Skip to main content

Aadhaar sold as panacea for all ills – black money, terrorism, leakage etc. like herbal medicine: Advocate Datar

By Our Representative
Senior advocate Arvind Datar, in his strong rebuttal to the plan to link aadhaar with Permanent Account Number (PAN) by the Government of India, has argued in the Supreme Court that the earlier orders of the apex court that aadhaar cannot be made mandatory “continue to hold weight.”
“The Union and all states were before the court when these orders were passed. The Attorney General (AG) had even given an undertaking to the Court stating that aadhaar would be voluntary”, Datar said.
Datar appeared before the court to represent CPI leader Binoy Viswam.
When Justice AK Sikri said that the Aadhaar Act would shave to be tested for its basis, Datar said, he “agreed” that this was a new kind of case, placed before the court for the first time.
And when Justice Ashok Bhushan said that the “scheme has now become an Act", Datar explained that when the Supreme Court had given its orders, Parliament could only overrule judicial orders in a manner known to law – that is, by taking away their basis.
A Supreme Court directive or judgment is sacrosanct, unless set aside by a process known to law, Datar said, adding, there was a clear collision between the Aadhaar Act and the Income Tax Act, and "if both Acts are allowed to stand the results would be absurd."
Datar added, the government had failed to show how the stated objective of curtailing black money is possible by linking aadhaar and PAN.
On the AG’s argument that aadhaar was needed to fight black money and terrorism, Datar said, "Anybody with any common sense would ask, how will aadhaar check black money? Aadhaar was sold as a panacea for all ills – black money, terrorism, leakage etc. like herbal medicine", but, he noted, "Aadhaar is like having built a bridge and looking for a river. It is hunting for problems to make itself relevant."
On the AG’s argument on Foreign Account Tax Compliant Act (FATCA), Datar said that nothing in FATCA created a requirement for aadhaar.
When interrupted by government counsel Arghya Sengupta, who said "the problem is that if we give the US duplicate PANs, it becomes an embarrassment", Datar responded, this had nothing to do with the stated objective of 139AA.
The Finance Bill’s Section 139AA says, “Every person who is eligible to obtain aadhaar number shall, on or after the 1st day of July 2017, quote aadhaar number in the application form for allotment of permanent account number” and in “in the return of income”.
Datar said, only 0.04% of PAN cards were duplicates. He asked whether the government had done any study before introducing 139AA. He said "for 0.4% duplicates, 99.6% must seed their Aadhaar with PAN. Is that reasonable restriction under Article 19(6)?"
He argued, without a PAN card, people's economic lives would come to a standstill, and that interests (the ability to do business versus duplicate PAN cards) had to be balanced.
Datar said, the government was slowly attempting to make aadhaar mandatory, though it claimed it was voluntary. This was a case of extreme and far-reaching consequences. He added, "The AG says, 99% have got it. What's your problem? That argument is the death knell of individual rights and democracy."
Supported by Salman Khurshid, Datar submitted that the Court must strike down 139AA or read it down and in case the court decides to refer the case it should stay 139AA. The judgment has been reserved and no date has been given yet for the orders of the court.

Comments

TRENDING

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

Modi wants Pak govt be held responsible for JeM terror strike: World doesn't agree

By Sandeep Pandey*
I went to participate in a candle light homage paying event at Dr BR Ambedkar's statue organised by about 200 Dalit students on Hazratganj main crossing in Lucknow on February 16, 2019 evening, two days after the dastardly terrorist act in Pulwana, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), in which 44 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel was killed.

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

Not just Indian women engineers, men too face sexual harassment at workplace: US study

By Rajiv Shah
A recent research, carried out jointly by two US-based non-profit organizations, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Center for WorkLife Law (WLL), based at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, has found that 45% of women engineers as against 28% of men engineers complained that it was perceived as “inappropriate when women argued at work, even when it was work-related.”

Anti-liquor march: Women padyatris "resolve" to occupy Karnataka state assembly

By Abhay, Swarna Bhat*
At a huge public convention held at Siddaganga Mutt on the Republic Day, January 26, 2019, in the presence of Sanehalli Sri Panditaradhya Swamiji, padyatris of the Madya Nishedha Andolana decided to intensify the ongoing liquor ban movement. A resolution passed at the convention, in which thousands of rural women joined in, the marching women declared that on reaching Bengaluru will “occupy Vidhan Soudha” on Mahatma Gandhi’s martyrdom day, January 30.