NEW DELHI: The much-anticipated final hearing on the legality of Aadhaar began in the Supreme Court before a Constitution bench on Wednesday with petitioners opposing the use of unique identity numbers, arguing that this will reduce citizenry to servitude and take away civil rights.
The hearing got under way five years after a host of social activists and a former high court judge filed petitions challenging the scheme. Appearing before a bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, senior advocate Shyam Divan contended that the fundamental rights of citizens would be compromised once Aadhaar was made compulsory and that it could be a tool to keep citizens under surveillance through their life.
Appearing for former Karnataka HC judge KS Puttaswamy and other social activists, Divan contended that no democratic country had adopted such scheme as it is the antithesis to the very principle of people’s rights and liberty. He said Aadhaar could become an instrument of oppression and exclusion at the hands of the government, which must not be allowed.