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#Aadhar: “Govt. frustrating Supreme Court order, a saga of disgrace”, Gopal Subramanium

Murali Krishnan

Senior Advocate and former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium launched into a scathing attack on the Central government yesterday in the Aadhar case.

Subramanium, who has been arguing in the matter since July 23, came down heavily upon the Central government and various government agencies. He submitted that these agencies are guilty of flouting the Supreme Court’s direction that Aadhar shall not be insisted upon until a final decision of the court.

The case, which is being heard by a three judge Bench presided by Justice Jasti Chelameswar and comprising Justices SA Bobde and C Nagappan, will now be heard on August 4 when Subramanium will resume his arguments.

During yesterday’s hearing, Subramanium criticised the government for prolonging the case by seeking adjournments. He said that Aadhar was being insisted upon by the RBI, the Election Commission of India, and even for disbursement of wages to labourers in Andhra Pradesh under the MNREGA scheme.

“One of the most popular method to perpetuate illegality in our courts is the time tested method of seeking adjournments…

It is a saga of disgrace. I am beginning to wonder what the people running this country are upto. The RBI and the ECI are undertaking an enterprise in illegality. It is disgraceful that when the matter is still sub-judice, the RBI is trying to supply government with the evidence to justify Aadhar.

Can the government frustrate the order of this court? This court’s order cannot be whiled away like this.”

Subramanium also opposed the need to obtain an Aadhar number for children below the age of five. He also submitted that seeding of Aadhar number will result in the Central government getting access to the most minute details of individuals resulting in a serious violation of privacy. The Court told Subramanium that if he is seeking any immediate relief, the same should be made by way of an application. Subramanium then said that he was seeking the following directions from the court:

  1. RBI and ECI should not insist on Aadhar.
  2. An injunction restraining children from being given Aadhar cards.
  3. Seeding of Aadhar number should not be allowed.

Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand interrupted Subramanium and opposed certain submissions made by him. Subramanium’s response comparing Anand to the “graceful Portia” of Merchant of Venice evoked laughs in an otherwise gripping hearing.

The hearing will resume on August 4 when Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi will make his submissions after Subramanium winds up.

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