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Privacy Versus Aadhaar

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The hearing on whether linking of Pan Card with Aadhaar violates an individual’s privacy or not will continue in the Supreme Court today, July 20th, 2017.  It was on July12th, the Supreme Court agreed to hear all the issues arising out of Aadhaar card on a urgent basis, especially the major concern of it breaching the people’s right to privacy. The argument of the lawyer of the petitioner happened on 19th, Wednesday and in his argument all issues arising out of the Aadhaar card was presented in front of the bench, including the privacy matter. The Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanian said that the matter is simple and whether there is any fundamental right to privacy under the Indian Constitution. Subramanian argued that privacy is rooted in all progression of human life and freedom.  The introduction to the argument uses two expressions liberty and dignity and these two expressions are proposed to express an inherent right accepted by the Constitution and the privacy is fixed in both.  On June 10, the Supreme Court had ruled that from July 1 onwards every individual eligible to obtain Aadhaar card must mention their Aadhaar number or Enrolment ID number for filing Income Tax Returns and for applications for Permanent Account Number (PAN).  Following this order, the apex court marked its order on mandatory requirements of Aadhaar car for Income Tax Return (I-TR). As per the orders the Income Tax had stepped up its efforts to persuade people to link their PAN with Aadhaar.   The issue was mentioned before a bench consisting of Chief Justice J.S. Khehar and Justice D.Y.Chandrachud which said that the five Judge Constitution Bench will hear the Aadhaar related issues. One of the Supreme Court judge on Wednesday told that the right to privacy is not complete and cannot be listed as it includes everything.  The question of privacy 55 years after the Supreme Court decided that it is not a basic right for citizens is being revisited by a nine-judge bench. The decision taken by the judges is key to petitions that challenge making the Aadhaar scheme mandatory for millions of Indians.