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Aadhaar case: SC judge recounts ailing mother's pension hurdles; top points

Author: Heena Sharma
by Heena Sharma
Posted: May 10, 2018
A five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by CJI Dipak Misra, is hearing a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar scheme and its enabling law

Current Affairs News: Facing problems with Aadhaar authentication? You're not alone, even a Supreme Court judge has such an experience to share, which he did while hearing petitions challenging the Aadhaar scheme's constitutional validity. Supreme Court judge Justice D Y Chandrachud on Wednesday recalled a personal experience -- his mother, who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease, had faced difficulty in authentication to get her pension.

Justice Chandrachud is part of the five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, which is hearing a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar scheme and its enabling law of 2016.

The hearing will continue on Thursday.

On May 3, the Centre had strongly defended its decision to seed Aadhaar numbers with mobile phones, telling the top court that it could have been hauled up for contempt if the verification of mobile users was not undertaken by it. However, the court had said that the government had misinterpreted its order and used it as a "tool" to make Aadhaar mandatory for mobile users.

The petitioners had referred to the technical experts' views on the technical aspect of the Aadhaar architecture and said that real-time surveillance of citizens was possible.

Earlier, the court also did not agree with the government's contention that the Aadhaar law was correctly termed as a Money Bill by the Lok Sabha Speaker as it dealt with "targeted delivery of subsidies" for which funds come from the Consolidated Fund of India.

Justice Chandrachud mother had to authenticate ID every month for her pension: Aadhaar authentication failures could create problems for those in need and some solution had to be found to address the issue, said the Bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, and Ashok Bhushan. Recalling his experience, Justice Chandrachud said "my mother, who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease was entitled to family pension being the wife of a former Chief Justice of India (late Justice Y V Chandrachud)".

"She had to give a thumb impression for authentication. I recall, every month the bank manager or his representative would come home and affix her thumb print on certain documents and only then could she get the pension," Justice Chandrachud said. "So it (authentication) is a serious issue. It's not largesse. It is not charity... we have to find answers for these problems," he said, adding that there was a class of needy people who may not get the benefits due to authentication failures.

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Author: Heena Sharma

Heena Sharma

Member since: Apr 26, 2018
Published articles: 67

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