scheme is purely voluntary and cannot be made mandatory unless and until the court adjudicates it otherwise.

    NISHIT DESAI

    3 years ago

    Aadhaar should be made mandatory. Moreover, once it has been framed as a law by the Parliament, the Judiciary does not have powers to question since law making lies within the domain of the Legislature

    REPLY

    BR

    In Reply to NISHIT DESAI 3 years ago

    Aadhaar act,2016 did not say that Aadhaar is compulsory. It does not supersede or cancel the Supreme Court Order passed in 2015 saying that Aadhaar is only voluntary in the case WP(Civil)/494/2012. The issue of Judiciary questioning anyone does not arise.Aadhaar is not made compulsory by Law.

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