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Is Every Individual A Terrorists? Asks SC Judge On Mandatory Linking Of Phones With Aadhaar

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| April 6 , 2018 , 08:46 IST

The Supreme Court on Thursday while hearing a series of pleas against the mandatory linking of biometric Aadhaar cards with various services, slammed the linking of Aadhaar IDs with mobile phone numbers.

While Attorney General KK Venugopal, representing the centre, said that linking was designed to prevent terrorists from getting SIM cards in Jammu and Kashmir, the judges were not convinced.

"You (centre) want Aadhaar for each and every activity.  You have issued 144 notifications. Why do you need cellphone linked to Aadhaar? You consider every individual as a terrorist or violator?" Justice AK Sikri asked.

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"We are not questioning the wisdom of the government but I don't think terrorists get SIM cards. They use satellite phones," Justice Chandrachud said.

Last month, the Supreme Court had put on hold the government ruling mandating people to link their mobile phone numbers with Aadhaar cards by March-end, directing that phone numbers could not be disconnected for non-compliance till the judges decided the Aadhaar case.

Petitioners have been claiming that the mandatory linking of services with Aadhaar cards is a violation of the Right to Privacy, which a 9-judge bench of the Supreme Court last year held as a fundamental right.

The apex court, however, added that the government's decision to use Aadhaar to reach benefits to the poor, curb money laundering and protect tax collections is understandable.