P. Chidambaram and Derek O'Brien
P. Chidambaram and Derek O'Brien

Aadhaar verdict: Opposition welcomes SC directive

ANI | Updated: Sep 26, 2018 17:25 IST

New Delhi [India], Sept 26 (ANI): Opposition leaders appreciated Supreme Court's verdict on Aadhaar pronounced on Wednesday saying, 'restrictions on unnecessary linkages to areas interfering in the personal lives of people is surely a welcome step.'
Former cabinet minister and Congress leader P. Chidambaram hailed the SC decision and termed it as 'a humbling lesson for the Ministry of Law'.
Speaking to ANI, he said, "The majority judgment in the Aadhaar case has retrieved the UPA's original idea of Aadhaar. It was meant to be a benign instrument to deliver benefits, subsidies and services to the poor. Glad that the UPA's policy has been vindicated. The NDA tried to convert Aadhaar into a monster that will rule every aspect of a person's life and they have been firmly rebuffed. Several provisions of the Act and the Regulations have been struck down as unconstitutional. That is a humbling lesson for the Ministry of Law."
Addressing a press conference, Congress leader Kapil Sibal shared similar sentiment and said, "Central government's format of Aadhaar Act was not only unconstitutional but against democracy as well. By striking down Section 57 of Aadhaar Act, Supreme Court has firmly put an end to the mass surveillance exercise being carried out under the guise of Aadhaar by the central government."
Sibal also criticised the government for the money bill route and said that the passage of the law violated the fundamental right to privacy and was a gross abuse of the Money Bill route.
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) also applauded the verdict and claimed that the decision will save the common public from inconvenience. Party leader Derek O'Brien said, "Today Supreme Court has given a very strong verdict that it is not mandatory to provide Aadhaar card for mobile number, bank accounts, school admissions, etc. This is what TMC has been demanding for very long and we have also protested outside Parliament for it. It is a good decision and now the common public will not face inconvenience."
Congress Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor also lauded the apex court's verdict of restricting the interference of the government. Tharoor said, "We were not against Aadhaar and it was brought in by Congress to govern the transfer of benefits, money and resources, to poor people so that they can be received without diversion. Our objection was to the way the BJP government had extended Aadhaar to all sort of areas where it didn't need to belong such as to get a mobile phone, open a bank account or get school admission. The Supreme Court has agreed to these points of the critics and they have said that these things are not required and we welcome it."
"Many of us have said that the danger of giving a large amount of information to Aadhaar is a risk of misuse, abuse or even leakage of that data. I have also introduced a private member's bill calling for a robust data protection bill. It is very encouraging to see in Justice (AK) Sikri's judgment a strong reaffirmation of the need to have a robust data protection law. Separation of Aadhaar from unnecessary linkages to areas interfering in the personal lives of people is surely a welcome step," he added.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that linking Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile phone numbers is not mandatory, but a must for Permanent Account Number (PAN). (ANI)