The battle for Aadhaar is still ongoing. Every day, there is a new update related to it. The latest one being that Supreme Court on Wednesday is expected to hold a hearing to decide if privacy is a fundamental right, a significant question that has a bearing on the government’s push for Aadhaar, the 12-digit biometric identity number.
The question of privacy and Aadhaar is interlinked. Therefore, the court on Tuesday said that before taking up the petitions that challenged Aadhaar for violating privacy, the Supreme Court needed to settle the constitutional status of the right to privacy.
During the course of hearing today it has become essential for us to determine whether the right to privacy is a fundamental right under the Constitution,” a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India, JS Khehar had said.
The determination of this question would essentially entail whether the decision recorded by an eight-judge bench in 1954 and also by a six-judge bench in 1962 that there is no such fundamental right is the correct expression of constitutional provisions,” the court said.
The government is battling for Aadhaar, saying it is necessary to plug leakages in subsidy schemes and to ensure benefits reach those targeted. However, critics say the move violates privacy, is vulnerable to data breaches and helps the government spy on people.
More than 1.4 billion people or 95% of India’s population now have an Aadhaar number, which is to be obtained by all residents. Aadhaar is not a proof of citizenship.