An Aadhaar biometric identity card, issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), is arranged for a photograph in Mumbai. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

UIDAI’s Power To Invalidate Aadhaar Violates Citizens’ Rights, Petitioners Argue

Petitioners challenging the validity of Aadhaar today argued that the law doesn't provide citizens a legal recourse against data breach and makes them vulnerable to profiling.

On the third day of the hearing, petitioners focused on specific sections of the Aadhaar Act, 2016 and argued that the provisions, especially Unique Identity Authority of India’s power to invalidate the ID, violate the rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

Senior Advocate Shyam Divan, arguing on behalf of petitioners, said the Act does not provide citizens with the power to file complaints in cases of data breach and that right is vested only with the UIDAI. Aadhaar enables profiling and tracking of citizens if the government wants to do so, he said.

Divan said the Act enables the Aadhaar-issuing body to add other biometric indicators whenever it wants. He argued that if citizens want to identify themselves with an alternative method which is reasonable, they should be given a choice.

In the first half of the arguments, petitioners focused on the Right to Privacy judgement to stress that arguments in favour of Aadhaar don’t find merit with principles laid down in the landmark verdict.

Divan will continue his arguments tomorrow.