aadhaar-cardSupreme Court of India has refused to grant any immediate relief in the applications filed by the Union of India and its agencies, and the State Governments seeking modification of the August 11 order where the three judge bench had limited the use of UIDAI – Aadhaar card.

The applications were heard yesterday – October 6, after which the three judge bench comprising of Justices Chelameswar, SA Bobde and C Nagappan said that it would pass its order today i.e. 7 October.

At 3.30 pm while passing the order, bench observed that it would be better that the aforesaid applications be heard by the Constitution bench itself to which the entire batch of petitions challenging Aadhaar has been referred. Bench then asked the registry to place the matter before Chief Justice of India to pass the appropriate orders.


Order sought to be modified:

On August, 11 2015, along with the referring the petitions to Constitution bench to decide on the issues of privacy and validity of Aadhaar card, 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.

Disclosure: Author is appearing on behalf of one of the petitioners.

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