Supreme Court to decide upon a dozen Applications seeking modification of its Aadhaar Order

aadhaar-cardAfter a three judge bench had referred the Aadhaar challenge petitions to a Constitution Bench, it is faced with 12 applications seeking clarification/modification of its interim order restricting the usage of Aadhaar card.

The bench comprising of Justices Chelameswar, SA Bobde and C Nagappan will hear the 11 applications filed by government bodies along with an application by petitioner – Nagrik Chetna Manch on Tuesday, October 5, 2015 at 2pm.

Order sought to be modified:

On August, 11 2015, along with the reference, Court had ordered:

1.    The Union of India shall give wide publicity  in  the  electronic  and print  media  including  radio  and  television  networks  that  it  is  not mandatory for a citizen to obtain an Aadhaar card;
2.    The production of an Aadhaar card will not be condition for  obtaining any benefits otherwise due to a citizen;
3.    The Unique Identification Number or the Aadhaar card will not be  used by the respondents for  any  purpose  other  than  the  PDS  Scheme  and  in particular for the purpose of distribution of  foodgrains, etc. and  cooking fuel, such as kerosene.  The Aadhaar card may also be used for  the  purpose of the LPG Distribution Scheme;
4.     The  information  about  an  individual  obtained   by   the   Unique Identification Authority of India while issuing an Aadhaar  card  shall  not be used for any other purpose, save as above, except as may be  directed  by a Court for the purpose of criminal investigation.

As the Centre and several states governments and their agencies feel that Court’s order is acting as an impediment in their Aadhaar related goals, applications on behalf of government and their agencies have been filed seeking an extension of the purposes for which Aadhaar can be used.

The Applications

The applications filed in the lead matter [Justice K. S. Puttaswamy (Retd) & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors. – WP (C) No. 494 of 2012] seeking a modification/clarification of Court’s order are as follows:

S. No. Application Number Application filed by Application for
1 I.A. No. 15/2015 UIDAI Modification/Clarification of Court’s Order dated 11.8.2015
2 I.A. No. 16/2015 SEBI Impleadment
3 I.A. No. 17/2015 State of Gujarat Modification/Clarification of Court’s Order dated 11.8.2015
4 I.A. No. 18 & 19 of 2015 Pension Fund Regulatory & Development Authority Impleadment and Modification/Clarification of Court’s Order dated 11.8.2015
5 I.A. No. 20/2015 State of Haryana Modification/Clarification of Court’s Order dated 11.8.2015
6 I.A. No. 21/2015 State of Mahrashtra Modification/Clarification of Court’s Order dated 11.8.2015
7 I.A. No. 22 & 23 of 2015 TRAI Impleadment and Modification/Clarification of Court’s Order dated 11.8.2015
8 I.A. No. 24 & 25 of 2015 IRDA Impleadment and Modification/Clarification of Court’s Order dated 11.8.2015
9 I.A. No. 26/2015 State of Rajasthan Modification/Clarification of Court’s Order dated 11.8.2015
10 I.A. No. 27/2015 SEBI Modification/Clarification of Court’s Order dated 11.8.2015
11 I.A. No. 28 of 2015 Centre for Civil Society Modification/Clarification of Court’s Order dated 11.8.2015

On the other hand Nagrik Chetna Manch, the petitioner in Writ Petition (C) No. 932 of 2013 has also filed an application seeking modification of the August 11 order in favour of the Petitioners rather than in Government’s favour (to be updated).

12 I.A. No. 3 in
W.P. (C) No. 932 of 2013
Nagrik Chetna Manch Modification/Clarification of Court’s Order dated 11.8.2015

Gujarat government has filed the application to seek its permission to extend Aadhaar usage to other schemes such as pensions and MGNREGA while RBI wants to use Aadhaar as a valid document as proof of identity.

Counsels

The Petitioners shall be represented by senior counsel Shyam Divan, Gopal Subramanium and Meenakshi Arora. Union of India shall be represented by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi and ASG Pinky Anand, Gujarat by senior counsel Harish Salve, SEBI by ASG Tushar Mehta, RBI by senior counsel Jayant Bhushan and Election Commission by senior counsel Ashok Desai. Senior counsel KK Venugopal will be appearing for the Centre for Civil Society which is also supporting Aadhaar. [FE]

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