West Bengal uses PM's Davos speech to assail Aadhaar scheme in SC

Feb 07, 2018, 08:51 IST | Agencies

West Bengal yesterday used Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech at Davos that one who controls data would control the world to assail in the Supreme Court the ambitious Aadhaar scheme

Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi

West Bengal yesterday used Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech at Davos that one who controls data would control the world to assail in the Supreme Court the ambitious Aadhaar scheme, saying the Centre would control personal information of citizens to have a grip over them. The Mamata Banerjee government was putting forth its arguments before a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra which is hearing a clutch of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar scheme and the enabling 2016 law.

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the West Bengal government, referred to parts of Modi's recent speech at the World Economic Forum at Davos. "Whoever controls data is the most powerful and can shape the world," Sibal said quoting the prime minister. Using the statement to buttress his submissions against the Aadhaar scheme, Sibal said it meant that "who controls data in India will control India" and the state will use the power like "never before".

He told the bench, also comprising justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, that Aadhaar was nothing but the Right to Information of the State and the question was can it be held as constitutional? "The answer is 'no'," Sibal added. He said that it was the most important case to be decided by the apex court since independence and it was not the issue as to how much money the government was going to save, rather, the key point was whether citizens can be deprived of their fundamentals rights including the right to have choices.

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