Aad­haar law likely to pass test of con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity: Jait­ley

Millennium Post - - FRONT PAGE -

NEW DELHI: Fi­nance Min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley on Wed­nes­day ex­uded con­fi­dence that Aad­haar law will pass the test of con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity, say­ing the leg­is­la­tion has ad­e­quate safe­guards for data pro­tec­tion.

Jait­ley’s com­ments at a con­clave on fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion or­gan­ised by United Na­tions here come amid a le­gal chal­lenge mounted in the Supreme Court against mak­ing the bio­met­ric iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­ber, Aad­haar, manda­tory for govern­ment schemes, in­clud­ing its link­ing to in­come tax PAN. The next date of hear­ing is in Novem­ber.

The Fi­nance Min­is­ter said Aad­haar was an evolv­ing idea un­der the pre­vi­ous UPA regime and it did not have leg­isla­tive back­ing.

Bjp-led NDA gave it a leg­isla­tive cover with iron wall to en­sure data pro­tec­tion and pri­vacy, he said.

“...a leg­is­la­tion was nec­es­sary and be­cause of evolv­ing de­bate the con­fi­den­tial­ity of the data and (the need) to build some iron wall around the data it­self. The (Aad­haar) leg­is­la­tion has been passed and I am sure it will stand the test of con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity,” he said.

Ear­lier last month, a nine­judge Con­sti­tu­tion bench of the apex court had de­clared the Right to Pri­vacy as a fun­da­men­tal right say­ing it is pro­tected as an in­trin­sic part of the right to life and per­sonal lib­erty un­der Ar­ti­cle 21 and as a part of the free­dom guar­an­teed by Part III of the Con­sti­tu­tion.

Jait­ley fur­ther said that the Supreme Court in its re­cent judge­ment has talked about rea­son­able re­stric­tions while up­hold­ing the idea of pri­vacy as an im­por­tant con­sti­tu­tional guar­an­tee un­der the Ar­ti­cle 21 of the Con­sti­tu­tion.

Cit­ing some of the con­di­tions on pri­vacy, he said: “They have to be by the law, they have to be ob­vi­ously rea­son­able and some of il­lus­tra­tive re­straints not ex­haus­tive are in the larger in­ter­est of na­tional se­cu­rity or for the pur­poses of de­tec­tion of crime or for the pur­pose of dis­sem­i­na­tion of so­cial ben­e­fits.

“I think the third cri­te­ria is very con­sciously in­serted be­cause that is the prin­ci­ple pur­pose for which this was in­tended to be used and that is where this in­ter­play of over a bil­lion Aad­haar num­ber over a bil­lion bank ac­counts and mo­bile phones it­self has an im­por­tant role,” he said.

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