Finance Minister Arun Jaitley yesterday said he was sure Aadhaar will stand the test of constitutionality as the Supreme Court’s decision on the legislation is still pending.
“The legislation has been passed and I’m sure it will stand the test of constitutionality. Even while upholding the idea of privacy as an important constitutional guarantee, the Supreme Court said that it is the question raised just now. (Violation of privacy) could be imposed by law but they have to be obviously reasonable,” Jaitley said at a meeting on financial inclusion organised by the UN India chapter in New Delhi.
He said that the right to privacy has illustrative restraints like national security and dissemination of social benefits and Aadhaar is being used for the latter.
Jaitley said that once the identity network is created through Aadhaar, it is used to make sure the social benefits reach those segments of population for whom it is specifically targeted.
“Untargeted subsidy results in wastage of resources because the resources of state are limited,” he said.
“There are important questions which arise and therefore (Aadhaar) legislation was necessary and because of evolving detail, the confidentiality of the data and to build some iron wall around the data itself was also equally important,” he said.
The case is pending in the Supreme Court on whether the government’s move to make Aadhaar-linking mandatory with PAN, is against the fundamental right to privacy.
The court has constituted a nine-member bench to adjudicate on the issue. The government will have to prove that Aadhaar comes under the illustrative restraint of dissemination of social benefits.
Speaking at the same event, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said the cost of digital transactions could be reduced to almost zero if payments were made through Aadhaar Card.
“Mobile telephony with Aadhaar, when it is linked with bank account... Aadhaar to Aadhaar transactions, like with BHIM app, the cost of transaction is zero,” Kant said.
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