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'Aadhaar verdict good, balanced, reasonable': Here's how top advocates reacted

PTI | Updated on: 26 Sep 2018, 10:28:32 PM
Former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee dubbed the judgment as good and also came out with special praise for the lone dissenting judge D Y Chandrachud.

New Delhi:

Advocates who argued in the Aadhaar case and those who keenly watched the proceedings termed the Supreme Court's Wednesday judgment as "good", "balanced" and "reasonable".  

 Senior advocates Rakesh Dwivedi, Arvind Dattar, K V Vishwanathan and Sajan Poovayya, who argued either for or against the Aadhaar scheme, expressed satisfaction over the verdict of the Supreme Court, which cleared the Centre's flagship programme with checks and balances. Former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee, who had not appeared for any party in the matter, dubbed the judgment as good and also came out with special praise for the lone dissenting judge D Y Chandrachud for his concern on the right to privacy.

"I think on the whole it is a good judgment. Though personally, I am happy with Justice Chandrachud's judgment striking it down on the ground that it bothers the right to privacy. This kind of provision has to be on an experimental basis. 

"Later on, there may be more amendments or changes can be made, but the citizen's concern has been largely met by the majority by imposing certain limitation and conditions. Justice Chandrachud's concerns about the intrusion of the right to privacy are very legitimate and personally, I prefer his judgment," Sorabjee said.

Senior advocate Aman Sinha hailed the judgment saying that it held that there is no breach of Right of Privacy as only minimal required biometric data is collected. Sinha, who as the BJP spokesman has been defending the Aadhaar scheme, said the judgment will benefit the poor and the downtrodden and sufficient safeguards and security measures have been incorporated in the Act. 

"The poor will benefit directly from this Act by receiving subsidies and benefits of various progressive schemes initiated by the Modi government directly in their account. The judgment acknowledged Aadhaar as the right of the common people of this country," he said. Dwivedi, who had appeared for the Unique Identification Authority Of India (UIDAI) called the judgment "fair, reasonable, just and balanced". 

"It sustains overwhelmingly what the government was contending for," he said. Vishwanathan, who had appeared for a party challenging its validity, said, "with several salient features of the Act rightly struck down, the Act has been considerably weakened" and "the scope of mischief" has been largely reduced. Vishwanathan said that with one judge terming the labelling of the Act as a money bill, as a fraud on the Constitution, it is expected that in future such adventures may not happen. Poovayya, who had argued for those opposing the scheme, also said the apex court managed to strike a "balance" and "poisonous aspects of Aadhaar" have been struck down whereas its "core issues have been upheld".  

"Citizens rights have been protected and a fine balance has been achieved between the pubic interest on Aadhaar such as subsidies etc from consolidated fund of india, identity for the marginalised section of the country," said Poovayya. Datar, counsel for one of the petitioners, said that the majority judgment has introduced several safeguards and done some amount of balancing like removing the need for linking Aadhaar with mobile number and bank accounts.

"It removed the need for linking it with mobile number, need for linking it with every bank account, made it very clear that you cannot have Aadhaar for getting school admissions, school examinations and so and so," said Datar. He said that it has been tailored down to subsidy benefits etc, which is a huge relief for all. 

"In our daily life, we will not have to produce Aadhaar for anything and everything," said Datar.

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First Published : 26 Sep 2018, 10:27:20 PM